Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an internationally recognised scheme for young people to be recognised for their efforts in setting and achieving goals. It is run by many schools, colleges and youth organisations, including Scouts. As well as earning the award, you will also have completed some of the requirements for a Scout award. It still counts even if you are doing the award through your school.


Each award have 4 sections (Gold has 5) and get progressively longer and more demanding: Expedition, Skill, Physical, Volunteering, Residential. For each one you need to demonstrate that you made a regular commitment to take part and improve in whatever activity you chose. You do not have to do all the sections at the same time, and you can take as long as you need (up until your 25th birthday!)

Expedition: In a team, you must plan, practise for and them complete an expedition which can be on foot, kayaking or cycling. You must carry everything you need with you.

Skill: You can choose something that interests you such as dancing, art, photography; or will be useful for the rest of your life, like cooking, learning to drive, DIY. In general, sports do not qualify for this section.

Physical: If you already take part in a sport, then you can use this. Set yourself some goals to improve; or you can take up a new sport; or plan to improve your fitness.

Volunteering: If you are already a Young Leader, that could easily count for this section. Otherwise why not volunteer to help at Cranham, or at a charity shop, or animal rescue centre?

Residential: this is only at Gold level. You must live and work with a group of people who are new to you.

A quick guide on how to take part in the award scheme through Scouts

  1. First discuss it with your leaders.  
  2. Complete the Registration Form below and send it with the fee to the address given. You will receive an information pack and an account on the DofE website. You will be allocated to your local district DofE group.
  3. Login to the account and complete your details.
  4. Decide what activities you want to do and for each activity find someone knowledgeable, who is able to assess that you have done activity to the right standard. Discuss this with your leaders, they can help.
  5. Enter the details on your online account. Wait for it to be approved, otherwise it might not count.
  6. Add evidence that you have done each activity as you go along. This is important because your award must be approved by people who only know what you have done from your evidence.

Minimum Age 14 15 16
Skill, Physical, Volunteering (minimum requirements) 3 months each, one of them 6 months 6 months volunteering, 6 and 3 months on the others. (an extra 6 months if you have not done Bronze) 12 months volunteering, 12 and 6 months on the others. (an extra 6 months of you have not done Silver)
Expedition 2 days (1 night) 3 days (2 nights) 4 days (3 nights)
Residential No No 5 days (4 nights)
Counts towards a Scout Award Platinum Chief Scout Diamond Chief Scout Queen’s Scout

Can young people in the Scouts section start their DofE programme? 

No. Provision of the DofE programme within Scouting is only available to members in the Explorer Scout or Scout Network sections. 


What flexibility is there for starting a DofE programme? 

Within Scouting, DofE is part of the programme for Explorer Scouts and Scout Network only.
The core age range is 14 – 25; however provision is now available to start Bronze and Silver early.

For Bronze, as a minimum, the young person must be an Explorer Scout and be in the academic year in which they turn 14 years old. 
Note: Young people can transition from Scouts to Explorer Scouts from 13.5 years old.

For Silver, as a minimum, the young person must be an Explorer Scout and be in the academic year in which they turn 15 years old.

There is no flexibility for starting the Gold Award early; only activities started after a participant’s 16th birthday can count towards their Gold Award. 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has tweaked their age range after trialling a new age range in a 2 year pilot scheme. In particular, this has allowed schools that offer DofE to sign up their Bronze participants from the first day of the academic year in which they turn 14, so participants can complete the award as a peer group.

If you have any questions or problems with DofE, then please contact the County DofE Advisors 


Useful links

Other useful links

An outline of the awards, requirements and how they relate to scouting awards

The DofE website

Explorer Scout Awards