Registered Charity No. XT38066

nireland college of piping

City East Business Centre, 68-72 Newtownards Rd, Belfast, BT4 1GW   |  Telephone: 028 90941659

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EST. 1980

DofE and CCEA







You can use your progress within the school to qualify for achievement in the Skills Section of the Award – Bronze, Silver or Gold

Speak to your tutor and ask for a separate leaflet for detailed information.



QCF (Qualifications Credit Framework) has 3 distinct Qualifications:

Award – Certificate – Diploma


The School can now enter you for CCEA Performance Skills at Levels 1 & 2.


CCEA Performance Skills Level 1 Award (QCF) is equivalent to GCSE (D-E)

CCEA Performance Skills Level 2 Certificate (QCF) is equivalent to GCSE (A*-C)

This Qualification meets the Entitlement Framework.


There are plans to seek to introduce a Level 3 Diploma in the near future.


You will receive supervision within the School at both of the centres (Lisburn and Enniskillen).


The requirements are Diary, Portfolio and Performance. There is no set Examination.


A Solo Performance is not compulsory. You may be assessed in class at the school, in group playing or at your Band Practice.


Consult your Tutor who will arrange for you to be given a Personal Supervisor.







There are three levels of programme



Once successfully completed these lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.    


The main differences between them are the minimum length of time it takes to complete them, how challenging it is and the minimum age you can start.


Depending on your age, you are free to start at any level but most people prefer to try for Bronze and work upwards.   There are age restrictions for each one so it makes sense to build yourself up rather than dive in at the deep end.


You have until your 25th birthday to complete whichever level you’re working on and achieve an Award.


The table below shows the different overall age restrictions and time requirements for each level.
















You achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you're going for Gold).  These sections are:

• Volunteering - helping someone, your community or the environment

• Physical - becoming fitter through sport, dance or fitness activities

• Skills - developing existing talents or trying something new

• Expedition - planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey

• Residential (Gold only) - staying and working away from home as part of a team


The length of time you have to spend on each section depends on the level of Award you're doing.  


You can complete your SKILLS Section at the NIPDS




The Skills section – why do it?


Developing a skill helps you get better at something you are really interested in and gives you the confidence and ability to use this skill both now and later in life.





How long should I do activity for the Skills section?



1 Term or 2 Terms

You must do one section, chosen from Skills, Physical and Volunteering, for 6 months (2 terms), and the others for three months (1 term).  



1 Term to 4 Terms

You need to do either Skills or Physical for 6 months (2 terms) and the other for three months (1 term)


If you have not achieved Bronze, you must extend either your Volunteering, or the longer of two sections above, to 12 months (4 terms)



4 Terms to 6 Terms

You need to do either Skills or Physical for 12 months (4 terms) and the other for six months (2 terms)


If you have not achieved Silver, you must extend either your Volunteering, or the longer of above, to 18 months (6 terms)


                                                                                    The NIPDS is an

                                            Associate College of The College of Piping, Glasgow

                                                           Funded by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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