To unleash your talents and broaden your personal interests and skills.

With so many hobbies and interests to choose from, the Skill Section of The Duke of Ed allows you to explore and discover talents within yourself that you might have only dreamed about!

In some ways, this is the broadest Section of The Duke of Ed, because it offers so many choices based on your individual interests and passions — whether artistic, creative, musical, academic, technical, cultural or otherwise. You can try something completely new, or do something you already do with renewed purpose.

Skill benefits

Because the Skill Section is so broad, you not only have the opportunity to do an activity that truly interests you, you can also develop skills you previously thought out of your reach. The activities you choose should be enjoyable, and your goals realistic, so that at the end of the Section, you feel a real sense of achievement.

Get ready to unleash your talents and interests (or discover new ones!) and boost your confidence while honing a special skill — you never know just when and how that skill might come in handy in the future!

Skill activity ideas

From anime or amateur radio to singing, furniture making, car maintenance or web design — what is it that you are great at, or want to be great at? Like all Sections of The Duke of Ed, the possibilities are really only limited to your imagination.

Chat to your Award Leader or to us about your ideas and how we can make them happen!

Get inspired by some great Skill stories here!

Skill requirements

For this Section, Participants must:

  1. undertake an activity regularly that develops or improves on a desired skill.
  2. do this activity for the minimum time requirements according to the Award level chosen.
  3. show regular commitment, progress and improvement.
  4. understand that regular commitment means at least one (1) hour per week, two (2) hours per fortnight.
  5. undertake activities substantially in their own time. This means that although some activity can take place in school, university or work hours, most of it should occur outside these times.

Please note that goals should be realistic and achievable considering your individual ability. Like all Sections of The Duke of Ed, choosing a Skill is a personal choice. We encourage you to choose a Skill that interests you. This could be something new, or something you are already doing and want to improve in.

Some Participants might feel comfortable ‘doing it alone’ and choosing something that none of their friends is doing. Others might want to choose an activity that they can do with their friends, with the group offering the inspiration and motivation needed to get through.

The important thing is for Participants to choose something they enjoy, measure their own effort, and undertake an activity that helps them broaden their abilities and feel a real sense of pride and achievement. All Skill activities must be unpaid.

Skill FAQ

Can I use dancing as a Skill?
Dancing is considered Physical Recreation because you are improving your fitness and general physical performance. However, you could study the history and theory of dance and improve your knowledge, which could then be used as a Skill.

I’ve looked at a graphic design course that I’d love to do for my Skill, but it doesn’t fit the time requirements of the Award I’m undertaking. How can I extend this activity to satisfy time requirements?
You can use the class as the basis of your Skill, and then continue the activities outside of the course. For example, you can set yourself a series of graphic design projects in your own time that gradually increase in difficulty. There are also many online tutorials that can help guide your development as you work towards your goal. Just make sure you have an appropriate Assessor who can comment on your time spent both in and out of the classroom.

  • “Before, I would only dream of what I could do; now I still dream, but I also go out and do it!”

    Sam Burdon, Gold Awardee
  • “The current environment is very challenging for young people, so it’s important they try to make themselves more attractive to employers. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is highly valued by business because they know it helps to develop more rounded individuals.”

    HRH The Earl of Wessex, KG, GCVO, ADC Trustee
  • “I believe The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and other programs operated by the not-for-profit Awards Victoria Ltd are vital as they focus on developing our most valuable resource, our young people, who ultimately create the future of our community.”

    Gary Rowe, CEO, Safety Action Pty Ltd and Ambassador of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award