The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-24. Doing their DofE gives young people the opportunity to experience new activities or develop existing skills.

There are three progressive levels of programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to a bronze, silver or gold award. Young people create their own DofE programme by choosing volunteering, physical and skills activities, going on an expedition and, for their gold only, taking part in a residential activity.

Within Scouting, this links directly to the chief scout’s platinum, diamond and Queen’s scout awards.


The aim of this section is to encourage volunteering, and is based on the belief that members of the community have a responsibility to each other. Young people should receive briefing and training in appropriate skills, and have some knowledge of the needs of those whom they are assisting.

Although the specific benefits depend on the choice of activity, the volunteering section should offer the participants the opportunity to:

  • give personal commitment
  • appreciate the needs of others and contribute to their well-being
  • trust and be trusted
  • understand personal strengths and weaknesses
  • increase self-esteem
  • overcome prejudice and fears
  • generate positive community action
  • care for the environment
  • accept responsibility


The aim of this section is to encourage the discovery and development of practical and social skills and personal interests. It should encourage young people to pursue activities within a wide range of practical, cultural and social environments and develop social, life and vocational skills.

The skills section should offer participants the opportunity to:

  • develop practical and social skills
  • meet new people
  • organise and manage time
  • discover how to research information
  • set and respond to challenge
  • work with others
  • enjoy sharing
  • discover new talents


The aim of this section is to encourage participation and improvement in a physical activity. The physical section should provide opportunities to:

  • enjoy keeping fit
  • improve fitness
  • discover new abilities
  • raise self-esteem
  • extend personal goals
  • respond to a challenge
  • derive a sense of achievement


The aim of the expeditions section is to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery. All ventures involve self-reliant journeying in the countryside or on water, conceived with an aim and undertaken on foot, by cycle, on horseback, or in canoes or boats by participants’ own physical effort and without motorised assistance.

The expeditions section should provide opportunities to:

  • demonstrate enterprise
  • work as a member of a team
  • respond to a challenge
  • develop self-reliance
  • develop leadership skills
  • recognise the needs and strengths of others
  • make decisions and accept the consequences
  • plan and execute a task
  • reflect on personal performance
  • enjoy and appreciate the countryside


The aim of this section is to broaden young peoples’ experience through involvement with others in a residential setting. The residential project should give the young people the opportunity to:

  • meet new people
  • experience an unfamiliar environment
  • build new relationships and show concern for others
  • work as part of a team towards shared goals
  • accept responsibility for self and others
  • develop communication skills
  • show initiative
  • enjoy living and working with others

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