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Award Leader Training

Service Section

What's it all about?

Service is all about participants giving their time to help others in the community (unpaid, unless it is part of a fundraising initiative). List of examples

The “community” can be defined as the New Zealand public or specialist communities such as your youth group, Iwi or organisation.

For some participants, the idea of giving a regular, unpaid commitment may be new to them, so it's important to brief them on what the expectations are.


How long does the Service section take?

At Bronze level = 1 hour each week (or 4 hours every 28 days) over 3 months/13 weeks (note that Bronze participants are required to do an additional three months in one of the following activities: Skills, Service, Physical Recreation. If a participant chooses the Service section to do their extra 3 months in, the time requirement for Service would become 6 months/26 weeks).

At Silver level = 1 hour each week (or 4 hours every 28 days) over 6 months/26 weeks.

At Gold level = 1 hour each week (or 4 hours every 28 days) over 12 months/52 weeks.

For direct entrants  (i.e. new participants with no previous Award) to Silver or Gold levels, participants need to add 6 months to one section of their choice (i.e. Skills or Service or Physical Recreation)

What's the process?

Initial briefing and choice of activity    Training    Practical service    Review

What types of Service are there?

Group 1 : Labour Only - requires no special training, skills or qualifications;

Group 2: Trained - requires special training or certificate i.e. machinery safety, chemical handling or other specific knowledge;

Group 3:  Qualified - requires a recognised qualification to complete.

Note: With Groups 2 and 3, the training forms part of the hours for the service activity, while active service must be undertaken for the balance of the hours.

Service activities are as diverse as the people who undertake them ...

What are the criteria around Service placements?

The Service section in New Zealand is the same as outlined in the Handbook, but with the following clarification around Service placements.

Service activities should preferably be carried out for a ‘not-for-profit’ or community organisation. Where the activities are undertaken for a ‘for-profit’ organisation, it is important that the volunteer is not replacing a paid position, but is adding value through an activity that is not already performed by a paid employee.

The only time that any kind of payment would be acceptable is if the participant was getting paid to work at a ‘for-profit’ organisation as a method of raising funds for a charity or other worthwhile cause.

For example:

While volunteering at a community medical centre is acceptable, assisting at a private or commercial medical centre is not (unless it’s as a method of raising funds for a charity or other worthwhile cause).

Coaching a sports team is fine provided it is not operating as a profit-making business. Any activity for a local council is acceptable.

Reading to a resident at a ‘for-profit’ retirement home is acceptable, but working in the kitchens is not. Note that any activity carried out for a ‘not-for-profit’ retirement home is considered to be acceptable.

Can participants get paid for their Service?

Participants can work for money, but only if it is for the purposes of fundraising, and the money is donated to a genuine cause, e.g. washing cars for the local Ford dealership, who then donate the money earned to the local hospice. The work cannot be their usual job.

Do participants have to stick with one Service activity?

It can be difficult sometimes for participants to find a service placement that will run the length of the required timeframe. Therefore, participants can undertake up to three different Service activities if organised by the individual, or an unlimited amount of activities if these are organised under the umbrella of a service group run by a school or uniformed organisation.

Who approves the participant's activity?

An Assessor must approve the activity in the participant's Online Record Book to show that he or she has completed it. An Assessor is a responsible adult that is not a family member and who has considerable (usually three years or more) knowledge of the chosen activity, or is able to supervise the activity if it is non-skilled.

What time commitment is required for the Service activity?

Participants are required to average a minimum of one hour per week for the Service activity, over the applicable months required at their level (i.e. 3 months at Bronze level, 6 months at Silver level, and 12 months at Gold level).

If a participant has done the months, but not reached the hours, they need to continue the activity until the minimum hours are reached.

If a participant has done the hours, but not reached the months, they need to continue the activity until the minimum months are reached.

Can a Service activity take place at school during school hours?

Yes, it can take place during school time as long as it is voluntary and not part of the school curriculum, for example:

  • Peer mentoring/support
  • Library volunteering
  • Canteen volunteering
  • Fundraising
  • Admin support for the Award
  • Becoming a Student Councillor
  • First Aiding
  • Sports Coaching

Ready to take the quiz?!

Click the link below to go to the Service quiz, then log in using the username and password that were sent to you when you signed up for this online training. Forgotten your username or password? Email

Take the quiz!




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