The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Air Cadets is one of the largest providers of the DofE award in the UK, with the award delivered purely by qualified volunteers within the Air Cadets therefore usually cheaper than external bodies and schools.

The Air Cadets provides all 3 levels of the DofE award, bronze, silver and gold and additional blue starting level that is internal to the Air Cadets. It is not awarded by the DofE and has been introduced for Cadets that are too young to start the bronze award.

All sections of the award can be completed by taking part in Air Cadet activities, however you can still complete sections externally if the participant wishes.

There are 4 sections to all of the awards, expedition, volunteering, skills and physical with an extra for gold of the residential.

Full details of the DofE award can be found on the DofE website.


For the expedition section, you will need to plan, train for and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim. You must do the correct training for your level and mode of travel, at least one practice expedition, a qualifying expedition (the one that is assessed) and a final presentation in order to complete the section.

Your expedition must be completed by your own physical efforts with minimal external intervention and without motorised assistance.

All training and most kit and equipment is provided by the Squadron to participants.

Gold Expedition


Volunteering is about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment or animals. This must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation.

Air Cadet activities that qualify:
Squadron Maintenance
Mentoring Younger Cadets
Maintaining Squadron Stores
First Aid Instructor
Social Media Lead
Sports Leader



For your skills activity you need to choose an activity that will allow you to prove you have broadened your understanding and increased your expertise in your chosen skill. It should not be a physical activity, for example horse riding, as this counts towards your physical section, however, you could choose to learn about caring for horses.

Air Cadet activities that qualify:
Classification Training
Air Experience Flying/Gliding
First Aid
Shooting (Inc. Marksmanship)

Shooting and Marksmanship


For your physical activity you need to choose any sport, dance or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example, playing a sport regularly and showing personal improvement would count. However, learning to be a coach in the same sport would be a Skills section activity, whilst being a volunteer coach counts for the Volunteering section.

Air Cadet activities that qualify:
Personal Fitness Plan
Rock Climbing

Personal Fitness


For your residential section you need to undertake a shared activity or specific course with people you don’t know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment. Evenings are often as much a part of the experience as daytime activities.

Your activity can be anything that provides you with an opportunity for broadening your interests and experiences.

Air Cadet activities that qualify:
Air Cadet Leadership Course
Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT)
RAF Work Experience Camps
Adventure Training Camps
Aerospace Camp
Drill and Ceremonial Camp

Air Cadet Camp