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1. The Army Cadet Force (ACF) adopted the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme at the programme's inception in 1956. However the Programme ceased to be a " Scheme " in the 1990s, and its proper name is The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (note the apostrophe in the name)‚ most commonly abbreviated to " the Award " or " DofE ". The Duke of Edinburgh is Colonel in Chief of the ACF.


2. The Award is not itself a Youth Organisation‚ but a balanced programme of activity‚ designed to complement experiential opportunities in the programmes of user organisations working with young people. It complements the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) (ACF) and other ACF activities.

3. Participation in, and especially completion of‚ a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award will enhance the achievements and qualifications of all ACF participants. Simultaneously‚ the ACF will benefit from its involvement in the programme (see Annex A ).

4. The Army Cadet Force Association (ACFA) is licensed as an Operating Authority of the Award on behalf of the ACF in England and Wales. ACFA Northern Ireland and ACFA Scotland are also Operating Authorities.

5. By the terms of this licence, the ACF undertakes to make the Award available to all its members between the ages of 14 and 25 years‚ and is authorised to make awards to any such members who satisfy the conditions of any of the three awards.

6. The Award is not a compulsory element of ACF training, but must be made available to all eligible ACF members who wish to participate in it. Counties must therefore arrange to have sufficient adult personnel appropriately trained and qualified to cater for such involvement by ACF participants.

7. While participation in the Award by young people is voluntary‚ Counties are required by HQ LAND to provide the opportunity for every member of the ACF under the age of 25 years to participate who wishes to do so.


8. The Aim of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is to provide an enjoyable‚ challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people, which is of the highest quality and the widest reach. The Award in the Army Cadet Force enhances the quality of personal development of all members of the Army Cadet Force‚ is integral to all activity‚ and rewards positive achievement at every level.


9. Operating Authority. By the terms of the Licence, each Operating Authority nominates an Award Officer to represent the interests of‚ and be a point of contact with‚ the Award. At the present time these are:

  • a. For ACFA Northern Ireland - the Award Advisor for Northern Ireland.
  • b. For ACFA Scotland - the Secretary of ACFA Scotland.
  • c. For ACFA in England and Wales - the UK Award Development Manager (see Annex B ).
  • 10. Award Advisory Panel. Northern Ireland, Scotland‚ Wales and the Regions of England each have an Award Advisor who represents the Country/Region on the ACFA DofE Award Advisory Panel. Some additional members with useful areas of expertise are also members of the Panel. Panel responsibilities and areas of representation are outlined at Annex C .

    11. County. Each County has an established post for a County Duke of Edinburgh's Award Development Officer (County DofE Officer) in the rank of Major or Captain (depending on the number of Detachments in the County). The County DofE Officer is responsible to the Cadet Commandant for the provision and development of DofE Award opportunities in the County. A suggested job description for the County DofE Officer is at Annex D .

    12. Detachment. The County DofE Officer should identify an interested adult in each Detachment who is trained‚ or is willing to be trained‚ to be the Award leader in that Unit. A guide to the tasks required of these leaders‚ helpers and mentors is at Annex E .


    13. UK Framework. Every member of the ACF between the ages of 14 and 25 should have the opportunity to participate in the programme and gain an award appropriate to their ability and commitment. A support mechanism exists to make this possible, as described in the diagram at Annex F .

    14. Points of Contact Between Programmes. The ACF has a long established and respected proficiency syllabus‚ the Army Proficiency Certificate (ACF). The Award is an ideal complement to APC‚ and some suggested points of contact between ACF activity and DofE programmes are at Annex G .

    15. Duplication. While Cadets are to be encouraged to work for the APC and the DofE Award simultaneously‚ the two Awards must never be presented for exactly the same work produced by the participant. The DofE Award requires some additional commitment of effort and time on the part of the Cadet. In addition, as part of the ongoing citizenship training process within the ACF‚ it is considered good practice for Award participants to work on activities organised outside the framework of ACF training‚ especially at the Silver and Gold levels.

    16. The Award Modular Training Framework. The ACF has been heavily involved in the development of modular training for those wishing to be award leaders. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award has published the National Modular Training Framework‚ and successful completion of any of the modules will be accredited by the Award. Additionally‚ leaders have the opportunity to enhance their learning and gain advanced accreditation through the National Open College Network (OCN). Working on the principle that leaders must be trained and supported to deliver the programme‚ the ACF is fully committed to participating fully in the Modular Training Framework‚ and regular training opportunities will be available for all interested ACF personnel. The Award Leadership element of the Award Modular Training Framework is at Annex H .

    17. Rewards in the Award. Successful participation in both the actual Award for participants between the ages of 14 and 25 years and the Award Leadership programmes of the Award and the National Open College Network is rewarded in all cases by the presentation of a certificate‚ and in the case of the Award itself‚ badges. A chart of these rewards‚ their source and the authorising agency is at Annex I .

    18. Combined Cadet Force. For various reasons, some CCF Contingents have found difficulty in working through either their school or the Local Education Authority and a few have arranged to work through ACFA instead. There is sufficient similarity between the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) programmes of both the CCF and the ACF to make this arrangement realistic. Further details about CCF Contingents working through the ACFA Operating Authority are contained in Annex J .

    19. Safety. All participation in the Award within the ACF will be carried out within the conditions laid down in JSP 535‚ Cadet Training Safety Precautions ( The "Red Book"). Some activities may also have particular additional safety requirements which must be complied with as specified in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Handbook or the Award's Programmes File.

    20. Quality Assurance. The Award has introduced a Quality Review process for use by Operating Authorities to ensure the experience offered to participants is of the highest possible quality. The ACF wholeheartedly supports this initiative as an Operating Authority‚ the ACFA is determined to safeguard the quality of the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards that it makes. An Award gained through the ACF must be "quality assured" so it is held in high regard and respected not only by the participant who attains one‚ but also by those in the community with a stake in that young person's future development.


    21. Further guidance on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in the ACF can be found throughout this website, from which the booklet In Action Together 2 can be downloaded if required

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    Lt Col AF Spowage DL BA FInstLM - Award Development Manager
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