Mobile navigation

What is involved in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a voluntary, non-competitive and flexible programme of cultural and adventurous activities for all young people aged between 14 and 25 years old, whatever their background or ability.

Guided principles of the award

The Award Mission and Guiding Principles

Dofe Guiding Principles

What is the DofE all about?

The award sections and levels

A DofE Award is a four section programme with three progressive levels:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

The sections at all levels involve:

  • Volunteering (undertaking services to individuals or the community)
  • Skills (developing practical and social skills and personal interests)
  • Physical (improving in an area of sport, dance or physical fitness)
  • Expeditions (planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad either by foot, cycle, horseback, or water)
  • Residential (a project at Gold level only, which involves staying and working away from home and doing a shared activity)

The award timescales

Participants must commit to completing each section in accordance with the stipulated timescale for that level - as explained in the table and link below.  These timescales are based on a minimum commitment of one hour per week - eg at Bronze the minimum participation for volunteering is one hour per week for 3 months.

Dofe Timescales

The minimum periods of participation for each level of The Award (and for both direct entrants and previous DofE Award holders) are also detailed in the table below:

dofe participation times

Award Level and Timescale Information

Age requirements

There is a minimum age requirement for participating at each level of The Award:

  • Bronze - 14 years
  • Silver - 15 years
  • Gold - 16 years

The maximum age limit for completing all awards is 25 years old.

The award process

Activities for each section


  • Participants research what they want to do for each section
  • Discussion with unit leader/adult helpers to assist participant to establish aims and training requirements, set realistic goals, and discuss how to record progress


  • Training may be required prior to undertaking a section
  • Training is essential for Expedition section and is organised through each group
  • Any training requirements (costs, details etc) should be established in the 'Preparation Phase' and discussed with unit leader/adult helper
  • Training time can count towards the minimum period of participation


  • For each section participants must commit to the minimum period of participation for the specific level of The Award (see The Award Timescales)
  • Participants will regularly meet with unit leader to review their progress and discuss any issues
  • Participants will regularly upload evidence of their activity using activity logs and eDofE


  • Each section is assessed by a competent assessor who reviews evidence, goal setting and challenges overcome
  • An assessor report is completed for each section
  • Volunteering
  • Skills
  • Physical
  • Residential
Last modified on 09 August 2019

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon email icon


print icon