The DofE announces a diamond performance

New figures released by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) demonstrate the Charity’s exponential growth throughout its Diamond Anniversary year.

In 2016/17 over 271,000 young people started their DofE; up 7% on 2015/16. Awards achieved also increased with over 133,000 securing a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, up 11% from the previous year.

However the biggest increase by far was in the number of young people from a disadvantaged background starting their DofE. This figure rose a staggering 19% from 15/16 to almost 50,000.

The DofE’s appeal, 60 years since it was established, is tribute to its continued relevance to the lives of all young people, irrespective of demographic. By setting and achieving a series of personal challenges young people gain confidence, demonstrate commitment, team working and leadership, and learn intangible skills such as resilience and drive that are vital for both work and life.

Not only does an Award open doors to university and employment, the experience positively influences young people’s mental and physical wellbeing, a welcome support when dealing with the pressures of the day.

A broad mix of organisations across the UK including schools, academies, colleges and youth clubs recognise this benefit and have a licence to run the DofE. The Charity works in partnership with these organisations (over 2,600 in 16/17) to enable more and more young people to give themselves the best start through the DofE.  

Going from strength to strength, the DofE’s diamond performance shows it is as fit for purpose as it was back in 1956. The needs of young people, at such a crucial time in their lives, haven’t changed, only the world around them. The Charity looks forward to realising its ambition to ensure every young person has the opportunity to do their DofE.   


Key headline statistics 2016/17 for the UK:

  • Active participants: 419,834
  • Awards started: 271,439 (7% up from 15/16)
  • Disadvantaged: 49,453 (19% up from 15/16)
  • Awards achieved:  133,369 (11% up from 15/16)
  • Bronze: 94,085
  • Silver: 27,511
  • Gold: 11,773
  • Centres: 10,800
  • Licensed Organisations: 2,601
  • Volunteers: Around 40,000


International figures


  • Countries and territories running The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award: Continues to be delivered in more than 140 countries and territories worldwide.
  • Participants: In 2016, participation increased to almost 1,200,000 young people taking part around the world in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
  • New starters: In 2016, the number of young people starting The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme increased to more than 650,000.
  • Awards achieved: In 2016, almost 350,000 young people achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, the highest number of completions.
  • Volunteers: More than 200,000 volunteers support young people around the world to achieve their Award. 
  • Young people taking part since 1956: Millions of young people have participated and achieved Awards.

In order to view our website, you need to upgrade your browser. Please consider the following options.

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer