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The Award framework

The Award is comprised of three levels and four sections and is designed to provide a balanced programme of personal development and challenge. Participants complete all four sections at each level in order to achieve their Award. At the Gold level, participants also complete a Gold Residential Project.


For those 14 years and above.

  • 6 months minimum participation
  • Avg 6 hours per day
  • Minimum 12hrs total

At least 6 months minimum participation required.
The Adventurous Journey is two days and one night; average of six hours of purposeful effort per day; minimum 12 hours of purposeful effort in total;



For those 15 years and above.

  • 12 months minimum participation
  • or 6 months if a Bronze Award holder
  • 3 days & 2 nights (7 hours per day)
  • Minimum 21hrs total

At least 12 months minimum participation required (or 6 months if a Bronze Award holder). The Adventurous Journey is three days and two nights; average of seven hours of purposeful effort per day; minimum 21 hours of purposeful effort in total;



For those 16 years old and above.

  • 18 months minimum participation
  • or 12 months if a Silver Award holder
  • 4 days & 3 nights (7 hours per day)
  • Minimum 32hrs total

At least 6 months minimum participation required.
The Adventurous Journey is two days and one night; average of six hours of purposeful effort per day; minimum 12 hours of purposeful effort in total;


Award Activities

  • Voluntary Service Section

    Voluntary Service Section

  • Physical Recreation Section

    Physical Recreation Section

  • Skills Section

    Skills Section

  • Adventurous Journey Section

    Adventurous Journey Section

  • Gold Residential Project

    Gold Residential Project

Physical recreation

The Physical Recreation section of the Award encourages young people to participate in sport and other physical recreation for the improvement of health, fitness and wellbeing.

Encouraging healthy behaviours has benefits, not only for participants but also for their communities, whether through improved health, or active participation in team activities. This section specifically aims to improve the team skills, self-esteem and confidence of participants, which in turn can help improve both their physical and mental health.

Example of physcal recreation

  • Ball sports – football, rugby, volleyball, basketball, cricket, golf, tennis
  • Athletics – running, jumping, throwing, decathlon
  • Water sports – canoeing, kayaking, swimming, water polo, diving, kite boarding
  • Martial arts – karate, judo, kickboxing, boxing, taekwondo, kendo


The Skills section of the Award encourages the development of personal interests, creativity or practical skills.

This section provides the opportunity for a participant to either improve on an existing skill, or to try something entirely new. As with the other sections, a level of commitment is required over time to improve a skill. It leads to a sense of achievement and well-being, and possibly improved employability through the development of life and vocational skills.

Example of skills

  • Music – singing, learning to play an instrument, music event management
  • Sports related – sports officiating, umpiring/refereeing, sports ground maintenance
  • Arts and crafts – ceramics, embroidery, jewelry making, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography
  • Nature and the environment – agriculture, astronomy, bee keeping, conservation, fishing, forestry, gardening
  • Communication – film and video, languages, reading, writing, public speaking, journalism, website development
  • Games – billiards, snooker or pool, chess, darts, backgammon

Voluntary Service

For this section participants are required to give service (volunteer) over a period of time. This enables them to experience the benefits that their Voluntary Service provides to others in their community.

Examples of Voluntary Service:

  • First aid
  • Visiting and supporting people in need, such as the elderly, or those with disabilities
  • Volunteering at a hospital or local care home
  • Sports coaching
  • Charity work

Adventurous Journey

The Adventurous Journey section encourages a sense of adventure and discovery while undertaking a team journey. As part of a small team, participants plan, train for and undertake a journey with a purpose in an unfamiliar environment.

The journey can be an exploration or an expedition but must be a challenge. The aim of this section is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as to develop their self-confidence, teamwork and health. Participants are taken out of their comfort zone but kept within a safe and secure setting, achieved through suitable training and supervision.

Examples of Adventurous Journeys (explorations and expeditions):

  • Exploring the natural world: erosion, geology, coastal studies
  • Exploring river valleys, plant studies, exploring human impact: visitor pressure in national parks, pollution
  • Carrying out health surveys or health education in remote areas
  • Completing a demanding journey by foot, cycle, canoe or kayak
  • Kayaking the entire navigable stretch of a river
  • An extensive sail across an ocean

Gold Residential Project (or Gold Project)

The Gold Residential Project, completed only at Gold level, aims to broaden participants’ horizons through involvement with others in a residential setting. Participants have the opportunity to share a purposeful experience with people who are not their usual companions and work towards a common goal, set out by the participants themselves. Through the Gold Residential Project participants will meet new people, explore life in an unfamiliar environment, develop new skills and, hopefully, have a life changing experience.

Examples of Gold Residential Projects:

  • Residential language courses
  • Youth camp overseas
  • Voluntary work with national parks, youth parliaments, sports coaching
  • Crew member on a tall ship
  • Work for an international charity
  • Restoration projects
  • Time requirements
  • The activity should take place over a period of at least four nights and five consecutive days.

About us

Our history

The Award Programme grew out of the efforts of three men, who were responding to a common anxiety about how best to engage young people. After the world wars, there was a growing concern about the development of boys, due to the gap between leaving school at 15 and entering National Service at 18.

Against this backdrop, Award was set up in 1956, by HRH the late Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, Kurt Hahn a German educationalist, and Lord Hunt, leader of the first successful ascent of Everest.

Based on the philosophy of Hahn, founder and headmaster of Gordonstoun School in Scotland, the Programme was designed around four sections: Rescue & Public Service Training, the Expedition, Pursuits & Projects, and Fitness.

Although initially only available to boys aged between 14 and 18, there was great demand for a similar scheme for girls, and this was launched in September 1958. The Programme continued to evolve over subsequent decades, until 1980. At this point, the upper age limit was extended to 25, and the Programme took on its current four Section format of: Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills and Physical Recreation.

In Kenya, the Award was introduced in 1966 with Kenya’s first president the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta becoming its first Patron and chief trustee. The Award has over the years extended its reach impacting the lives of nearly half a million people to date.

Currently there are over 120,000 young people participating in the Award in over 750 schools, Universities, Middle level Colleges, Youth groups, rehabilitation centres and open Award Centres across the country.

Globally, more than one million young people are striving to achieve their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards in more than 130 countries and territories.

Who we are.

The President’s Award- Kenya (PA-K) is an Agency established by an Act of Parliament, President’s Award Act No. 30 of 2017. PA-K is an exciting self-development programme available to all young people countrywide equipping them with positive life skills to make a difference for themselves, their communities, country and the world.

PA-K is a non-formal education and learning framework through which young people’s achievements outside of academia are recognized and celebrated. The young people engaged are between the ages of fourteen (14) to twenty-four (24) years. The main aim is to equip young people for life by encouraging them to acquire universal skills to help them thrive. The universal skills are achieved through engagement in activities that include getting physically active, volunteering within their communities, and discovering a sense of adventure outside the classroom.

PA-K, which was launched in Kenya in 1966, is a member of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award which oversees the Award Programme in over one hundred and fourty (140) countries. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was founded by His Royal Highness (HRH), The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT in 1956, in conjunction with Kurt Hahn, a German educationalist and Sir John Hunt.

Strategic themes

Access: Improve access for new and diverse groups of young people, overcoming barriers to the Award.

Reach: Increase the reach and depth of the Award by taking the Award to the target audiences

Impact: Improve impact and quality of delivery of the Award to the stake holders

Strengthen Strategic Operations: Attract and retain qualified, competent and well-motivated staff and volunteers for efficiency and effectiveness

Special projects

This project is currently running in 10 Correctional institutions across the Country with an objective of rehabilitating young offenders and helping them to re-integrate into the society and reducing recidivism.

These institutions are divided into three categories namely: –

  • a) 7 Rehabilitation schools
  • b) 1 main Prison
  • c) 2 Borstal institutions


  • a) Build self confidence in the young offenders
  • b) Enhance their existing skills and knowledge and learn new ones
  • c) To help them earn the trust of the wider community, helping to rehabilitate and reintegrate
  • d) Help Improve relationships with other young offenders and staff
  • e) Learn life skills-persistence, team work, communication and problem solving.

With your help, we can enable even more young people to be able to experience the powerful benefits of non-formal education.

1. Special projects
Whilst this style of learning can positively impact all young people, non-formal education can be particularly powerful for those who may not be able to access a full formal education – such as refugees, those living in poverty, young parents, inmates, those with physical or learning disabilities and those with marginalised background.

The Special Projects grant giving programme is striving to ensure all young people have access to the Award – and seeks to achieve notable growth in the numbers and diversity of young people participating in, and achieving, the Award worldwide. There are three key strands to the programme:

2. Adults in the Award
To ensure an increase in Award participation, we need to substantially increase the number of adult volunteers worldwide, making sure we have the right people in the right place, with the right skills to deliver the Award.
The majority of the Award’s volunteers are made up of adult Leaders – those who mentor young people as they take part in the Award – and the people who support them. They are often teachers and youth workers who are running the Award in addition to their job.

3. Events
With your help, many more people can hear about the Award. Help us to grow our support network and raise greater awareness of the importance of non-formal education by partnering with us during our stakeholder engagements.

If you are interested in finding out how you can support Special Projects and adults in the award, please contact us.


The Award Holders Alumni-Kenya (AHA-K) is a networking forum for individuals who have
undergone the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Kenya courtesy of the President’s
Award-Kenya (PA-K). As an association, its main aim is to support PA-K and youths who are undergoing the Award program. The association engages in activities synonymous with those that form the fundamentals and strategic plan of PA-K including adventurous journeys, physical recreations, and services supporting alumni skills.

AHA-K has worked with the PA-K office to provide volunteers and assessors, in raising funds
for record books, and in engaging alumni in outdoor activities such as hikes and camping. They also have an Annual General Meeting that allows members to engage and air their views while working on ways of strengthening the alumni body as well as supporting PA-K strategic activities.

The association gives members a platform to:
– Connect: Members are able to keep in touch with other Award holders and the
PA-K community.

– Explore: Members are able to discover local and global networking opportunities and
membership benefits that they can venture into based on their Award experience

– Learn: The platform provides a networking stage allowing members to stay informed
about local and global employment, internship, and volunteering opportunities. Moreover, it helps award holders to give back to the Award program.

Goals and Objectives
The Association aims to:

– Support PA-K strategic plan, program and activities

– Organize and run annual networking events and programs for members

– Conduct mentorship programs for young alumni members
Partner with Alumni bodies from all over the world

– Impart positive values and national community service
Create career and entrepreneurship opportunities networks for the members

Eligibility to join AHA-Kenya
All Award Holders, i.e PA-K alumni, regardless of level (Bronze,
Silver, Gold, or any combination!)

– Current or past staff members of PA-K.

– Current or past members PA-K Board of Trustees.

– Long-serving and dedicated coordinators of the Award program with a consistency of at
least five years and who is proposed and approved by The Executive Committee.

Other honorary members who may be nominated by the AHA-Kenya Executive

Joining the AHA- Kenya enables members to connect their experience to thousands of others
around the country and world at large.


Delivering the Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is delivered globally. Any organization that works directly with young people can deliver the Award.

The Award can be delivered by schools, prisons, by Scout and Guide groups, in business or in youth clubs, as well as by governments. It offers organizations a way of gaining accreditation for development activities with young people.

Organizational benefits of delivering the Award

Delivering the Award brings your organization many benefits, not least the opportunity to help develop young people and support them on their journey to a better future. By delivering the Award your organization will:

  • Support your organization’s strategy and specific goals
  • Greatly help to develop the lives of young people and their communities
  • Become part of an international network of Award Centers, Award Leaders and like-minded individuals and organizations
  • Complement existing extra-curricular activities that you provide and receive recognition for them
  • Give young people the opportunity to achieve the world’s leading youth Award

The governance structure of the Award is based on a social franchise model using a multi-tier set of licenses. As an international organization, The International Award Foundation, governed by its Trustees has the overall responsibility of the Award. The International Award Association is a member organization that facilitates the delivery of the Award through it member countries.

Delivering the Award in Kenya

There are two levels of license:

  1. National Award Operator (NAO)
  2. Award Centers
National Award Operator (NAO)

The National Award Operator Known as the President’s Award – Kenya is an Organization with the sole object of managing the Award in Kenya.

Award Centers

Award Centers are licensed by their National Award Operator to deliver the Award to young people in their organization or in their local community.

These Award Centers nominate a key point of contact, known as an Award Leader, to run the Award.

Award Leaders

Award Leaders help Participants with their Award by monitoring, discussing, encouraging and motivating them to reach their goals!
Award Leaders are assisted in this role with:

  • Training: face to face and tele-conference
  • An Online Record Book (ORB) to manage participant records and monitor their Award activity
  • Phone and onsite support


Award Centres

What is an Award Centre?

Each National Award Operator (NAO) licenses Award Centers to deliver the Award. They are commonly known as ACs and are responsible for delivering the Award to Participants.

Award Centers can be:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Tertiary Institutions
  • Community Organizations
  • Sporting or Social Clubs
  • Companies
  • A group of interested parents who form their own association

Award Centers then appoint Award Leaders who become the main contact and the ones who guide Participants on their Duke of Ed journey. (The Award Centre must ensure that relevant Child Protection Legislation requirements are observed for each adult who may work with an Award Participant under the age of 18 years.)

Become an Award Centre

Being an Award Centre means that you are forming a partnership with the largest international pursuit of youth development in the world!

The flexibility and sustainability of The Duke of Ed has allowed for steady growth over the 60 years. It is now run in more than 130 countries and has touched the lives of more than 8 million young people.

So what are the benefits to my organization?
  • The Duke of Ed can be used to support your organization’s strategies and objects.
  • The Award provides tangible support in terms of experience, promotional materials, equipment and training. The choice of activities that the Participants can undertake can be defined by the Award Centre.
  • The structure often complements programs and activities schools and various groups already offer to young people and provides a way of recognizing these efforts and at the same time without consuming resources.
  • The Duke of Ed offers a balanced framework to develop the important skills and qualities that our wider society believe young people should definitely have, including skill development, group participation, confidence, self-esteem, leadership, fitness, and community connection.
  • Being an Award Centre also allows you the opportunity to connect with other organizations, schools and community groups in your area and around Kenya, through national events, social media sites Twitter and Facebook, and a monthly newsletter detailing the latest news and stories.
  • There are Program officers for every region in Kenya, offering local support and assistance where possible, so no Award Centre is left isolated.
  • The Duke of Ed offers a volunteering framework for staff, and offers the opportunity for young people to connect with other adults within the community in a productive way
  • You will be able to connect with our international network and open up opportunities for professional development and the exchange of information
  • As an Award Centre, The Duke of Ed allows a framework to create an environment of social inclusion for your Participants. This enhances The Duke of Ed experience for your young people and impacts positively on their personal development.
And what do I get out of it personally?

Award Leaders are the adult volunteers who manage The Duke of Ed on behalf of the Award Centre.

As a volunteer, the opportunity to enhance the lives of young people is endless. If you sign up your group/organization to become an Award Centre, you might decide to become the Award Leader

How can my organization become an Award Centre?

To run The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in your school/organization you will need to apply to become an Award Centre and nominate an Award Leader.

If you’d like to know how to become an Award Centre, you need to contact your National Award Operator – Register your interest in becoming an Award Centre by completing the Award Centre Registration (register a new account as an “Award Centre”) via the Online Record Book


Award Leaders

What is an Award Coordinator and an Award Leader?

Each Award Centre must appoint at least one Award Leader who is the contact person and mentor for Award Participants. An Award Coordinator is an Award Leader who is the main contact for the Award Centre and is responsible for running the award in that organization. In large organizations, there may be other volunteers who assist in the running of the Award – these people are usually called Assistant Leaders. As an Award Coordinator or Award Leader, you play a crucial role in the success of the Award. Without you, there would be no Award.

Your role is to engage young people in the program, and encourage and inspire Participants throughout their Award journey. Typically an Award Centre will have two or more Award Leaders to spread the workload and to ensure continuity as the Award is usually completed over a 12 month period.

Award Leaders and Coordinators are the frontline of the Award, playing one of the most fundamental roles – that of developing the Participants with whom they are actively involved. Without them there simply would be no Award!

Who can be an Award Leader?

Award Leaders could be anyone from a teacher to a sporting coach to a Cadet leader!

As long as they are appointed by an Award Centre. They play one of the biggest roles in the delivery of The Award!

After being trained in the features and requirements of the Award, the role of an Award Leader is to guide and mentor Participants, helping to translate the Award, set achievable goals and to offer encouragement! They are the support system for Participants who offer motivation and inspiration.

You need to have a positive attitude, a great relationship with young people and meet the requirements of being an Award Leader.

Remember, it is not a sprint, but a marathon, and while many young people can complete The Award program through effort over consecutive months, others may take longer and that’s OK. Just stand by them and provide regular support.


Assessors & Supervisors

What is an Assessor?

Assessors are a suitably skilled, experienced and/or qualified Volunteer who can assist with and assess an activity being undertaken for a Section (Physical Recreation, Skills, etc), of a Participant’s Award and completes a report in the Participant’s Records to verify that they have achieved the requirements for their nominated Section of The Award program. In most circumstances an Assessor must not be a family member. Internationally, an Assessor is also referred to as an Activity Coach. In some instances, a Participant will require more than one Assessor per Section to ensure that each activity has been completed.

Who can be an Assessor?

Assessors must have experience and/or qualifications in the activity chosen by the young person. They must be suitably skilled to assess a Participant’s activity, write a report at the completion of that activity, and sign off the Participant’s records to verify that the Participant has achieved the requirements of the award.

In most circumstances, an Assessor should not be a family member. An Assessor can assess more than one Participant. They may also be qualified to assess across multiple activities and/or sections. Please note that an Award Leader can also be an Assessor.

All assessors working with young people under the age of 18 must comply with national legislation concerning Working with Children.

All Assessors are approved by the Participant’s Award Centre before they can commence working with the Participant. Generally Participants and Award Leaders are jointly involved in finding Assessors, however it is the responsibility of Award Leaders to check all Assessors, ensure they are suitable and then to approve them. In some circumstances, an Award Leader, on behalf of their Award Centre, may create an approved pool of approved Assessors for popular activities previously undertaken by their Participants.

As an Award Assessor, you play a crucial role in the success of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Your role is to engage with Participants of Award, and offer guidance, mentoring and encouragement as they undertake the Section of Award that you are assessing.


Supervisors are volunteers who play a critical role in implementing and overseeing the arrangements concerning the safety of Participants when they are undertaking their Adventurous Journeys.

The Supervisor can be a different person for each journey, and there can also be more than one Supervisor for each journey. In most circumstances, a Supervisor should not be a family member.

Please contact your National Award Operator (PA-K) for further information and specific requirements in relation to undertaking Adventurous Journeys. It is the responsibility of The Award Leader, on behalf of their Award Centre, to approve Supervisors and ensure they are suitable.

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