The Duke of Edinburgh International Award


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (also referred to as ‘The Award’, ‘The Duke of Ed’, or the ‘DofE’), is a self-development program available to young people ages 14 to 25. To date, over 500,000 young people from Canada, and over 7 million youth in 130 countries, have been motivated to undertake a variety of voluntary and challenging activities.


The purpose of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is to encourage young people to set their own goals and challenges, work towards achieving them, and then be recognized at the end for sustaining the commitment they have made. There is no competition between participants. The only people with whom they compete are themselves. Self-motivation is fundamental to the Programme. There are no set standards to achieve. The criteria for gaining an Award is based on each participant’s individual improvement and potential at the starting point of the Award. There is no such thing as failure in the Award. Even if an Award is not attained, just being involved brings new friends, new knowledge and new adventures.


The Award programme has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each requires an increasing level of commitment and effort.

  • Bronze: Open to those 14 years or older. The minimum period of participation to achieve this Award is 6 months.
  • Silver: Open to those 15 years or older. The minimum period of participation to achieve this Award is 12 months.
  • Gold: Open to those 16 years or older. The minimum period of participation to achieve this Award is 18 months.

The Award Programme is designed to encourage youth to set and achieve goals. It is a journey of self-development, self-training, and personal achievement, and is based upon individual effort and improvement. To achieve an Award, participants must set goals in all 4 programme areas (5 when achieving the Gold level):

  • Service: This section is intended to develop a sense of responsibility to yourself and to your community.
  • Adventurous Journey: Aims to cultivate a spirit of adventure, discovery and an understanding of the environment while undertaking a wilderness or adventure experience.
  • Skills: Encourages the development of personal interests and social or practical skills.
  • Physical Recreation: Encourages a sense of achievement and good health through regular physical activities.
  • The Residential Project (Gold only): Aims to broaden horizons, experiences and outlook through living and working with others.

Using Cadet Activities for Qualification

Many of the activities that the Squadron participates in will assist you in meeting the goals of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award program.

For example, cadets who are on the Drill Team, can use Drill Team practices as a skill development activity or as a physical activity. If they teach on training nights, they meet the community service requirements. For Ontario students who require 40 hours of community service to graduate, those hours can be put towards the Award as well. Other activities, such as music lessons, horseback riding lessons, or other interests outside of cadets can all be used toward the requirements of this program.

Joining Instructions

In order to register, cadets should follow these instructions:

Go to, choose “Register a new account as: Award Participant” and click the “Register” button.

On the next page, you will select your Award Unit. From the drop-down menus, select “Americas” for the International Region, “Canada” for the Country, “Ontario” for the Operating Authority, “Central Ontario (L Postal Code)” for the Sub-Operating Authority and “RCACS 809 Newark – Niagara-on-the-Lake” for the Award Unit. Click the “Continue” button.

Oh the page that follows, all necessary details for participation in the award should be entered. Most of this page is self-explanatory, but there are a few items in the “Parent Consent Details” and “Award Registration Details” that need particular attention.

  • All cadets under the age of 18 must have their parents or guardians consent to their participation. This is most easily accomplished by selecting “My parent / guardian will give consent for me to do The Award via email” and completing the process electronically.
  • We will be tracking progress using the “Online” method, so be sure to select this rather than the “Book” method.
  • The “Level” and “Last Completed Award Level” should be selected according to the above age guidelines and prior participation.

Click the “Continue” button to go to the final registration page. This process should take approximately one minute.

Lastly, the payment page will be displayed. Select “Pay Online” to submit the payment and then click the “Register” button to complete the process.

If there are any difficulties or problems we can go through the process together at one of our Monday administration nights.

Qualification Awarded

Three award level Duke of Edinburgh pins are available: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The pin denoting the highest-level award attained is worn on the front left pocket of the uniform tunic.

Reference Documents