Duke of Edinburgh Award
Fancy taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh? Download the form below...
The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award is a voluntary non-competitive programme of activities that we encourage cadets to get involved with. Cadets can sign up and start working towards Bronze awards from age 13 and a half.
DofE is good fun, gives cadets new challenges and looks really good on the CV. It may be one factor that makes the difference when applying for a university place or a job.
There are 3 progressive levels of programme which give cadets the opportunity to experience new activities and develop old skills. If you already have a skill or something you enjoy you can use that as a base and then improve it over a set period of time until you complete the appropriate award at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.
Each award has a number of categories to fulfil in order to reach the required level:
Residential (Gold only)
Each level requires cadets to complete key activities which will be explained at the start of the programme and with hard work and dedication cadets can progress quickly through the awards. They will be expected to do a minimum of one hours activity each week for each category and it is necessary to have an assessor to support them through each activity. This assessor may be the training officer, a teacher, a personal trainer or anyone who is not a relative and has expertise in the chosen activity. At the end of the set period the assessor will write a report on your achievements and successes.
Categories and Activities...
Cadets are introduced gradually to the rigours of DofE. At Bronze award level the assessor's expectations are moderate and not as high as they are when cadets are attempting the Gold award. At Gold award level cadets are expected to sparkle and be as shiny as the badge that will be presented to them at St James Palace by either HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or the Earl of Wessex ususally accompanied by celebrities.
There is considerable choice in each of the categories, but make sure it is something you will enjoy (there's lots of suggestions and help on the DofE website). Previous award winners have selected from the following types of activities:
Volunteering: Being part of the RAF Air Cadets is volunteering, your assessor will add an extra challenge such as mentoring new cadets, running the canteen or helping arrange charity collections. Other notable activities include: helping at scouts, volunteering with the Hatherton canal project and volunteering at charity shops. One third of the time volunteering can be allocated to training to get your skills up to undertake the voluntering work. The remainder must be actually performing the task.
Physical: We encourage the cadets to choose something they enjoy. It doesn't have to be just sport, it just needs to demonstrate that physical fitness has improved. Currently there are cadets who are swimmers, runners, cyclists, and walkers, these are all assessed by the sports officer. Many cadets are recording how their pulse has improved each week and recording how their distance has improved. Others have taken up martial arts or do water sports and are assessed by their instructor.
Skill: This can be wide and varied From aeronautics to acting, from first aid to egg decorating. As cadets there are skills that form the basis of life in the RAF and include: drill, drumming, communication, media, playing another instrument in the band, shooting, the list is a long one.
Expedition: As cadets this category will become second nature as organisation and completing tasks is part of everyday life. Cadets are trained to the appropriate standard and then an expedition is organised and arranged. The task is completede unaccompanied (but well supported) using physical effort (ie no motorised or outside assistance). There is no need to be concerned is you havenet done anything like this before as a lot of training is done before the initial expedition training as part of standard syllabus.
Residential (Gold only) :This must be a five day four night residential experience with people you don't know. The residential must be completed with an organised group, registered charity or approved activity provider. It can be done in the UK or abroad and it should have an aim. Air cadets offer opportunities to undertake this sort of activity and more suggestions are on the DofE website.
All residentials must be approved by the Wing DofE officer before commencing the activity. The Enrolment fees are refunded.
DofE activities don't have to be completely in you own time. They can take place in school or work time, but you must demonstrate that a substantial amount of your personal time is utilised as well. It must demonstrate that the cadet has gone the extra mile, eg write a book of children's poems if you are studying A level English or coaching after school sports if you are doing a sports leaders award. Parade evenings are within your personal time so activities in air cadets are usually good ones to choose.
Your fees will be refunded!
Cadets will need to show they are a well-rounded individual by choosing different activities for each section. At Gold level we prefer that at least two of the sections are outside Air Cadets.
There are upfront costs, but they are modest and the best part is when you complete your award you will get your enrolment fee refunded by the Air Cadets. The expedition kit you purchase can be used at all 3 levels and the cost of the expeditions are kept to a minimum.
Activites within RAF Air Cadets are covered by our insurance. All other outside activities are not, so please ensure the activity provider has their own insurance.
DofE is good fun, gives cadets new challenges and looks great on their CV. It may be one factor that makes the difference when applying for a university place or a job.