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Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - or simply "the Award" - is a global youth development programme for persons between the ages of 13 and 25. It was founded in 1956 by its namesake, HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, to help young people build confidence, resilience, and problem-solving skills. The Award has over 1.1 million active Participants from over 130 countries and territories.


Will this get me a job or scholarship?

The Award programme does not give scholarships or jobs. However, being an Award Holder can significantly help in the application process. Additionally, there are several opportunities to travel for training or development purposes.

Can I do it while being involved in Scouts/Guides/Pathfinders/Cadets?

The Award is available to all young people aged 14-25, regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills or interests. The beauty of the Award is that it provides tools and support for Participants to develop a 100% personalized programme to support their unique potential and development.  As such, you can complete the Award while pursuing Scout and Guide Badges and Awards, Pathfinder Honours, or Cadet Star levels and Ranks. 

So why do this instead of other activities?

The Award complements other extracurricular activities and, by providing Participants with support through the age of 24, allows them to extend their pursuits well into young adulthood. The Award is also a globally recognized certification.

How is the British Royal Family involved?

The Award is the living legacy of its Founder and namesake, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In his lifetime, he served as patron of over 800 charitable organizations focused on the environment, industry, sports and education. Today the Award is administered by The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation (IAF), an independent nonprofit entity established in the United Kingdom as a Royal Charity that acts as the coordinating body for Award sponsors in other nations.

With the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh, will the Award cease operating?

No. Prior to Prince Philip's retirement from public life in 2017, HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, has been the Award's primary patron and Chair of Trustees of the International Award Association (IAA).

How much does it cost?

Locally, costs depends on the Award level and the activities chosen.


Registration fees are:

Bronze - BBD$30; Direct Silver - BBD$35; Direct Gold - BBD$40

There is a fee of BBD$25 to move from Bronze to Silver or Silver to Gold.


Participants are responsible for the costs associated with their choice of activity in each section.

How do I start?

Identify and link with an Award Unit of your choice.

Complete the Participant Registration Form and submit to the Award Leader or the Award Office along with the Registration Fee.

Complete the ORB Registration and await approval.

Once approved, identify and get started on your chosen activities.

How long will it take?

The minimum time expected to complete the levels are:

Bronze - 6 months; Silver - 6 months; Gold - 12 months

If a participant has NOT completed a previous level, an extra 6 months is required for one of the sections

What counts as regular activity?

Completing the sections requires commitment with a frequency of at least one hour per week.

How will I know that I have done enough to get the Award?

Participants log their progress using the FREE Online Record Book (ORB) app. Once activities are completed, the app will signal to get assessor approval.

How do I track logs and manage my ORB?

We have provided several videos and resources to cover various scenarios. These can be reviewed here.

I want to join the Award, but it isn’t delivered in my school/organization. How can I join?

In this situation you can become an Open Award Participant through the National Open Award Unit. You can contact us by sending an email to with your name, date of birth, address and school details explaining that your school does not deliver the Award. The National Office will assess this email and you will be assigned an Award Leader. You may start with the support of an Independent Award Leader.

What is needed in order to deliver the Award in our organisation?

In order to deliver the Award in your organisation, a Sub-Licence Agreement must be signed between the organisation and The National Award Operator. After this licence is signed the organisation becomes an ‘Award Unit’. After receiving the necessary training through the NAO you can begin to deliver the Award in your organisation. To begin the processes please send an email to

What training is needed in order to deliver the Award in our organisation?

Each organisation needs at least 2 Award Leaders (one male and one female; one of them must be an Award Coordinator). Training is given by the National Office.

Who is an ‘Award Leader’, how can I become an ‘Award Leader’?

An Award Leader is a trained volunteer that becomes the mentor of the Award Participant throughout their journey. To become an Award Leader, your organisation must have signed a Sub-Licence agreement with the National Office and you must have completed the training programme.

Who is a ‘Supervisor'? how can I become a ‘Supervisor’?

A Supervisor is the trained volunteer who helps train and prepare young people for the Adventurous Journey section; he/she is also responsible of the safety of the participants.

Who can be an assessor?

An Assessor is an adult who mentors and guides Award Participants throughout their chosen activities. They must be an adult who is knowledgeable and experienced in the chosen activity (e.g. trainer, coach, teacher, etc.) and cannot be an immediate family member. For the AJ, the assessor is a member of the Barbados Expedition Panel or a trained volunteer approved by the Panel, who has been assigned to review the group on their journey.

What is my goal?

For all Award sections, the Participant must agree with the Assessor on a S.M.A.R.T goal to be completed by the end of the activity. This goal should be defined and entered when setting up the activity on the ORB.

What is an Adventurous Journey?

Participants work with a team to complete an outdoor venture. The group must be self-sufficient and competent in terms of transportation, meals and shelter.

Will I have to sleep outdoors?

Groups are expected to use temporary accommodation such as tents, hostels or other facility with limited amenities. This must be agreed upon with the supervisor and assessor in advance.

Is it dangerous?

Safety is always important. All participants are trained in first aid and risk assessment is done for all Award activities. 

I’ve completed all three sections of the Award (Skills, Physical Recreation and Voluntary Service). If I do not take part in the Adventurous Journey earn an Award?

The Award consist of 4 sections (plus an extra section at the Gold Level). All sections must be completed within the stated time frame in order to gain an Award.

Can one start the Award in Barbados and continue in another country if needed?

Since the Award is delivered in over 130 countries according to the same International Standards, if the Participant leaves to go to another country, they can continue if it is delivered in that country. Alternatively, the Participant can choose to coordinate with the local Award Leader and Assessors in that country to complete their Award.

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