The Award is an internationally recognised programme giving rangatahi the chance to develop skills, get physically active, give back and experience adventure.
How the Award works
If you’re looking for an opportunity to equip yourself for a fulfilling future, look no further than The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.
Each level has four specific sections that participants need to complete activities in (plus a fifth at Gold level).
Tap on each of the below to read more.
For the Adventurous Journey section, you'll need a sense of adventure and discovery as you go on a team expedition or exploration in our big Kiwi backyard.
You'll have the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as learn teamwork skills, make real decisions, and accept real consequences, and gain self-confidence.
You'll probably end up outside your comfort zone at times, but you'll be kept safe with training and supervision. The result will be experiences you'll remember forever – you won't regret a minute of it!
There are two types of Adventurous Journey - Expedition and Exploration.
- Expedition – an Expedition is a journey with a purpose. In an Expedition, the primary focus is on the journeying, where around two thirds of the purposeful effort must be spent journeying.
- Exploration – an Exploration is a purpose with a journey. In an Exploration, the primary focus is to observe and collect information relevant to the purpose. More time and effort are spent on this, with less time getting from one place to another. The journey aspect is still important, around one third of the purposeful effort should be spent on journeying, depending on local circumstances and the medical or physical restrictions that the participant(s) are living with.
ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY EXAMPLES: Expedition - Tramping, canoeing, sailing. Exploration – Investigating the flora and fauna of the Kepler Track
Your Skills section is a chance to improve on an existing skill or learn something new. It's all about giving something a go and giving yourself a sense of achievement and well-being as a result. Colleges, universities, and employers love to see that you are more than your academic record - they want to see that you are a well-rounded individual with a wide range of skills!
ACTIVITY EXAMPLES: Photography, learning an instrument, learning a language, developing cooking or computer skills or learning to drive.
FYI: While participating in physical activity requires skills, your Skills section is for activities that don’t cause you to break a sweat. Sports and physical activities belong in the Physical Recreation section.
FAQ: Coaching - If you are improving your coaching skills, the act of learning and refining your coaching skills would qualify for your Skills section. Alternatively, you could select your coaching as a Voluntary Service activity, if your goal and logs are focused on giving your time to the team – rather than your goal and logs focusing on your learnings from attending coaching courses and improving your coaching skills.
Voluntary Service is your opportunity to give back. You’ll build self-confidence and communication skills and learn how you can make a difference in your community.
ACTIVITY EXAMPLES: Coaching a sports team, volunteering at Opshops, planting for DOC, tutoring or joining your student council or local Youth Council.
- You could volunteer for neighbours or people in the community (excluding family members) but this must meet a genuine need. For example, gardening for an elderly neighbour.
- While Voluntary Service can provide great work related experiences to put on your CV, it is not about doing free work for an organisation. You should not be volunteering for a business or a for profit organisation who would usually pay someone to do the tasks you are undertaking.
- You cannot be paid for your Voluntary Service.
Physical Recreation encourages you to improve your health and fitness – however you like to move your body.
ACTIVITY EXAMPLES: Join a school sports team or sports club, join a gym, start running or cycling or rockclimbing. Anything that gets your heart rate up.
The Gold Residential Project is an additional section at Gold level and is an opportunity to use many of the skills developed during the overall Award experience such as teamwork and leadership. This involves spending five consecutive days and four nights in a residential setting where you are working towards a common purpose.
Participants have the opportunity to share a purposeful experience with people who are not their usual companions and work towards a common goal, set out by the participants themselves. Through the Gold Residential Project participants will meet new people, explore life in an unfamiliar environment, develop new skills and, hopefully, have a life changing experience.
GOLD RESIDENTIAL CRITERIA:
- You must be 16 years of age and registered for Gold
- You must be away from home for a minimum of five days and four nights
- You need to be involved in 8 hours of purposeful activity each day
- You should be with people you don’t already know
ACTIVITY EXAMPLES: Youth camp leader within NZ or overseas, Voluntary work within our national parks, restoration project.
Once you have decided on your project complete the flowchart Checklist to make sure your chosen activity meets award criteria.
Before you register…
Things to think about before registering.
The easiest way to find out if your School or Organisation is currently running the Award go to onlinerecordbook.org, click on Register a new account as Award Participant, Select New Zealand from the Country dropdown, then you will be able to scroll through the Award Unit dropdown. Can’t find your school or Organisation? There are other options available.
- You can choose to start at any level, as long as you meet the minimum age requirement. You may want to think about your time commitment before selecting a level.
- Bronze and Silver will take a minimum of six months, Gold will take a minimum of 12 months. There is an additional six months requirement at Silver and Gold if you have not completed the previous level.
- You have until your 25th Birthday to complete your Award level.
- You will need to choose at least one activity for each section of the Award – Physical Recreation, Skills and Voluntary Service.
- There are a lot of activities you may already be doing that can count towards your Award. Eg playing a sport (Physical Recreation), learning a musical instrument (Skills), coaching a sports team (Voluntary Service).
- Some Award Units run the Adventurous Journey section and other Award Units will require you to find a provider. Speak to the Award Leader to find out what is required.
- See here for a list of Accredited Award Providers
- The total cost of completing an Award will differ depending on the activities and Adventurous Journey you select.
- Registration Fee - Bronze $86.25, Silver $86.25, Gold $115
Please note, some Award Units may charge an Administration fee on top of the Registration fee.
- If cost is a barrier to you, speak to your Award Leader about our participant assistance fund which can help with registration fee and Adventurous Journey.
5 Steps to doing your Award
We guide you through the process here – thanks for taking the time to review this.
Already have an Award Unit? Register
What is an Award Unit?
Many schools, organisations (Girl Guides, Scouts etc) and several of our Accredited Award Providers, are Award Units. All Schools and most Organisations will require you to be enrolled in order to register with them. Please check if you are unsure.
Can’t find an Award Unit? Participants who are unable find a local Award Unit can do their Award through an Open Award Centre or the Virtual Award Centre. If you chose the Virtual Award Centre, it’s important that you are self-motivated and willing to find suitable activities for each section of the Award. You will also be required to complete your Adventurous Journey with an Accredited Award Provider).
Your Award Unit will provide you with an Award Leader, who will be your key point of contact for the Award and will assist you to complete the Award.
Please note, the cost of Award sections will differ depending on the activities you select. If cost is a barrier to you, speak to your Award Leader about our participant assistance fund.
You can choose to start your Award at any of the three levels, as long as you meet the minimum age requirement.
Guidelines of minimum age, see below for more detailed information.
Bronze: 14 years
Silver: 15 years
Gold: 16 years
Please note: If you have not completed the previous level (for example, you chose to start your Award at Silver Level) you will need to complete a further 6 months of either Skills, Physical Recreation or Voluntary Service.
For your information
- At Bronze level discretion is allowed for you to start in the year you turn 14, so you can start your Bronze with your peers.
- If you have completed a previous level you can start on the next level without delay or waiting until you reach the required age. Eg You have completed your Bronze level and are 14years old, you may start your Silver level without a delay being imposed
- You can work on two levels at the same time IF you have met the minimum age for the next level and have completed one section in the current level. For example, if you finish your Bronze Voluntary Service Section, the assessor and award leader have signed the section off and you are 15, you can register for the Silver level and start working on the Voluntary Service Section only.
- You can start your Silver or Gold Award without completing any previous levels (this is known as 'direct entry') - provided that you meet the age requirements (i.e., 15 for Silver, and 16 for Gold). Please note, you are also required to complete and extra six months in one section.
Plan what you will do for each section
Choose what you are going to do for each of the three activity sections of the Award – Physical Recreation, Skills, Voluntary Service. Choose activities that suit your passions and ambitions. Check what you have chosen meets Award Criteria, your Award Leader can help you with this.
Adventurous Journey Section – does your Award Unit provide AJ opportunities or will you need to use an AAP? Please make sure your Adventurous Journey meets Award criteria. Activities should take place in the following order:
Preparation and Training –> Practice Journey –> Qualifying Journey
Choose Assessors for each activity. An Assessor is a suitably skilled, experienced, and/or qualified Adult who is not a family member and ideally not your Award Leader. Your Assessor should help you set your goal and they personally need to oversee what you are doing at least once every 28 days, mentor you and monitor improvement.
Having trouble deciding what to do?
We have a wide range of Accredited Award Providers (AAPs) with incredible activity options for you to choose from. Find your dream activity on our AAP Directory.
Extracurricular School Activity sheet
ACTIVITY PLAN EXAMPLE:
Once an activity has been approved by your Award Leader you can start logging each time you do your activity. An average of one hour per week on each activity section is required. After your first log of one hour, you may log 2 hours per fortnight or 4 hours every 28 days in subsequent logs if your activity only happens fortnightly or monthly. Your logs should reflect your goal/aim and activity. You can add a second activity but you will need a second assessor, instructions can be found here.
As you finish each activity send it to your assessor for sign off and then as each section is complete it will be sent to your Award Leader for sign off.
Once you have completed all your Award requirements, submit your Award through ORB for approval by your Award Leader. They will then submit your Award to the National Award Office for final verification. Once verified you will be emailed a digital copy of your certificate and badge. A physical certificate and badge will be sent to your Award Leader in the following weeks.
If you complete your Gold Award, you’ll be invited to attend a Gold Award Ceremony to celebrate your achievement. Wherever possible, ceremonies will include the attendance of the Governor General. From time to time Her Excellency may be called upon at short notice to be elsewhere and will not be able to attend a ceremony.
These ceremonies are a special opportunity to celebrate the resilience and growth you've developed on your Award journey.