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What's it all about?

The Award is a global non-formal education framework, with more than 60 years of experience challenging young people to dream big and discover their potential.

By creating opportunities for our young people to learn a new skill (or develop an existing one), get physically active, give service to their communities, and take part in an adventure, the Award challenges young people to leave their comfort zones—and that's when the good stuff happens. They build self-confidence and greater resilience, helping to set them up for success in today's uncertain world, where they face more challenges than ever.

Open to anyone between the ages of 14-24—regardless of gender, background or ability—young people design their own Award programmes, set their own goals and record their own progress.  The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award is the world's leading youth achievement award. Proven to help with job and study prospects, it has transformed the lives of millions of young people since it first began ... will you join us?

Who delivers the Award in New Zealand?

The Award is delivered in New Zealand by organisations which are licensed to do so by the National Office. There are two main types:

  • Award Units - which can include schools, sports and youth clubs, uniformed groups (such as Scouts, Girl Guiding and The Order of St John) and juvenile justice programmes - pretty much anyone who works directly with young people, provided that they are licensed with the National Office.
  • Open Award Centres - where participants can go to enrol in the Award and be mentored through the programme if they are not able to access an Award Unit locally.

How does it work?

There are three levels to the Award—Bronze, Silver and Gold—and each level has four specific sections that participants need to complete activities in (plus a fifth at Gold level):

Voluntary Service  |  Wāhanga Ratonga Tūao

Physical Recreation  |  Wāhanga Hākinakina

 Skills  |  Wāhanga Pūkenga

Adventurous Journey  |  Haerenga Mātātoa

Residential Project (Gold level only)  |  Kaupapa Kāinga

Activities are completed under the guidance of an Award Leader. An Award Leader is someone who has been appointed by an Award Unit to run the Award for their organisation, and will monitor, discuss, encourage and motivate participants to reach their goals. At each level, participants increase the time, commitment and challenge they need to invest in order to achieve an Award.  

Participants need to find an Assessor for each section of their Award programme, someone who has the relevant knowledge and experience in the chosen activity to assess their involvement and improvement in that activity. The Assessor will write a short report on the activity once the participant has met the required time, and sign it off in their Online Record Book. Note that the Assessor cannot be a family member.


To get started on your Award you will need to register here.  


New Zealand is just one of around 130 countries to deliver the Award programme. Find out more about the International Award Community.

                     Award Stories


Ready to start your Award?
Register here

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