The Gold programme is for those aged 16+ years. You have until your 25th birthday to complete the programme, if you have left school and already started your award you can transfer to us to complete it.

Activities for each DofE section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, so they can be fitted in around school, college, hobbies and social lives.

The Gold Award consists of the following sections and timescales:

  • Volunteering section: 12 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
  • Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
  • Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.
  • If you didn’t complete the Silver Award, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

The Expedition section generally involves meeting one evening per week from November to April, plus training days, a practice expedition of 2 days and 2 nights and the final expedition of 4 days and 3 nights.

Training days and weekends take place in Newtownards, the practice and final expedition is somewhere like the Mournes or Antrim Hills with overnight wild camps.

Participants are grouped into teams of a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 7 people.