Starting the Gold Award

Please fill out the Permission Agreement if you wish to participate in the Gold Award Scheme.

Once registered in the online system you can fill in your logs and keep a record of your progress. When finished you can submit it to your award leader for assessment.

For the requirements of the Gold Award please refer to

Important information for all sections

  • No activity for Gold can be started before your sixteenth birthday or before you register for this award.
  • A Gold Award recognises your ability to organise yourself, work as part of a team, as well as being able to follow instructions and meet deadlines. It is signed off at the Duke of Edinburgh Award office and hence you must complete all the requirements to a high standard.
  • Your Personal Action Plan time-keeping must be exemplary to prove you have completed the hours required, in a regular fashion.
  • Book the Gold Bushcraft course as soon as possible to ensure you get started on this section. Training must be completed before either the Practice or Qualifying Tramp takes place.
  • There is the additional Residential Section for the Gold Award. Your Residential requires prior approval from the DOE office.
  • Details should be forwarded by email to the DOE office at least 6 weeks before it starts.

Adventurous Journey Section

There are two types of training required (First Aid and Bushcraft) before setting out on either of the two tramps (Practice Tramp and Qualifying Tramp.) Students enrol with the appropriate organisations themselves.

All gold tramps must be run by a accredited Duke of Edinburgh provider no trips are to be parent lead!

First Aid

A basic First Aid Certificate can be provided by (Level 1 course) or course).  Please note that this is in addition to the small amount of First Aid covered in the Bushcraft courses.


Training about bushcraft, navigation, survival etc. This can be provided by Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Phone: 06 368 9347, Email:, Web:


These courses are not very frequent so it is important to check the dates and enrol as soon as possible. These courses consist of a theory day and an overnight tramp. It is possible that a course will be organised if there are sufficient students who wish to do a course together.   The Duke of Edinburgh Hillary website may also be able to suggest other training organisations if their courses are not convenient, or full.  

Organising a Gold Tramp

Students organising their own tramps must understand that to meet the Award requirements, such tramps are not just family outings. The Award requires that a tramp consists of 4 - 7 young people (not necessarily all participating in the Award, but all must be trained to at least Gold level Bushcraft) with experienced adult supervisors (who may be family members, but must be familiar with the requirements of being a DOE assessor). It is important that the student group does the planning, and it is not for parents to plan the journey but to offer assistance with details.

Duke of Edinburgh and Samuel Marsden Collegiate do not support tramping between April and October due to NZ weather bringing about life-threatening conditions very quickly and sometimes without warning in some parts of NZ – high rainfall, low temperatures, high winds etc.


The Tramps which are suitable for Practice and Qualifiers are listed on

Gold Practice Tramps (3 days, 2 nights) should be planned and executed using best techniques and should give participants enough experience to plan and undertake their qualifying journey in confidence. They should be carried out in an environment similar to, but must not be the same route as, the qualifying journey. The details of your planned Adventurous Journey can be filled out in your online record book.


The Qualifying Tramp (4 days, 3 nights) must be approved by the DOE Head office about 6 weeks prior to the departure date.
Your Award Leader must check that your tramp meets DOE Gold requirements and that it can be safely carried out. Arrange a 30-minute meeting with your Award Leader 7-8 weeks before the departure date to discuss aspects of the planned tramp.
To prepare for that meeting you should print or send your assessor the Assessor Checklist, the Assessor Guidelines Tramping and the Assessor Competency Form. Also complete the Tramp Planning form and the Tramp Risk Management Form. (these are all on the Silver page of this site).


The Award Leader will expect to see these completed forms


The Award Leader will want to discuss completed training, fitness and navigational competence of every group member, what physical or medical issues have arisen on previous tramps for each group member, what training is being undertaken to prepare for the qualifying tramp, as well as environmental, nutritional and First Aid awareness.


Once all the forms are correctly completed, and the Award Leader is confident that the criteria are being met and that the tramp can be safely carried out, the Award Leader will send the Adventurous Journey Approval Form to the DOE Office for approval.


It is important that all students are physically capable of completing the tramp – a Gold tramp is much harder than a Silver tramp. Training tramps in the week/s prior to an official Practice or Qualifying tramp are important to build strength and endurance and for the group to understand the pace other members can manage.


It can be a challenge to find a supervisor – please talk to your Award Leader for some ideas about who to contact. A supervisor should oversee all your planning and follow you on your tramp.


The co-ordinator has some cooking equipment which you may borrow.

Skill, Physical Recreation and Service sections

Requirements: at least one hour per week over a minimum of 6 months for each section.


It is important that participation for these sections is regular - about one hour every week. Note that these monthly time frames do not include weeks you did not carry out your weekly commitments: e.g. babysitting Feb 1 – April 30 would not count for 3 months if the Easter holiday was in April and you were not required over that holiday time. You would have to show on your Personal Planner that you continued until about mid-April – with a longer time if other weeks were missed as well.


Many students are already involved in activities which meet the requirements for the Skills and Physical Recreation sections (e.g. learning an instrument, speech, playing in a sports team, ballet). The Service section involves voluntarily assisting in the community. Helping your own family can not be counted as service. At Gold level, it is expected that additional knowledge or skills can be shown rather than just doing the basics.


  • Service should be at a higher level, requiring some knowledge or skill gained through training or experience.
  • Skill is expected to include some advanced or extra dimension rather than just the basics (e.g. learn to drive plus back a trailer, research accident causes and attend a Defensive Driving course.)
  • Physical Recreation must be regular and you should be able to demonstrate commitment and improvement over the duration, and possibly some leadership e.g. refereeing, coaching.

Please note that a ‘school year’ is not deemed to be ‘12 months’. Activities must be carried on for a full 12 months (52 weeks) of actual participation. This needs to be able to be verified - ensure your Personal Planner is signed every time you carry out your weekly commitment.


Each of these activities requires a supervisor (teacher, coach, leader or manager). The supervisor should not be a parent of the student. For the activity to count towards the Award, the Personal Action Plan time-sheet should be filled in each session by the student and signed by the supervisor. When the total time requirement is met the supervisor should (a) be able to write a full comment in your Booklet (about your reliability, engagement, improvement and skills learnt over the total time of participation) and (b) sign and date the page in your Booklet.


The website lists the vast range of activities which are suitable for these three sections.

Completing the Gold Award

Ensure that the Personal Action Plan time-sheet and all pages of your log are filled in fully and correctly. Work through the Checklist at the back of the Booklet to ensure everything is completed. 


Print and complete the Gold Notification Form. Then take the folder (include your Personal Action Plan, Booklet and Gold Notification Form) to the Award Leader who will initially verify that all requirements are met. The Award Leader will then forward your folder to the DOE office who finally verify the completion of the Gold Award and allow the student to receive their badge and certificate.

It is a great achievement when you complete your Gold Award!

News item: Marsden Old Girls complete Gold Duke of Ed