The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Australia has been granted approval by the International Award Foundation to pilot a 'whole of year' starting age for peer groups doing the Bronze Award over 2017/18.
While the official starting age remains 14 years of age for a Bronze Award, Award Leaders will be able to exercise discretion to include the younger cohort of a year group who will be younger than the majority of their year; to ensure that if a person is younger than 14 but part of a year/peer group where the majority are 14 years or older, that young person can start their Bronze Award at the same time as their peers.
Previously, the leniency was extended to young people who would be 13 and 9 months at the time of Award commencement. We are piloting to change this lower age range to 13 years of age.
The Online Record Book is ready to accept the new rule around Bronze registration.
This change does not change the minimum age for completing the Bronze Award, nor does it change the minimum entry age for Silver (15 years), and it is certainly not an encouragement for people in lower year grades to begin the Bronze Award. It will remain at the discretion of the Award Leader to ensure the registrations of those younger than the official starting age for Bronze are in the appropriate year before accepting their registration.
The Award Handbook does not currently reflect this change. The Handbook is being reviewed and the following wording will be included in next publication - expected to be end August 2017.
Age Requirements Explained (Section 1.6)
i. At Bronze level, if a person is aged 13 but part of a year/peer group where the majority are 14 years or older, that young person can start their Bronze Award with the rest of the group on the approval of the Award Leader. Note: This provision for 'whole of year' is being piloted in Australia in 2017 and 2018.
This approval and small step is a positive start to having the overall age ranges reviewed and reset to enable younger commencement for all levels. Australia has been advocating for such a review along with a number of other countries that are large operators of the Award.
For any queries from Award Centres and Leaders, contact your State or Territory Award Operating Authority