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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

Recognising Achievement

It is important that participation in the programme is recognised and rewarded and there are a number of ways this can be achieved. It is not intended that the programme must has a formal ‘awards’ time, but that young people gain recognition for their participation in the programme as a whole.  


Core Activity Awards

The core awards for the Senior age group are the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards. The table below gives information about the award scheme and the number of activities from each of the 6 Activity Areas required for each of the Awards. There is no minimum requirement in terms of time for a single activity to be completed, but that members fully participate in the chosen activity.

Remember that activities should be programme led, not awards driven.

With no set levels of attainment for the activities for the Core Activity Awards, no external controls are to be applied. The level of achievement will vary for each individual according to their ability and age. During a young person’s time in the age group their level of skill is likely to vary greatly. The onus is on the leaders to ensure that they are fully participating and developing at an appropriate pace.

All the Activity Awards involve completing a minimum number of activities in each Activity Area as well as 4 additional ‘Free Choice’ activities from across the Activity Areas encouraging a balanced and varied programme, but also providing some local flexibility. With the ‘Free Choice’ activities young people may choose which additional activities they wish to do, perhaps those they enjoy most, or which give them new challenges. Companies may also decide to concentrate on particular activities that reflect the skills of the leaders, equipment available or meeting space.

Awards including badges and certificates can be purchased from BB Supplies and certificates can also be downloaded:


Membership Award

The Membership Award is to be presented to new members to the age group once they have completed one activity in at least 3 Activity Areas and being introduced/inducted into the age group. Ideas for how members are introduced/ inducted into the age group will be provided through ‘Essentials’ Activity Cards which can be found on the Programme Hub, although the actual requirements for this are for the local Company to decide.


Staged Awards

The Staged Awards build on the Core Activity Awards, as additional (optional) awards that run across both the Company and Seniors age groups. There are 18 Staged Awards, which are all linked to one of the 6 Activity Areas found in the programme, continuing the focus on providing a balanced programme with a wide range of opportunities.

Check out the Staged Awards including the requirements for each award.

Whilst the Core Activity Awards are based on recognising participation in the programme, the Staged Awards take things a step further with young people completing awards based on a set syllabus. The syllabus for each award sets out elements to be completed for each award. Each Staged Award has 4 levels, with Level 1 being an introduction and developing through to Level 4. Young People will be able to work towards any number of staged awards at any one time. 

The Staged Awards can be linked to our Major Awards (President’s & Queen’s Badge) and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to help encourage participation in those awards.

Certificates will recognise completion of Levels 1 and 2, with badges recognising completion of Levels 3 and 4.

Download Staged Award Certificate – Standard / Editable (PDF)


Major Awards

The President’s and Queen’s Badges are the two major awards in the Seniors age group. These awards bring together a young person’s achievements in the Company and Senior age groups and their BB journey as a whole.

Both awards require young people to spend time working towards the award, including completing elements such as volunteering, skills development and leadership. Both awards can also be linked into the DofE award. Find out more about how to gain The President’s Badge and The Queen’s Badge.


Nights Away Awards

The Nights Away Awards, in partnership with PGL, recognise and encourage overnight experiences, a key part of the programme and overall BB journey.

The Nights Away awards operate across all age groups (except Anchors who are not permitted to take part in residentials) with members moving up through the awards which range from 1 to 100 nights.

The awards available are for 1/3/5/10/20/30/40/50/75/100 nights away. Awards can be presented at anytime during the session. Leaders are encouraged to count up any nights away already accumulated in previous sessions before presenting the first award.

Nights Away Awards can be purchased from BB Supplies



The NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) system can be used to recognise those young people that are taking on specific roles and increasing their responsibility within the age group. It can be an opportunity to develop young leaders who can support leaders in planning and leading the programme. NCO’s might take responsibility for a Team or Squad within the age group. When selecting young people for promotion you should not only consider how long they have been in the Company and what they have done, but also their potential for the future.

Brigade regulations state the ages at which young people can be promoted as:

  • Lance Corporal – Year 10 (England), Secondary 3 (Scotland), Year 11 (NI), Year 10 (Wales), 3rd Year (ROI).
  • Corporal – Year 11 (England), Secondary 4 (Scotland), Year 12 (NI), Year 11 (Wales), 4th Year (ROI).
  • Sergeant – Year 12 (England), Secondary 5 (Scotland), Year 13 (NI), Year 12 (Wales), 5th Year (ROI).

NCO Chevrons (badges) can be purchased from BB Supplies and appointment certificates can be downloaded below:


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Young people can start working towards The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from the start of the session in which they attain their 14th birthday.

  • Bronze – for those aged 14+ years (young people may begin working towards a Bronze Award at the beginning of Year 9 in England & Wales, S2 in Scotland, Y10 in Northern Ireland)
  • Silver – for those aged 15+ years (young people may begin working towards a Silver Award at the beginning of Year 10 in England & Wales, S3 in Scotland, Y11 in Northern Ireland)
  • Gold – for those aged 16+ years (young people must have attained their 16th birthday to begin working towards a Gold Award)

Many Companies provide the opportunity for young people to work towards The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Seniors Programme helps support them in doing so. Young people can work towards DofE awards through the participation in the Seniors programme, especially when working towards the Staged Awards or Major Awards. The President’s Badge and Queen’s Badge have some similar requirements which can result in young people achieving both awards. Many Companies who link their programme to DofE find this nationally recognised award offers an additional incentive to young people both in terms of recruitment and retention.

You can find more support for leaders on running DofE here.


Moving On

When a young person reaches the end of the time in the Seniors Age Group, it also signals the end of their journey as a young person in the organisation. At this time you could present them with this certificate to acknowledge this. There of course are opportunities for a young person to consider moving into leadership and registering as a leader.

Certificates can be downloaded: