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The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Participants FAQs

1.    What is the registration fee?

Check with your Award Leader. Duke of Ed registration fees can be found at Schedule of Fees.

2.    Who do I pay the Duke of Ed registration fee to?

Speak to your Award Leader for instructions on which payment system your Award Centre uses.

3.    I have registered online but I no longer want to participate. Can I receive a refund?

Under normal circumstances, no. Any exceptions will need to be requested by your Award Leader for consideration, with supporting reason(s).

4.    My school doesn’t run the Award. How can I do the Award?

Contact the NSW Open Award Centre.

5.    I am 13yrs old, can I start the Bronze Award along with my peers?

Yes, as long as the peer group you are registering with are, in the majority, over 14 yrs old. Confirm with your Award Leader.

6.    Do I need to get permission from my parents and school/organisation to do my Award?

Participants under the age of 18 need to get permission from parent/guardian and approval from Award Leader to do their Award.

7.    How does my Parent/Guardian give permission for me to do my Duke of Ed?

Parent/Guardian consent can be granted by either email (via the ORB) or hardcopy depending on the selected option taken at the time of registration.

8.    My Parent/Guardian hasn’t received a Consent Request email. Is it possible to send it again?

Firstly, verify your email address via the verification email that was sent from the ORB. If this does not trigger the Parent/Guardian Consent email contact your Award Leader to re-send the Parent/Guardian Consent email via the ORB or complete the paper Participant Application Form – Under 18 and return it to your Award Leader.

9.    Do I need to be approved by my Award Leader before I start any Duke of Ed related activities?

Yes, registrations need to be approved by Award Leader and each Activity and Assessor must be approved before you can start logging hours against each one.

10.    I have changed schools. How can I continue with my Award?

Complete the Participant Transfer form. If the new school doesn’t offer the Award you can register through an Open Award Centre (OAC).

11.    I didn’t complete my Award before leaving school. Can I complete somewhere else?

If you will still be under 25 by your anticipated completion date, you can transfer or register through an Open Award Centre (OAC).

12.    Who can I contact if I am having difficulties with the ORB?

You should contact the Online Record Book Helpdesk.

13.    What do I do if I have forgotten my password to the Online Record Book?

Click on ‘Forgot your password’ link on the ORB login page.

14.    Can I log hours from before I registered for the Award? I’ve been doing my chosen activity for years.

You can only log activities after your Award Leader approves your activity on the ORB. No activities should be recorded before your Award Start Date.

15.    How do I get an Assessor for my activities?

You need to arrange an experienced and/or qualified adult to act as an Assessor for each activity. Noting that they can’t be family members. Alternatively, you can speak to your Award Leader to check if they know someone who can act as your Assessor. Your Award Leader must approve your Assessors before you start any Duke of Ed activities with them.

16.    Do I have to arrange all my Assessors before I start my Award?

No, if you have not finalised an Assessor for a Section, you can still start the other Sections as long as the Assessors have been approved by your Award Leader.

17.    Do I have to know what my activities will be for each Section before I can start my Award?

It is recommended that you provide details of your Award activities in a Participant's Award Plan. However, if you have not finalised all details for a Section activity, you can still start the other Sections and provide these details at a later date.

18.    How different do my activities need to be for each Section?

To encourage balance in your Award, you should attempt to pick activities that are not too similar to each other. For example, if you are passionate about rugby league you can play in a team for your Physical Recreation and volunteer with your local club e.g. fundraise for the club or assist in the canteen.

19.    Do school or work activities count?

Award activities should be done substantially in your own free time. You cannot be paid for any activities that you will count towards your Duke of Ed.

20.    Can I do my Award along with Scouts / Surf Life Saving / Cadets etc.?

Yes, if you are already involved with an organisation you can count the activities you do with them towards your Duke of Ed as long as they meet the requirements.

21.    Does my Assessor have to be with me every time I engage in my regular activities?

Your Assessors do not have to be with you each time you engage in your regular activities i.e. they may check in with you every two to four weeks via phone or email to see how you are progressing.

22.    I am doing a team/individual Physical Recreation activity and my Parent/Guardian is the coach. Can they act as my Assessor?

You will need to arrange another experienced and/or qualified adult to be your Assessor. This may be another coach or the club/organisations manager.

23.    I don’t know what goals I should set for my chosen activities. Can I just say something like “To get fit”?

Your goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed . Note: For the Voluntary Service section, it is important that your goal is focused on serving others and meeting a genuine need in the community.

24.    Can I change my major Section?

Yes, but you will need approval from your Award Leader first and you can only change to a Section that has not been completed.

25.    Can I change from one activity to another?

You can undertake up to three Activities over the required time. You may choose, for example, two activities such as a winter sport followed by a summer sport that can spilt over the required time. You just need to setup your additional activity(s) following the same process that you did for your first activity including getting any new Assessor approved by your Award Leader before you start activities with them.

26.    I am already doing an activity; can I do the same activity for my Duke of Ed?

You can continue with an activity you were doing before you started your Duke of Ed if approved by your Award Leader. For example, if you have been playing a musical instrument you can keep on doing this. Remember - you cannot count hours you did before you started your Duke of Ed.

27.    Can I do more hours during school holidays for volunteering?

Yes, but the extra hours will not be counted in the overall calculation of the minimum hours required over the specified time.

28.    Can I take a break during my Award?

Yes, you can take a break from any of your activities but will need to make up any time you missed during the break.

29.    I missed the Adventurous Journey being run by the school/organisation, what can I do?

If you missed or could not attend their Adventurous Journey you will need to speak to their Award Leader to see if the school/organisation is running any other Journeys that may be suitable. They may be able to provide you with information about Outdoor Education Providers who can deliver Open Adventurous Journey options for you.

30.    Is there a listing of Activity Providers?

See the Directory of Activity Providers.

31.    Is volunteering at a Veterinary Clinic (business) considered suitable for the Voluntary Service section?

Any Award Service activities must satisfy/service a ‘genuine need in the community’; generally, Vet Clinics/Surgeries are businesses and participants are only able to complete cleaning/basic administration related activities that is effectively ‘work experience’. This may be suitable for the Skill Section.

Participants wishing to assist animals as part of their Service component can assist an organisation (cause) providing an ‘animal welfare’ service (e.g. Local Pound or Animal Shelter/RSPCA/Animal Rescue/WIRES, Puppy Dog Rescue).

32.    Can I do cooking as my skill? If so, who can be my Assessor?

Yes, but you need a suitably qualified, skilled and/or experienced Assessor; for example, this could be a Food Technology teacher or chef.

33.    Is surfing a Skill or Physical Recreation activity?

Physical Recreation. For more information see Duke of Ed.

34.    What is required for my Qualifying Adventurous Journey Report?

We highly recommend using the appropriate NSW Written AJ Report Template to ensure the best chance of your Report being completed properly.

35.    How detailed do my log descriptions need to be? Does it really matter?

You should describe what you did and make sure that it aligns with the goal you are working towards. If you are logging your hours on a regular basis then it should be very manageable (especially by using the ORB App). Not only does is it help your Assessor complete their final Assessor Report of your activity but also your Award Leader and NSW Duke of Ed require this information to assess your Award.

36.    I’ve started my Award but have now decided to complete at a higher Level.

Assuming you meet minimum age requirements, complete the Change of Level Request Form. Note, fees apply.

37.    How do I get a replacement badge or certificate?

Complete the Replacement Certificate and Badge Order Form. Note, fees apply.

38.    When will an Award Holder receive an invite to a Gold ceremony?

Please allow up to 6 months to be invited to a Gold Award Ceremony

39.    How do I receive my Award?

Bronze and Silver certificates are sent to your Award Leader. Please allow up to 8 weeks for delivery.

Gold certificates are presented at an official Gold Award Ceremony. You will receive an email regarding receiving your Gold Award certificate upon completion of your Gold Award.

40.    When will the next Gold Award Ceremony be?

You will be notified of the next Gold Award Ceremony date via email approximately 12 weeks prior to your presentation date.

41.    Why does my Gold Award reflection get truncated in the Gold ceremony registration process?

There is a 250 character, including spaces and punctuation, limit in this field so you must write your Award Reflection accordingly.

42.    Can I change any information relating to my Gold ceremony registration?

Yes. Use the link provided in your email registration confirmation and you can change your information including guests and reflection.

43.    How can I ensure I’m correctly completing my Award?

We highly recommend using the appropriate Award Checklist as a guide to keep you on track as you progress through your Award. There are also Award Guides available for every Level through dukeofed.com.au

44.    How long does it take to get an Award signed off?

Bronze and Silver are typically assessed within 5 business days. Gold are assessed within 6-8 weeks. However, these times can push out by 1-2 weeks during Terms 3 and 4 when many Awards are submitted.

45.    I am applying for University, can my Award be approved as soon as possible?

Gold Awards must be submitted for sign-off approval before 30 September each year and will be reviewed within 6-8 weeks. Participants are strongly encouraged to use the Award Checklist and making any necessary adjustments before submitting.

46.    How can I use my Duke of Ed to get extra bonus ATAR points for my University application?

Firstly, check whether universities you are applying for offer bonus points (sometimes referred to as Adjustment Factors).

You will need to submit your Award for sign-off approval no later than 30 September, making sure you have cross referenced against the Award checklist to give yourself the best opportunity of first review approval.

47.    I’ve finished logging all my hours and am ready to have my Assessor sign off on my section, however I am no longer in contact with my Assessor. What should I do?

If you are unable to get in touch with your Assessor to sign off on a section, please discuss with your Award Leader.

48.    What happens if my Award approval submission is rejected?

Awardees should continually check their ORB record after submission. If rejected, there will be a note in the notifications advising why and what needs to be done to resolve the issue.