Award Structure and Time Requirements


There are three levels of The Award:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold


Registration Fees

​There is a registration fee of $50 at each level of The Award (Bronze, Silver, Gold). Participants must pay the registration fee prior to starting their Award and before progressing to the next level. These registration fees are made payable to the Division where the participant is registered.


​For each level, participants have to complete the requirements of each of the four Sections:

Service   Aim: to learn how to give useful service to others
Skills  Aim: to encourage the development of personal interests and practical skills
Physical Recreation  Aim: to encourage participation in physical recreation and improvement of performance
Adventurous Journey  Aim: to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery
Gold Project*
Aim: to broaden experience through involvement with others in a residential setting 

*The Gold Project is undertaken for the Gold Award only, and is not a requirement for Bronze or Silver. Participants may take part in, and qualify for, the Residential Project regardless of the Award level they are currently working on, provided they are sixteen(16) years or older.

Age Range

The age range is from the 14th to the 25th birthday. There is some discretion for entry before the age of 14. The upper age limit for all Awards is the 25th birthday, and all activities to be counted for an Award must be completed by this time. The minimum starting age for each level is:

  • Bronze 14 years
  • Silver 15 years
  • Gold 16 years

Time Requirements

​As the Award programme is of individual challenge, participants are encouraged to work at their own pace. The Award is referred to as a marathon, not a sprint. Subject to the maximum age limit, participants can take as long as they want to complete their Award. In Service, Skills and Physical Recreation sections, participants are required to participate regularly in their chosen activity. There is no absolute rule as to what is considered regular participation, as the amount of time dedicated to an activity will depend on many things, including the activity itself and the participant’s own circumstances. However, on average, participants should spend at least one hour per week on their chosen activity. No more than a four week break may be taken at any level.

The Award cannot be achieved in a shorter time span by working more intensely; the objective is to develop a sense of commitment to a given task over time. Participants must persist at a specific level for at least these minimum periods:

 Award Level Minimum period of participation by
 Direct Entrants Award Achievers
Bronze 26 weeks n/a
Silver 52 weeks 26 weeks (if Bronze Award achiever)
Gold 78 weeks 52 weeks (if Silver Award achiever)

Timescales for each Award level by section are included in the Summary of Conditions chart.

The completion date of one Award level marks the start date of the next. Those who have completed the Bronze can make a start on the next higher Award before the stipulated ages, without imposing an artificial delay. Participants must be 16 years of age to begin the Gold level. The earliest minimum age for qualification (completion) for each Award, regardless of the starting age, is:

Bronze  All entrants  14 and a half years
Silver Bronze Award holders 15 and a half years
  Direct Entry  16 years
Gold Silver Award holders 17 years
  Direct Entry 17 1/2 years

These qualifying ages are the absolute minimum and all participants should be encouraged to set their own pace, which may inevitably mean taking a bit longer.


Concept of Voluntary Time

​ 1. Participation in the Programme is to be a young person’s voluntary choice.

2. Activities that form part of a school curriculum may generally not be counted towards an Award. It is recognized that the wide range of activities from which young people may choose in the Skills Section inevitably includes a number of interests and occupations associated with subjects forming part of school curricula, vocational training or study courses of some kind. The same may be said of some aspects of the training required of participants in the Service, Adventurous Journey and Physical Recreation Sections. 

3. It is not the intention that such interests or occupations should be excluded, but that, in addition to whatever instruction or training may be acquired during school or work time, young people must show clear evidence of additional voluntary effort in their own time.

4. Participants receiving pay at organized camps may not use camp activities for qualification in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (a training bonus for cadets at a summer camp does not constitute pay).