The journey can be an exploration or an expedition but must be a challenge. The aim of this Section is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as to develop their self-confidence, team work and health. Participants are taken out of their comfort zone- in an unfamiliar environment but kept within a safe and secure setting, achieved through suitable training and supervision.
Examples of Adventurous Journeys (explorations and expeditions)
- Exploring the natural world: flora, fauna, erosion, geology, coastal studies
- Exploring river valleys, plant studies, exploring human impact: visitor pressure in national parks, pollution
- Carrying out health surveys or health education in remote areas
- Completing a demanding journey by foot, cycle, canoe or kayak
- Kayaking the entire navigable stretch of a river
- An extensive sail across an ocean
- Climbing mountainous peaks
- Cycling from one part of a country to another
- Undertaking a challenging journey in an urban environment
|Level||Days||Nights||Minimum total hrs purposeful* effort||Minimum average hrs purposeful* effort/day|
*Purposeful effort means time spent towards accomplishing the purpose of the journey. Time associated with sleeping, cooking and eating is in addition to this time.
Three Types of Adventurous Journey
- Expeditions – a journey with a purpose
- Explorations – a purpose with a journey
- Adventurous Projects (Gold Only)
All Adventurous Journey requirements must be considered with reference to any applicable State or Territory Government requirements, adventure activity standards or industry guidelines.
For this Section, Participants must:
1. Have a clearly defined purpose for each journey.
2. Undertake preparation and training which is relevant to their planned journey and skill level.
Note: Sufficient preparation and training is required at each level of The Duke of Ed to ensure
all journeys are safe.
3. Ensure they discuss and get approval from their Award Leader prior to undertaking Adventurous Journeys. This includes all practice journeys and all qualifying journeys.
4. Obtain written parent/guardian consent prior to departing on each journey (if they are under the age of 18).
5. Be supervised and also assessed by suitably skilled, experienced and/or qualified Volunteer(s)#.
6. Ensure there are a minimum of four (4) people in each Adventurous Journey group (with a maximum of seven (7)). Groups larger than 7 should be split into smaller sub-groups.
7. Endeavour to undertake their Adventurous Journey(s) with peer group who will make decisions together.
8. Ensure both the practice and qualifying journeys are of a similar nature and duration, and are in a similar environment (but not over the same route). These journeys must be using the same mode of travel (e.g. canoeing, walking etc).
9. Undertake sufficient practice journeys to ensure that the qualifying journey is safe. At least one practice journey is required at each level of The Duke of Ed.
10. Only utilise simple self-catering accommodation (e.g. shelters, tents, hostels).
11. Ensure the qualifying Adventurous Journey meets the minimum time requirements for the chosen level of The Duke of Ed as outlined in the “Time Requirements” table below.
12. Upon completion of the practice and qualifying journeys, submit/present a journey report to their Assessor.
13. Undertake activities substantially in their own time. This means that whilst some activity may take place within school, university or work hours, most of it should occur outside of these scheduled times.
There are 3 main components of the Adventurous Journey Section:
1. preparation and training
2. practice journey(s)
3. qualifying journey(s)
These components are sequenced within the following summary process:
Initial Briefing – Sets expectations and outlines the nature of the Adventurous Journey
Preparation and Training – Ensures Participants are competent in the necessary skills to safely undertake their practice journey
Practice journey(s) – Prepares the team for their independent qualifying journey
Qualifying journey – Independent team journey
Report – Participants submit final report and Assessor gives final approval – see Log& Report Tab for details on this
Assessment is undertaken by a suitably skilled, experienced and/or qualified Volunteer# or paid external contractor who has been nominated by the Award Unit or identified by the Participant, and approved by their Award Leader, on behalf of the Award Unit. In most circumstances an Assessor should not be an immediate family member.
Assessors both help Participants set goals for their chosen activity and assess whether or not a Participant has undertaken the required effort and has strived to achieve their goals. Group activities are to be assessed with regard to each individual’s contribution to planning, execution and completion.The Assessor and Supervisor for the Adventurous Journey may be the same person, or they may be different depending on their skills/experience/qualifications.
There are two stages for the assessment of each Adventurous Journey (this means all practice and qualifying journeys):
1. Pre-approval. Approval for participation on each journey must be given by the Assessor and Award Leader before each Participant undertakes a journey.
2. Post-approval. At the completion of each journey each Participant must be assessed to ensure they have each fulfilled all the relevant requirements.
Assessors must be mindful that the journey belongs to the Participants. This essential independence safeguards the integrity of the Adventurous Journey Section of The Duke of Ed program.
Assessors are responsible for writing the final assessment report and signing off the Section which they are assessing. The frequency of the contact and monitoring between the Participant and the Assessor during the planning and actual journeys will depend on the activity and the age/level of independence of the Participant.
Each Participant is to be monitored and assessed by their Assessor for:
A Participant satisfies the requirements of the Adventurous Journey Section if the Assessor is satisfied that:
i. The Participant’s commitment was substantially in their own time outside of school, university or work hours.
ii. The Participant has met the preparation and training requirements, completed at least one practice journey and has completed their qualifying journey.
iii. progress has been made based upon the Participant’s initial knowledge and ability, and the Participant has strived to meet their goals and achieve the Adventurous Journey purpose.
iv. Minimum hours and time requirements have been met.
v. An appropriate qualifying journey report has been submitted/presented.
1. Decide whether you want to undertake an expedition, exploration or adventurous project.
2. If you are undertaking an expedition or exploration, form a small team.
3. If you are planning an adventurous project submit your proposal, in conjunction with your Award Leader, to your State/Territory Award Operating Authority for review.
4. With the guidance of your Award Leader, identify your Assessor(s) and Supervisor(s). They must be suitably skilled, experienced and/or qualified and be approved by your Award Leader before you can undertake any Duke of Ed activities with them.
5. Define the purpose for your journey. Please note for expeditions and explorations, each member of the team may have different purposes to pursue.
6. Plan your journey with your Assessor(s) and/or Supervisor(s). At this stage, the required preparation and training will be determined by your Assessor/Supervisor.
Please note that some training is usually required depending on your level of skill and experience.
7. Seek approval from your Award Leader.
8. Undertake relevant preparation and training. Your Assessor(s) and Award Leaders are there to guide you on what training is required.
9. If you are under 18 years of age obtain your parents/guardians written consent prior to departing on each Adventurous Journey.
10. Please note that at least one practice journey must be undertaken, and in some cases more than one is required. If you have started your Award at Silver or Gold levels, you may need to undertake two or three practice journeys prior to your qualifying journey. Please discuss this with your Assessor(s) and Award Leader.
12. Review your practice journey(s) and plan and prepare for your qualifying journey with your Assessor(s) and Award Leader.
14. Keep logs for each of your journeys. The qualifying journey log is used to compile your qualifying journey report. See Log&Report; tab for more information.
15. Once you have completed your qualifying journey and submitted/presented your qualifying journey report, ask your Assessor to complete their final assessment in your Record Book.
16. Remember, your Award Leader and Assessor(s) are there to guide you and help with any questions you have along the way, so don’t be afraid to ask!
17. Once you have completed all your Sections, submit your Record Book to your Award Leader for final Assessment of your Award.
It is a requirement of The Duke of Ed, that Participants keep a log during both their practice and their qualifying journeys. A log is comprised of field notes/records taken during the journey
Participants then use their log to compile and submit/present a report of their qualifying journey to their Adventurous Journey Assessor. The report is the final requirement of the Adventurous Journey Section and may be written or be presented in more than one medium. For example, the report could be verbally presented together with documentation, or be in a multi-media format (e.g. video diary, slide presentation or photo essay). It is preferable that the format and the expected standard of the report be agreed upon with the Assessor prior to the commencement of the journey, i.e. in the planning stages. The report may be completed on an individual or group basis.
Suggested information to include in the qualifying journey report:
1. Route/Map – showing route, a route plan, meal stops, check or rendezvous points and camp sites.
2. Equipment List – together with comments on equipment taken which was inappropriate or not needed; and equipment not taken but which would have been helpful; details of any repairs or maintenance required.
3. Clothing List – with comments as for equipment (see above).
4. Food List – including menus and comments on adequacy of rations.
5. Comprehensive Description of the Journey – to include:
- feelings about the trip – experiences regarding teamwork (e.g. morale, leadership, decision-making), personal reflections (including strengths, weaknesses, concerns and accomplishments, highs, lows and what you may have learnt about yourself)
- adequacy of campsites, water supply etc
- observations such as vegetation and animal/bird life experienced
- information – historical, botanical, geographical, cultural, scenic etc
- any other matter relating to the trip and its organisation
- any noteworthy observations or events
6. Information regarding any incidents that may have occurred during your adventurous journey – such as change of route from the initial plan, unexpected weather impact, equipment failure, illness or injury to any group member and what action was taken to deal with this incident
7. Supporting Evidence – sketches, detailed maps, photos, video, clippings, etc.
Submission/presentation of an appropriate Qualifying Journey report is the final requirement of the Adventurous Journey Section.
Prior to undertaking any activities, please refer to The Duke of Ed insurance policies available under resources
– Horse riding
– Cross country skiing
– Scientific/Geographic explorations
– Historical/Cultural trips
– Flora/Fauna studies
– Mapping shipwrecks
– Exploration of old cemeteries in a region
– Experience and understand other languages/cultures
Adventurous Project Ideas (Gold Only)
Note: Adventurous project proposals must first be approved by the Award Leader (on behalf of the Award Unit), and usually also submitted to the State/Territory Award Operating Authority for a determination of suitability prior to departure. Please contact
your State/Territory Award Operating Authority for further information.
Popular examples of adventurous projects that have an element of expedition and community development are:
– Climbing an Andean, Himalayan or other high mountainous peak
– Following a trail of historical significance
– Retracing the path of an early explorer
– Geological survey in Central Australia
– Archaeological dig in remote areas
– Studying ecosystems in a remote area
Inappropriate Adventurous Journeys
Going on a family camping trip or a family holiday is not considered to be an acceptable Adventurous Journey. Such trips rarely meet the Adventurous Journey requirements. Please contact your State/Territory Award Operating Authority for further information prior to considering a family trip.
This part should be read in conjunction with Chapter 2 of this Handbook (2.2.3 “Supervisors”)
The safety of Participants is paramount when selecting, planning, preparing and supervising an Adventurous Journey. To help ensure this, all journeys (practice and qualifying) must be supervised by an adult who is suitably skilled, experienced and/or qualified (the Supervisor) with respect to the journey (form of travel, terrain, age group) to be undertaken. The Supervisor must be approved by The Duke of Ed Award Leader and therefore the Award Unit, prior to any Adventurous Journey(s) commencing.