International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

CAS:  Creativity, Action, Serviceimage

What is CAS?

Creativity, action and service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Program and is one of the three essential elements in the DP experience.  The three strands of CAS are as follows:

Creativity: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.

Planning is creative thinking.
Can be artistic, but does not have to be.
Cannot be passive – just going to a performance, concert or museum.

Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.

Sometimes defined as activities that make the heart rate go up; sweat.

Service:  an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit. 

Parents may not serve as activity supervisors.
Activities must be non-religious in nature-a mission trip to build a facility would
 meet CAS requirements while teaching Bible School would not.
Activities may not be rewarded with grades. 
CAS enables students to enhance personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning.  Each individual student has a different starting point and therefore different goals and needs; however, CAS should include experiences that are profound and life-changing.

Four Criteria of a CAS Activity 

  1. Real, purposeful activities with significant outcomes.
  2. Personal challenge – tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope.
  3. Thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting.
  4. Reflection on outcomes and personal learning.

All proposed CAS activities need to meet these four criteria.  Concurrency of learning is important in the DP.  Therefore, CAS activities should continue on a regular basis for at least 18 months. 

Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for award of the IB diploma.  Students must document and provide evidence that they have achieved the eight CAS learning outcomes. 

Learning Outcomes

Increased awareness of own strengths and areas for growth.

See yourself as an individual with various skills and abilities, some more developed than others, and understand one can make choices about how to move forward.

Undertaken new challenges.

May be an unfamiliar activity or an extension of an existing one.

Planned and initiated activities.

Often in collaboration with others.

Worked collaboratively with others.

May be shown in many different activities, such as team sports, playing music in a band or helping in an elementary class.  At least one project, involving collaboration and integration of at least two strands of Creativity, Action and Service, is required.

Shown perseverance and commitment in chosen activities.

At a minimum, this implies attending regularly and accepting a share of the responsibility for dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities.

Engaged with issues of global importance.

May be involved in international projects; however, there are many global issues that can be acted upon locally or nationally (environmental concerns, caring for the elderly, etc.)

Considered ethical implications of actions.

Arise in almost any CAS activity (sports field, musical composition, relationships with others involvement in service activities, etc.).  Evidence of thinking about ethical issues can be shown in various ways, including journal entries.

Developed new skills.

May be shown in activities that the student has not previously undertaken or in increased expertise in an established area.

All eight outcomes must be present for a student to complete the CAS requirement.  Some may be demonstrated many times in a variety of activities; however, there must be some evidence for every outcome.

The focus on learning outcomes emphasizes that it is the quality of a CAS activity that is of most importance.  The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is approximately 150 hours in total, with a reasonable balance between Creativity, Action and Service.