HE Exams Wiki

Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award Scheme


iDEA is the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award Scheme. It's inspired by the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and is intended to be a digital version of that. It's relevant to business studies as well as to ICT / Computing / Computer science.  

iDEA is a free online award scheme with Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. You receive a paper certicate when you have completed your award. It's not a GCSE equivalent by any means, BUT it's free, and could be a useful thing to add to your portfolio, especially if you want to get onto an IT course at L3 and have not been able to take ICT IGCSE or similar .

See other Alternative Qualifications on this wiki.


IDEA in action

How iDEA works


"Learners take part in a series of challenges in order to win awards. For every new skill and learning experience mastered, iDEA learners are awarded a digital badge. Each badge carries a number of points. When participants earn enough points, they are awarded the Bronze, Silver or Gold Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award." Source

"There are badges which can help you to be safe online, and pick up tips and techniques on topics such as web design, cyber security, cloud computing, animation and how to use colours in digital creations."

Record of Achievement

There is an online iDEA Record of Achievement platform, where employers or colleges can verify your certificate. You can print off a record of the badges (modules) you have completed, like a transcript. This is useful even if you haven't completed the award yet:

"You can download, print and share your achievements as often as you like before or after you get your Award. This means you will be able to showcase your hard work in a verifiable certificate whether you have earned two badges or fifty badges." [from iDEA Record of Achievement]

Comments from home educators:

From NS:

My son recently completed the Bronze award and has now started the Silver one. We signed up as an individual and he received his certificate by post. He enjoyed doing it. A few tasks might have been better doing with others in a class but you don't have to do everything; you choose what you want to complete, as long as you acquire enough points in each section for the award. He took about a year to complete it as we didn't hurry it and he just did it when he felt like it so he would go weeks without doing any. He was 12 when he started and 13 when he completed it.Considering it has cost us nothing to do I think it is well worth it. He is finding the silver award a bit harder as he has had to do a bit of background work for some of the tasks as they are things he hasn't done at home, but also I have the feeling it is aimed at slightly older children. Again there is no rush or time limit to complete the award.

Blog post about iDEA awards from Salford Community College

Manchester Metropolitan University is encouraging its students to do iDEA and is rolling out iDEA credits in its courses.

Background Information about iDEA

About iDEA

From the Bebras programming challenge :
The Duke of York founded The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) to inspire people to develop digital, enterprise and employability skills. iDEA helps give people the opportunity to flourish in the digital economy.

iDEA’s online modules (known as ‘badges’) work anywhere the learner can be online. They also work on any modern device, browser or operating system to enable access for a broad range of people across a spectrum of ages and abilities.

​HRH launched the Bronze Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award in January, 2017. So far, there have been almost 8,000 Bronze Award winners and more than 725,000 badges have been completed. The Silver Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award has just been released.

iDEA is a free platform-based vocational tech solution, aiming to help plug the digital skills gap, using an innovative Badge Store concept. This has been curated to help inspire people to become digital citizens, workers, makers, entrepreneurs and gamers to enhance their employability; and to empower them to develop vital life skills. The iDEA Booklet introduces the programme and includes the full curriculum." http://www.bebras.uk/idea-badges.html

Duke of York's Introduction

From the Duke of York's LinkedIn page :

The pace of change in technology is irrevocably transforming the way we work - 90% of jobs will have a digital element. We have an evolving digital workplace which urgently needs a digital workforce.

I founded the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (known as iDEA) to help people become economically active in the digital economy.

iDEA is a free platform-based voctech solution aiming to help plug the digital skills gap using an innovative Badge Store concept. This has been curated to help inspire people to become digital citizens, workers, makers, entrepreneurs and gamers to enhance their employability; and to empower them to develop vital life skills. The iDEA Booklet introduces the programme and includes the full curriculum.

iDEA is for people of all ages. Our learners range from school pupils to college and university students to apprentices, job seekers, youth groups, adult education groups, business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators and pensioners. Our Partners include local authorities, charitable organisations, small businesses, large corporates, various educational establishments and community groups like the University of the Third Age, the Armed Forces Cadets and Joining Communities. Our online modules (Badges) range from how to stay safe online to GDPR to teamwork to digital research to growth hacking to web design. Many of our Organisers (our facilitators, teachers, tutors etc) use iDEA Badges for their own CPD, and find it useful being able to track the progress of their learners with the analytics we provide.

Participants take on a series of challenges that earn points towards industry recognised Awards. Last year we launched the Bronze Award, and a few days ago, we launched the Silver Award. Where Bronze is set at beginner level, Silver is intermediate, so a step up in difficulty level. Silver requires learners to be resourceful and resilient....
iDEA provides vocational skills, knowledge and information training to support lifelong learning. More than half a million iDEA badges have been completed so far.

iDEA's gap analysis in consultation with industry reveals the urgency needed to tackle the digital skills gap. iDEA has caught the imagination of numerous Partners because:

(a) it works

(b) the interface makes tech seem less intimidating, more accessible

(c) iDEA helps people feel more confident

(d) iDEA feels achievable because it works on all devices and you can do it anywhere in bitesize modules.

I hope you, your friends, family and colleagues will get the chance to have a go at some of our badges.