What is CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service)?


Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme (DP).

An important element of education in the IB Diploma Programme is the guiding principle that students should become well-rounded individuals who reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses, take responsibility for themselves and their environment, and set goals for themselves to develop intellectually, physically, creatively, and emotionally through volunteerism outside of school and the classroom.

All IB Diploma students therefore take part in a CAS programme in which they spend 50 hours each on creative, sporting and social engagement and document this in a portfolio. The goals to be achieved are:

● Entdeckt Eure Stärken und Euer Potential / Discover your strengths and areas for growth
● Stellt Euch neuen Herausforderungen / Undertake new challenges
● Plant und initiiert Projekte / Plan and initiate activities
● Arbeitet zusammen / Work collaboratively with others
● Zeigt Durchhaltevermögen und Engagement / Show perseverance and committment
● Schaut über Tellerrand / Engage with issues of global importance
● Hinterfragt die ethische Seite Eures Handelns / Consider the ethical implications of your actions

Studied throughout the Diploma Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies.

It is not formally assessed. However, students reflect on their CAS experiences as part of the DP, and provide evidence of achieving the seven learning outcomes for CAS.

“Creativity, action, service involves students in experiential learning through a range of artistic, sporting, physical and service activities. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the DP. A good CAS programme is a challenging and enjoyable journey of self discovery, as CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life‑changing.” (IBO, 2008)

How is CAS structured? 

The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

  • Creativity – arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
  • Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the DP.
  • Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

In order to demonstrate these concepts, students are required to undertake a CAS project. The project challenges students to:

  • show initiative
  • demonstrate perseverance
  • develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision making.

What is the significance of CAS?

CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience.

It provides opportunities for self-determination and collaboration with others, fostering a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from their work.

At the same time, CAS is an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the DP.

IB guidance on CAS

A good CAS programme should be both challenging and enjoyable – a personal journey of self‑discovery.

Each student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, but for many their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life‑changing.


Michael Franke (CAS Coordinator). Email: