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 the year of your 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 ORB time-keeping must be exemplary to prove you have completed the hours required, in a regular fashion.
  • Book the Gold Preparation and Training 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 of this should be forwarded by email to the DOE office at least 6 weeks before it starts.

Skill, Physical Recreation and Service sections

Requirements: at least one hour per week over a minimum of 12 months/52 weeks for each section.


At Gold level, it is expected that additional knowledge or skills can be shown rather than just doing the basics, and it may take several activities to make up the time needed.


  • 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.
  • 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 you enter on the ORB every time you carry out your weekly commitment.


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


Adventurous Journey Section

You need to complete a Gold Preparation and Training Course (Bushcraft, navigation, etc) 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 or approved adult, see your Award Leader). Parents can't assess their own children.


Training and Preparation Section

There are several organisations offering training. See Duke of Edinburgh's Hilary Award general information page for links.

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 assessors (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 all 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.

Gold Practice Tramps (min 2 days, 1 night) should be planned and use the skills learnt in the Training and Preparation course 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, 5 hours purposeful effort/day) must be approved by the Award Leader 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. You will be given some forms to fill in prior to your journey


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.


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 assessor – please talk to your Award Leader for some ideas about who to contact. A assessor should oversee all your planning and follow you on your tramp.


The Award Leader has some cooking equipment, tents and Emergency Locator Beacons ELB which you may borrow.



Requirement: undertake a shared purposeful activity, where the majority are not their usual colleagues or friends and in an unfamiliar residential setting. eg away from their home or other locations where they have already undertaken their award activities. It is a 4-night 5  consecutive days (or in some circumstances over 2 weekends). There are plenty of options but you will need to discuss them with your Award leader well in advance before choosing. A suitable assessor must also be chosen in advance and be made aware this is for your Residential section of the Award.

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

News item: Marsden Old Girls complete Gold Duke of Ed