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Award Leader Training

Introduction to running the Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award is a framework for non-formal education available to young people aged 14 – 24 years old. The programme is designed by young people to fit their own interests and abilities. It challenges young people to experience new things, develop new skills and friendships, build confidence and celebrate their achievements.

There are three levels to the Award—Bronze, Silver and Gold with a  minimum age for starting each level. The Award has four sections that participants need to complete at each level (plus a fifth at Gold). These are Voluntary Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey (plus the Gold Residential Project at Gold level only). These will be covered in more depth in the following modules. 

An Award Leader’s Responsibilities

The Award Leader is the backbone of the Award Unit and the key mentor to all participants. Key tasks of the Award Leader include:

  • Assisting participants to register for the different Award levels. Activities can only be counted after a Participant has registered. The start date is the date the participant fills out the online registration form. This date can be changed in certain circumstances.
Approving Activities
  • Ensuring that activities chosen by participants meet the requirements of that Section and that appropriate assessors have been chosen. This process needs to be done before the activity commences.
Signing off Award Sections and Awards
  • Once a participant has completed the minimum hours over the minimum time (and recorded these in the Online Record Book) and has an Assessor’s report, the Award Leader approves the Section as being complete. When the Participant has completed the entire Award, the Award Leader signs if off as complete. This is then sent, via the Online Record Book, to the National Office who will verify completion and send out a certificate and badge to the Award Leader to present to the Participant.
Keeping up-to-date with Award News and Changes
  • As the Award Leader is the key contact and mentor to participants, it is important that they keep up-to-date with key changes regarding running the Award. These will be communicated via e-newsletters, the Award website, Social Media and the Hub network.
Award Unit Administration and Support
  • Participants are reliant on their Award Leader to support them to complete their Award. This does not have to be a large job, but it is an essential one. If you are leaving your Award Unit or will not be able to support your participants due to work or life circumstances, please contact the National Office to see how we can support you.


Protecting Young People

All adults involved in managing or supporting the Award have a responsibility to protect young people.  These include complying with:

It is the responsibility of the Award Unit to have relevant policies and procedures in place and to adhere to when delivering the Award. Please familiarise yourself with your Award Unit’s policies.



An Assessor is an adult who helps a participant complete their chosen activity for a particular Section of the Award (e.g. Skills, Voluntary Service, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and Gold Residential Project). The adult needs to have knowledge of the activity a participant has chosen. For example, if they are playing football for their Physical Recreation Section, the Assessor will be the football coach or if they are learning guitar for the Skills Section, the Assessor will be their guitar teacher.

An Assessor cannot be a family member or peer. 

The Assessor must regularly see the participant taking part in the activity. For example, if the participant is running for their Physical Recreation section then the Assessor should go out running regularly with the participant. Once a participant has completed an Award Section, they can send the Assessor a link to their activity hours and the Assessor can verify that these hours are correct and write an electronic Assessor’s report for them. The Assessor does not need to have access to the Online Record Book to do this. More information about this process can be found here.  While an Award Leader might be an Assessor for specific activities that they have knowledge of, an Award Leader is unable to be the Assessor for all Sections of a participant’s Award.



Now test your knowledge by going to the Quiz section

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