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The Prince William Award

Welcome to The Prince William Award

Through The Prince William Award we help young people build their character, resilience and confidence to empower them to “be their best”.

At the heart of this aspiration are our brilliant instructors, the majority of whom have served their country in the British Armed Forces. These ‘heroes in schools’ embody the Service values and understand the importance of teamwork, resilience and self-discipline. They are the complementary role models that many children need working alongside their teachers.

An instructor will typically go into a school for one session a week for around 36 weeks to offer a structured curriculum featuring facilitated workshops and community projects, with lots of opportunity for reflection. This gives students the chance to embed knowledge and behaviours through experience.

The Award is delivered at three different levels, Pioneer, Explorer and Trailblazer, each appropriate for a broad age range. The levels explore key themes and guiding principles.

The Five Key Themes

The key themes enable young people to develop an understanding of their individual character, their character within a team and developing leadership and responsibility.

Personal Development
Building a foundation of inner strength.
Looking at how individuals can be more effective by connecting with other people.
Working Together
Bringing people together to achieve a result that requires mental or physical strength.
Helping young people to make a contribution to those around them.
Enabling young people to appreciate the world around them, so they can see a link with something beyond themselves.

Guiding Principles

There are 28 guiding principles underpinning these themes. These are the characteristics and behaviours that the programme encourages participants to consider, develop and draw upon.

Complementary Role Models

The Prince William Award uses the knowledge, skills and experience of predominantly ex-Service personnel to deliver the programme.

As HRH The Duke of Cambridge himself notes; “For me, what is so innovative about SkillForce is the way in which, using some of the most positive role models in society, it encourages self-discipline and respect for one another, old fashioned qualities which are needed evermore today.”

Find out more about our Heroes in Schools

The Award is delivered at three different levels, Pioneer, Explorer and Trailblazer, each appropriate for a broad age range. The levels explore key themes and guiding principles.

Developing character

Minimum age 6 years

The essence of the Pioneer level is for children to experience activities where character qualities can be displayed. Through facilitation and feedback, children will reflect upon and learn to understand the value of significant character traits in five different thematic areas.

Developing character within a team

Minimum age 8 years

The Explorer level is designed to consolidate learning by demonstrating how certain character attributes can be applied to different situations. The emphasis at Explorer level is for participants to experience the impact that individuals (especially themselves) make on group performance, how groups can influence decision-making and how the character values can contribute to quality of outcome and the type of decisions reached.

Leadership & responsibility

Minimum age 12 years

The aim of the Trailblazer programme is to integrate work on different aspects of character, encouraging students to identify the character behaviours that can guide them and inspire performance. The emphasis in Trailblazer is to encourage individuals to recognise that they possess leadership capacity to make decisions and take responsibility, instead of being driven by emotional, kneejerk reactions. The work draws on the principles of Emotional Intelligence and Kouzes and Posner – The Leadership Challenge.


"I learnt so much from being in the Army. They really drum into you the importance of resilience, leadership, courage and discipline. To be able to pass on those values and the importance of respect to others is fantastic, and a real privilege. I heard about SkillForce and it was the perfect fit for me. I have now been able to complete a teacher training qualification with the charity. "

Former British Army Soldier

Success Story

Student: Aiden
Aiden was part of a two year SkillForce programme, working with SkillForce for one day per week. The school engaged with SkillForce to support a number of learners, who for a range of reasons, found school to be a challenging...
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The Measure of Our Success

The Prince William award is having a real impact on the lives and life chances of the young people completing the programme.

70% of pupils noticed improvements in their confidence and self-esteem

and a similar proportion of staff from participating schools rated the programme as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

Download a PWA mini-brochure

Want to find out more about the impact that The Prince William Award can have in your school? Please download the PWA mini-brochure in either English or Welsh and contact one of the team.

Download in English Llwytho i lawr yn y Gymraeg SkillForce Communication Promise

We could not deliver The Prince William Award without the generous support of our sponsors and education partners

Supporting programmes

In addition to The Prince William Award, SkillForce offers a number of complementary programmes over a shorter period or for older students. Click on the links below to find out more.