The College, in Loushers Lane, Warrington, is now an operating authority for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which means it can independently run the course and issue gold, silver and bronze honours.
Head of Sport Nigel Howells, who will oversee the DofE activities at Priestley, said it was a great breakthrough for the College.
“It means we can run our own programme, but obviously working within the guidelines of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
“We are finding that for some students the Duke of Edinburgh is one of the reasons they choose Priestley and now we will be able to fit it in around their studies.”
The Duke of Edinburgh Award’s goal is to create a world where young people can reach their full potential whatever their circumstances.
It provides a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and teamworking.
Its ethos is to enable every young person of every background to do their DofE and succeed, regardless of any barriers. Nigel said that was in-keeping with Priestley College’s principles.
“All young people should be given every support necessary in order for them to achieve,” he said.
Priestley College will now be able to arrange expeditions – vital to achieving the awards – around its exam timetable.
Students will be able to log into a website to upload evidence that they have completed certain DofE tasks and will keep updated on activities through the College’s twitter feed.
Last month Priestley College’s first cohort of 13 students received their Gold awards.
They began the course in 2010 before Priestley achieved its new status and they were invited to St James’ Palace to receive their awards.
Nigel, who was a Marshall representing the North West at the prestigious event, said: “The DofE is well renowned and respected within education and industry.
“It requires commitment, dedication and motivation and develops team-bonding and organisational skills, which are vital for life.”