Duke of Edinburgh Award

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is a program that allows you to develop skills and to challenge yourself.  It is open to those aged 14 to 24, and is comprised of 3 levels; Bronze, Silver, and Gold.


There are three levels that you can undertake, which upon successfully completing them lead to the Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.  The main differences between the levels are the length of time that it takes to complete them, how challenging it is and the minimum age you need to be to start it.


Depending upon your age, you are able to start at any level, although it is recommended that you start at Bronze and work upwards.




  • Minimum age is 14
  • You must do a minimum of 3 months activity for each of the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections.
  • You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections
  • You must also plan, train for and do a 2 day (1 night) Expedition.
  • Minimum age is 15.
  • You need to do at least 6 months Volunteering and a minimum of 6 months on either Physical or Skills and 3 months on the other. It’s up to you which one you do for longer.
  • If you start your Silver without doing Bronze first, you’ll have to do an extra 6 months volunteering or doing whichever of the Physical or Skills sections you have spent more time on.
  • You must plan, train for and do a 3 day (2 night) expedition.
  • Minimum age is 16.
  • You need to spend 12 months on your Volunteering section.  For Physical and Skills you must spend 12 months on one and six months on the other.
  • If you start your Gold without doing Silver first, you’ll need to do a further six months either volunteering or whichever one of your physical or skills activities you spent the most time on.
  • Your expedition will be for four days and three nights (plus an acclimatisation day) and should take place in 'wild country'.
  • You'll also do a Residential section - staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don't know.


There are 5 possible sections that will make up your program.  Bronze and Silver levels require you to complete 4 of them, whilst Gold requires you to complete all 5.


Using Band for D of E SkillUsing Band for D of E SkillThe Skills section is all about developing practical and social skills and personal interests.  By choosing to develop a particular skill you are not only developing a new talent but you will also boost your self esteem, develop practical and social skills and learn how to set and rise to a challenge.  If this isn't enough, it should also be good fun too!

Using Aero-modelling for D of E SkillUsing Aero-modelling for D of E SkillFrom podcasting to playing a musical instrument, fine art to website design, there's an endless list of the types of skills you can do.


D of E Physical AchievementD of E Physical AchievementThrough the Physical section you should achieve a greater physical fitness through participation and improvement in physical activity.  You don't need to be super fit or Olympic standard to achieve  this section - giving it a go and getting better is enough.

From hockey to dance, rock climbing to swimming, wheelchair basketball to yoga - almost any dance, sport or fitness activity can count.  You can join a team or do it on your own, concentrate on something you're already doing or try something completely different - it's up to you.


Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people's lives.  From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there's an endless list of the types of projects you can get involved in.


Achieving your Award is an adventure from beginning to end and this section can give you some of your most memorable experiences!

From sailing along the Norfolk Broads to walking in Canada or horse riding in the Brecon Beacons, it can be as far-flung or as close to home as you want it to be.

D of E Walking ExpeditionD of E Walking Expedition

There’ll need to be between four and seven of you in an expedition team (eight if you’ve chosen to travel by tandem canoe or bike).  With your team, you’ll plan an aim for your expedition, decide on your location and do lots of fun training to make sure you’re fully prepared and know what you’re doing!  Your Leader will arrange a Supervisor to work with your team to organise all of this and help you plan your expedition.

Once you’ve done the preparation the fun starts when you go out and do a practice and a qualifying expedition.  Once you’ve completed your final expedition you’ll give a presentation about your experiences and your achievements to your Supervisor, Assessor or another adult.

D of E Expedition PresentationD of E Expedition Presentation

The whole experience will give you laughs, arguments, joy and frustration along the way.  But, by the end, you’ll have better team and leadership skills, not to mention bags more confidence and a rucksack full of great memories!

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