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Queen's Scout Award

The Queen's Scout Award is the top achievement for Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members and comprises of a variety of activities to complete.

The Queen's Scout Award (QSA) is linked closely to the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award and it is worth working on the two awards together.


It is strongly recommended that you read the available support materials before starting to work towards your award to make sure you fully understand what you need to do.  The materials provide more advice and guidance on the award requirements, as well as some ideas for what you could do to meet them.

Support Material for the Queen's Scout Award

To gain the award you must complete all of the following requirements before your 25th birthday.


The requirement to register nationally and back date activities up to three months for the QSA has been removed from 1 November 2018 onwards

We introduced this requirement to help put members in touch with local contacts and access support, which it achieves but we believe there is a more local solution, as nationally it has become a barrier to members achieving the award.  In order to keep the process as simple as possible we are now removing the national registration requirement and the 3 month limit to backdating activities.

For more information and FAQs please visit this page

This registration form will remain open until the 8 January 2019, and information will continue to be shared with the relevant roles during this time.


Award participants must:
• Be aged 16  or older to start the award and complete the award before your 25th birthday
• Be a member of either Explorer Scouts or Scout Network (or a combination of both) for at least 18 months to complete the award - time can only be counted from your 16th birthday.
• Be a member of Explorer Scouts or Scout Network at the time you complete the award

This means members can only start working towards and count activities undertaken in achieving the QSA from their 16th Birthday. Activities and nights away completed in achievement of the Chief Scout Platinum and Diamond Awards can be counted towards the QSA.


Complete 18 nights away as an Explorer Scout or Scout Network member, of which at least 12 must be camping.

Nights  away  used for  this  requirement  must  be  different  from nights
away  undertaken  for  one  of  the  five challenge activities (such as expedition and residential) or those used for the ICV list, but can include those nights away used for the nights away requirement of the Chief Scout’s Platinum or Chief Scout’s Diamond Awards.

Nights  away  undertaken  as  an  Explorer  Scout  Young  Leader  or  by  Scout  Network  members  who  are  also  an  adult leader in Scouting may count towards this requirement, ie a night away with a Cub Pack where you volunteer.


Complete six activities in total, two from each topic area of the ICV activities list. Click here to view the ICV list for the QSA.  A minimum of two must be from the QSA ICV list and the others from any of the QSA, or Chief Scout Platinum or Diamond ICV lists.

If you have completed your Chief Scout’s Platinum Award, you will have already done two activities and will only need to do a further four activities.

If you have completed your Chief Scout’s Diamond Award, you will have already done four activities and will only need to do a further two activities.


Complete the five Queen’s Scout Award challenges or hold the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE).

•    Skill
Take up a skill for six or 12* months, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be an existing interest or something entirely new.

•    Physical Activity
Take up a physical activity for six or 12* months, completing an agreed programme by taking part and achieving your objectives.

•    Service
Provide service to an individual or the community for 12 months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills. This may include helping with another section of the Movement as an Explorer Scout Young Leader or adult volunteer.

•    Expedition
Undertake training, a practice expedition and a four day, three night self-led
final expedition (including a project).

You should undertake training (to show you are ready to do your expedition, a practice expedition and then the final expedition).


Before you undertake any expedition you should demonstrate that you are competent in the following areas:

Undertake a minimum three-day, two-night (consecutive) self-led expedition in wild country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy.

Undertake a four-day, three-night (consecutive) self led expedition with an aim. The expedition should be completed in wild country by the same method used in your practice. Expeditions should have a minimum of eight hours of activity per day, of  which  at  least half must  be  journeying.  The  final  expedition  must  be  a  different  area  to the  practice  with  similar  conditions and ideally with the same team of people.

•    Residential
Undertake a five-day, four-night residential project in an unfamiliar environment with people that are unknown to you. This project could be environmental work, project based, service to others or personal training.

In exceptional circumstances this can be done over two consecutive  weekends as long as the activity is the same and the majority of  people are unknown to you.

*All members should complete 12 months in either the skill or the physical activity challenges.

Award participants who are not holders of the Chief Scout’s Diamond Award or Silver DofE must complete an extra six months in either the service or the longer of the skills or physical activity challenges.


Make a presentation covering all elements of your award to a suitable audience, with the aim of inspiring and motivating others to achieve the award. The presentation should be the final activity you complete.


Each  requirement  needs  to  be  signed  off  by  an  assessor,  this  is   someone  who  can  vouch  for  the  activities  you  have undertaken and provide some basic evidence (a short statement) about your participation. This is often your Explorer Leader or your  District  Scout  Network  Commissioner.  However,  assessors  can  be anyone  who  has  witnessed  the  activities  you  have undertaken for the specific requirement.

Once  you  have  completed  all  of  the  above  requirements,  a Commissioner  (appropriate to the section you  are a member of) must approve  your  award  as  complete. For more information, see the support material for this award.


Approval by the mentor or person signing off the award should be given prior to each element being undertaken. If you are unsure about whether an activity is appropriate, ask the commissioner who will sign off your award as completed.

Camping also includes other outdoor shelters, such as bivouacs and snow holes, often used in scouting activities.


In order to meet the membership requirement for this award you must be an Explorer Scout or Scout Network member at the time that you register for the award, for at least 18 months from this date, and at the time you complete the award.

Ideally you should be a member throughout the period from registration to completion of the award. However, it is accepted that you may take a break from working towards the award (for example if moving to go to university) and restart it at a later date. In this circumstance you could also have a break in your membership (but any activities undertaken during this time cannot count towards your award).

It is important to note that the completion of the award is defined as the time the final requirement (the presentation) is signed off. If you are aged 18 or over on this date you must be a Network member, and your form must be signed off by the County Scout Network Commissioner. This is the case even if you completed the majority of the award while an Explorer Scout.

An award does not have to be completed before activities can count for the next award. For example, if you have completed the expedition element of your Chief Scout’s Diamond Award but not the rest of the award, you can begin the expedition section of the Queen’s Scout Award as long as you are over the age of 16 and have registered for the Queen’s Scout Award.

The minimum time requirements for each section are expressed in months, during which you need to undertake a regular commitment averaging at least an hour a week.

If you want to change activities during an award, this is possible, although on one occasion only. It is also possible to take a break from an activity and then to restart from where you stopped. This could happen during a period of school, college or university exams.

CREST AWARDS                                                                                              Young people could complete a Gold CREST project for their skill challenge. For more information about CREST Awards, click here.

Each  young  person  who  participates  in  the  Programme,  including  badges  and  awards,  should  face  a  similar  degree  of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s abilities.

The Queen’s Scout Award is based on personal best effort rather than fixed standards, and should be available to all members of Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network. This may mean that for some individuals, the requirements of the award need to be adapted to ensure that they face the same degree of challenge as other participants.

Where additional needs have to be taken into account, it is acceptable to adjust some of the activities to make them more accessible. You should work with your mentor to discuss any adaptations, and make sure that any adaptations have been approved by the commissioner who will sign off your award. As every set of individual circumstances will be different, it is left to the discretion of the relevant commissioner to make any adaptations to the activities, including the expedition requirement.

For more information on how to include someone with additional needs in Scouting, visit scouts.org.uk/diversity.  You can also email
programme@scouts.org.uk with specific queries.


The QSWP is a national Scout Active Support Unit and membership only open to those who have gained their Queen's Scout Award. More information about the QSWP and how to join can be found on their website.

The Queen's Scout Working Party website (external link)

The transition period for the pre 2015 QSA requirements has concluded and all awards will be granted on completion of the above requirements only.

Reviewed: 9/8/19


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