Start the Award

Taking part in the Award requires commitment over time but it is simple to get started and you will reap the rewards for your time and effort.

For an overview of the Award requirements, please have a look at the At a Glance Guide to Completing your Duke of Ed Award.

Every Participant doing the Award is required to be registered through their division office.  Activities completed before registration cannot be counted toward an Award and registration dates cannot be backdated.

As an Award participant you will:

  • Design your own Award
  • Set your own goals and record your progress
  • Make a positive impact on the lives of others through community service
  • Learn valuable practical and social skills for career development
  • Build references
  • Network with other Award Participants at home and abroad
  • Get recognition for the activities and programs you are involved with

How to get started 

  • Determine what level is right for you. The Award is divided into three levels; depending on your age and experience, you may choose to start with Bronze and work your way up, or jump straight to Silver or Gold. Your Award Leader will be able to explain more about the three levels and their requirements
  • Register Online by clicking here
  • Registration fee: There is a registration fee required to cover access to the Online Record Book and Award administration. Please contact our office if this registration fee is a financial barrier for you.
  • Plan your Award: Once you have registered, you will setup your own unique program online by inputting your activities and creating goals for each one - your Award Leader will help provide support throughout this process.  Check out some hints to help you Plan Your Time while doing the Award.

More information on the sections of the Award can be found in Award Section Requirements.

If the Award is not currently available in your school or community, please contact us and we can let you know if there are any Award Units nearby that you can get involved with.  Alternatively, you can also register as an Independent Participant in your region (postal code) or connect with an adult mentor about starting a group within your organization.

Selecting a Major

Each section has a minimum length of time that activities need to be worked on,  If you are doing the Bronze level or are a Direct Entrant you will choose one section (Service, Skill or Physical Recreation) of the Award to pursue for a longer period of time.  You can change your major as you work through completing your Award.  If you are continuing on through the Award (for example, if you’ve completed your Bronze Award and are moving on to Silver) you will do all three sections (Service, Skill, Physical Recreation) for the same length of time. 

Setting Goals

The Award is first and foremost the Participant’s own journey, so Participants set their own goals. Goals and logs should reflect the primary objective of each section. Ideas should come from the Participant; however, the Award Leader can help and assist.

All your Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.

SPECIFIC - What would you would like to do for your sections? What exactly are you going to do in this chosen challenging activity?

MEASURABLE - How often can/would you attend the chosen activities? How will you measure this activity to know if you have achieved your goal?

ACHIEVABLE - Is there somewhere you know about where you could do this activity? Is it a goal that can actually be achieved? It is great to be ambitious, but there is no point set yourself a goal that may not be achievable in 3/6/12/18 months, due to external circumstances or time.

RELEVANT/REALISTIC - Are you able to commit to what is required for the whole time needed? Are there any barriers/reasons that can stop you from achieving this goal? If these barriers/reasons completely prevent you from achieving the chosen activity, then the activity needs to be changed.

Examples of types of barriers/reasons why your goal may not be realistic:

  • I have no access to an adult who can teach me this skill and be my assessor
  • The nearest activity is too far from where I live and I cannot travel that far.
  • I am not feeling motivated enough to do this activity/the activity is not challenging enough
  • It is not safe at all to carry out my chosen activity
  • I want to achieve this goal, but I am scared of doing it

TIME BOUND - Will this be completed in required timescale? What timescale/dates are you giving yourself to achieve the goal?

Examples of Smart Goals

  • Piano: I am currently pursuing my Grade 8 Piano exam. My goal is to pass it with a distinction. I have already completed Grades 1‐7 and am now preparing for the final one. I have passed most of them with a distinction and the others with a merit. I have been playing the piano for 10 years and I hope to attain my goal. Additionally, learning the piano will enable me to excel in my RCM exam, which will help me obtain the highest grades possible.
  • Language: Over the course of the 26 weeks, I aim to improve my ability in Arabic. I, with the use of the internet, aim to go from having no knowledge of Arabic at all to being able to read and write a small amount of Arabic that a native Arabic speaker can understand. I aim to be able to produce a short essay about myself, in Arabic, that can be understood by my assessor, who is a native Arabic speaker.
  • Soccer: My aim is to improve my own soccer ability, especially my attacking play including my passing and shooting ability, and also become fitter in the process, and I aim to achieve this by April 2019. In order to achieve this I will partake soccer training once every week.
  • Swimming: I have been swimming since I was eight years old, but I only started to swim competitively and seriously when I was eleven. My aim is to (1) improve my time for backstroke (50 m) from 45 seconds to 39 seconds, (2) improve time for butterfly stroke (50 m) from 39 seconds to 35 seconds. This will happen through my training at Fast Swimming Swim Club each week.
  • Tutoring/ help to others: I am going to be helping out at my local Boys & Girls Club by listening to grade 5 students read and helping them develop their higher reading skills. I have received training on this. I now know that I need to ask at least 5 specific questions and giving them tips to make sure they understand what they are reading and improve their reading in general. I’ll be able to achieve my goal by going to an hour a week (3 or 4 times a week to complete an hour ). I will know I achieved this goal when I see the teacher is satisfied by the progress the children and I made and indicates this on the assessor's report.
  • Food bank/ Soup kitchen: My goal is to help at the soup kitchen in my town, to volunteer my time to help those less fortunate than myself. To start with I’ll help preparing the food in the kitchen, but by the end of three months I would like to have grown in confidence in working in the soup kitchen to progress to serving the food and interacting with the vulnerable people.
  • Adventurous Journey: To understand and interpret the human impact in Algonquin Park and study how much humans have affected the wildlife and flora and fauna. Also to work well within our team and efficiently cover the required distance while taking appropriate and necessary pictures and notes for our project over 3 days.


Frequency of Activity

Participants can chose to complete the Award in the minimum timeframe required or they can set their own pace and take their time with the Award. In order to complete the Award in the minimum timeframe Participants will be spending an average of one hour per week for Service, Skill and Physical Recreation.  This does not mean that you need to record an hour every week. For example, if you are sick and miss a week of activities, the next week you can do two hours to make up for the lost week and still have an hour a week.  Short gaps can be made up, hours recorded will only be backdated up to 4 weeks.  Additional weeks will need to be added at the end to make up for the missed time.  For example, if you were doing your Bronze Award and went on a holiday during weeks 4 to 10, you would need to add an extra six weeks in order to complete your Award.

Click here ​to see how the ORB calculates your hours 


Online Record Book

The International Online Record Book (ORB) is used by participants to track all Award activities at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold level.  Once your account is created you can track your progress by visiting ​ORB or by downloading the app, available for Android and Apple.

Attachments can be uploaded to the ORB and filed with your Award electronically, and you can print out a summary of your Award for a paper record at any time. Once the sections and the Award level are complete, you will use the ORB to submit your Award online and it will be reviewed by your Award Leader and the Ontario division office.

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