The Duke of Edinburgh's Award


The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people aged 14-25.   The Award programme consists of three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold.   Each have differing criteria for entry and the level of achievement necessary to complete each award.   Air Cadets who meet the age criteria can join the award scheme.   The Award is widely recognised by employers as it helps demonstrate that award holders are keen to take on new challenges, have a higher level of self confidence than their counterparts, have leadership qualities with the added experience of teamwork.  

Bronze


Cadets must be at least 14 years old to start the Bronze award and can expect it to take a minimum of six months to complete.   To complete the Bronze award, cadets must complete a service, skill, physical recreation and plan & prepare for a 2 day venture.   Based on an average of 1 hour per week, a cadet must actively take part in a service, skill and physical recreation for 3 months.   These can of course run alongside each other and do not have to run concurrently.   For details of the conditions for each part of the Bronze award, click on the relevant menu in the menu.   The minimum age for completing the Bronze award is 14 and a half years.   On completion, cadets will be presented with their award by their Commanding Officer as well as a badge to wear on the uniforms.  

Silver


Cadets must be at least 15 years old to start the Silver award and can expect it to take a minimum of six months to complete.   This timeframe is extended for cadets starting the award scheme at this level (Direct Entrant), to 1 year.   To complete the Silver award, cadets must complete a service over 6 months, a skill and physical recreation for a total of nine months (cadets can choose to do either for 6 months and the other for 3 months) and plan & prepare for a 3 day venture, while Direct Entrants must undertake an additional 6 months in either the service or the longer of the skills or physical recreation.   The minimum age for completing the Silver award is 15 and a half years or 16 years for Direct Entrants.   On completion, cadets will be presented with their award by their Commanding Officer as well as a badge to wear on their uniforms.  

Gold


The Gold award is the highest level in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.   Cadets must be at least 16 years old to start the award and can expect it to take a minimum of one year to complete.   This timeframe is extended for cadets starting the award scheme at this level (Direct Entrant), to one and a half years.   To complete the Gold award, cadets must complete a service over 12 months, a skill and physical recreation for a total of eighteen months (cadets can choose to do either for 12 months and the other for 6 months) and plan & prepare for a 4 day venture, while Direct Entrants must undertake an additional 6 months in either the service or the longer of the skills or physical recreation.   In addition, Gold participants must also complete the residential element of the award.   This involves undertaking a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights, with people who are not already known to them.   To help cadets complete this section, the annual summer camps are the ideal opportunity, as many camps take two or more squadrons.   This means that the participant will be working with people they have never come across before.   There are other avenues available if the cadet or his award leader can arrange it.   Other possibilities include youth hostels or sailing ships.   The minimum age for completing the Gold award is 17 years or 17 and a half years for Direct Entrants.   On completion, cadets will be invited to either London or Edinburgh to be presented with their award by a key figure, quite possibly HRH Prince Phillip.   The cadet will also be presented with a Gold Award badge to wear on their uniforms, usually by their Commanding Officer.  

Expedition


The aim of this section is to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery.   Cadets are expected to plan, prepare undertake an adventurous journey in an unfamiliar, remote environment.   Differing levels of adventure or exploration are required for the different levels of the award and cadets are expected - as part of the award programme - to undertake practice journeys before going on any expedition and also to complete a report of their journey.  

Bronze

 

Silver

 

Gold

         
2 Day Expedition or Exploration
 
3 Day Expedition or Exploration
 
4 Day Expedition, Exploration or other Adventurous Project
         
Any rural area
 
Rural or open country
 
Wild or open country, remote from habitation

The Training syllabus for expeditions include:



Some of the above components are covered by the cadet's training syllabus, and many cadets will take part in other adventure training activities with the Air Cadets, so they will be well prepared by the time they take part in their Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition.  


Definitions:



Service


The service section of the award aims to encourage a service to others, from helping people in the local community to taking part in a specialised training course and others that require a national qualification.   The service section aims to help participants to appreciate the needs of others, to accept responsibility, to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to overcome prejudice.   All of these are just some of the qualities that Commanding Officers look for in their NCO's.   Participants can choose form a wide range of services which have been categorised into three groups.  


Participation in the local community is also required for groups 2 and 3.  



Service Requirements


  Group 1   Groups 2 & 3

Bronze

Min 15hrs over 3 months   Min 15hrs (inc 8hrs training) over min 8 weeks
       

Silver

Min 30hrs over 6 months   Min 30hrs (inc 12 hrs training) over min 16 weeks
       

Gold

Min 60hrs over 12 months   Min 60 hrs (inc 20hrs training) over min 12 months

Additionally, cadets completing a group 1 service must also:


and cadets completing a group 2 or 3 service must also:


For full details, refer to your Duke of Edinburgh Award Handbook or ask your squadron's Award Leader.