Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
Do you feel you need a challenge?
Do you think you could survive outside in the countryside for a night?
Could you navigate yourself and your team using a map for 24km?
Would you like to learn a new skill or start a new sports club?
Could you work as a volunteer?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then the Duke of Edinburgh's Award could be for you. The award is an adventurous, challenging and a voluntary award that aims to support the personal and social development of young people regardless of their background or ability. It offers individuals the opportunity to undertake constructive, enjoyable and purposeful challenges in their free time.
The individuals take part in four different areas.
There are three separate Awards: Bronze, Silver and Gold, with different minimum starting ages and periods of participation. At each level there are four Sections:
Aim of the Expeditions Section: To encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery.
All ventures involve self-reliant journeying in the countryside or on water, conceived with a purpose and undertaken by the participants' own physical efforts, without motorised assistance. The venture must present the participants with a challenge in terms of purpose, planning and achievement with minimum external intervention.
The following requirements are for all types of venture:
all qualifying ventures should have a clearly defined purpose
on completion, participants review the venture and give an account or presentation related to this purpose
unaccompanied ventures should take place between the end of March and the end of October
ventures involve joint planning and preparation by all members of the group
groups consist of between four and seven young people
accommodation will be by camping and all equipment must be suitable for the activity and environment in which the venture is to take place
participants are to be trained in the skills necessary to undertake their planned venture participants must undertake sufficient practice journeys to ensure that they are able to journey safely and independently in their chosen environment
all ventures must be supervised and qualifying ventures assessed by suitably experienced people
The expedition season for unaccompanied ventures is between the end of March and the end of October and, although specific dates are not prescribed, this period coincides approximately with British Summer Time. This does not preclude appropriately-led training opportunities and practice journeys outside these dates.
The minimum number in a group at all levels of Award and for all modes of travel is four and the maximum seven. It is not necessary for the entire group to be undertaking the Award or to be under assessment but all must be trained and properly equipped to the same standard as the participants.
Accommodation and Catering
Accommodation is by camping. A different campsite must be used each night for Expeditions. At least one substantial meal should be prepared under camp conditions each day. The group must carry all equipment and food to be used during the venture. All individuals must always carry their personal emergency equipment.
Aim of the Volunteering Section: To encourage service to individuals and to the community.
This section is based on the belief that members of a community have a responsibility to each other and voluntary help is needed. Young people should identify the voluntary service required to gain some knowledge of the needs of those whom they are assisting and then receive briefing and training in the skills required to give that service. The value of participation in the Service Section comes from training, giving practical service and appreciating the needs of the community.
Participants are required to train for and give service to others. Consideration should first be given to the proposed form of practical service to be followed and then to the training required so that the service can be undertaken with competence and insight.
Depending on the form of service chosen, this training could range from an outline briefing session to a specialised training course or qualification.
The time requirements for this Section are set out in Timescales.
there is flexibility as to how the hours are spent within the total time span, as long as there is regular involvement throughout, averaging at least an hour a week
for forms of service requiring a training course or qualification, the minimum time requirements include the time spent in training and the time spent in practical service
Participants can use the following list of ideas or, alternatively, they can develop their own programme to meet community needs. Participants are encouraged to explore and pursue different and interesting initiatives.
The choice of service should reflect a young person's individual interests, talents and capabilities but also be challenging and may build on previous experiences. Service programmes are currently available on the Award website
Encouraging the discovery and development of practical and social skills and personal interests.
This Section should encourage young people to pursue activities within a wide range of practical, cultural and social environments. The Skills Section offers young people a wide choice depending upon their personal preferences, abilities and the opportunities available. The skill may be an existing interest or something entirely new.
Participants should follow an activity and show progression and sustained interest over a period of time, leading to a deeper knowledge of the subject and the attainment of an increased degree of skill.
The time requirements for this Section are set out in Timescales.
Selecting a Skill
A list of established skills programmes is shown below. The choice should reflect a young person's individual interests, talents and capabilities and build on previous experiences. More information and advice is available on the Award web site:
Activities appearing in a different Section of the Award should only be pursued under that Section e.g. yoga is regarded as a Physical Recreation option.
The Skills Section provides opportunities to study and develop social and life skills, and explore health-related issues. Activities may be vocational provided they are undertaken in personal, non-directed time.
Examples of activities which have been undertaken by participants to date can be found on the Award web site.
Aim of the Physical Recreation Section: Encourage participation and improvement in physical activity.
This Section offers a wide range of programmes in the belief that:
involvement in some form of enjoyable physical activity is essential for physical well-being
a lasting sense of achievement and satisfaction is derived from meeting a physical challenge
sports are enjoyable in themselves and can lead to the establishment of a lasting active lifestyle
young people should have the opportunity to make a choice, then discuss and agree a personal programme of participation and achievement
Assessed participation in an activity and achievement of individual progress.
achievement should be measured by regular participation and improvement in personal performance over the minimum period of months
each participant should discuss and agree their programme with their instructor or assessor, including the content and appropriate goals. A means of measuring performance and/or progress could be the attainment of a national governing body award or standard
participation should be undertaken in accordance with any national governing body safety requirements and, where possible, through clubs or organisations approved by the relevant governing body.
The time requirements for this Section are set out on in
The Physical Recreation Section offers young people a wide choice depending upon their personal preferences, abilities and the opportunities available. The young person may already be involved in the activity or the choice could be something entirely new.