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D of E Award

Approximately 70,000 volunteers share their skills, enthusiasm and time to help guide the participants through their Awards, learning new skills and making friends.

D of E Award…

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a registered charity, is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-25.

It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake exciting, constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time. Just over 7% of those in the UK aged 14- 24 participate in the Award, through Award Groups in youth clubs, voluntary organisations, Open Award Centres, schools, colleges, young offender institutes and businesses. At any one time, around 350,000 participants are joining in with the Award in the UK alone, with over 200,000 taking up its challenge each year. Approximately 70,000 volunteers share their skills, enthusiasm and time to help guide the participants through their Awards, learning new skills and making friends themselves along the way.

Levels & Sections

There are three separate Awards – Bronze, Silver and Gold with different minimum starting ages and periods of participation. At each level there are four Sections:

  • Volunteering – to encourage service to individuals and the community
  • Skills – to encourage the discovery and development of personal interests and social and practical skills
  • Physical – to encourage participation and improvement in physical activity
  • Expeditions – to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery

There is an additional requirement at Gold level:

  • Residential – to broaden experience through involvement with others in a residential setting.

Where does this fit in with Scouting?

The progressive training awards to be gained within the Explorer Scout and Scout Network sections have been specifically designed to include the corresponding level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Thus the Chief Scout’s Platinum Award contains the following requirement: Hold the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or complete the four Platinum Scout Challenges, which are:

  • take up a Skill for three months, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be an existing interest or something entirely new.
  • take up a Physical Activity for three months, completing an agreed programme of taking part and achievement.
  • provide Service to an individual or the community for three months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills. This can include helping with another Section as a Young Leader.
  • complete a two day and one night expedition in rural country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy. The expedition should involve careful preparation, training, responsibility and review.

Members must undertake an extra three months in any of the Skills, Physical Recreation or Service Challenges.

The four bullet points and time periods correspond exactly to the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award requirements (see later). Similar requirements are found in Chief Scout’s Diamond Award corresponding to the Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and in the Queen’s Scout Award corresponding to the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Thus whilst the Scouting Awards may be gained without participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will always count towards your Scouting Awards. The extra resources available to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (especially the Expedition section) can thus be used to help you complete your Scouting Awards. Also, you get another Nationally recognised Award without any extra effort, you can wear your highest Duke of Edinburgh’s Award badge on your uniform, and if you get as far as the Gold Award, the Award ceremony usually takes place in one of the Royal Palaces.

Minimum Ages

The minimum ages of entry are as follows:

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

Subject to the above minimum ages, entry into the Programme may be at Bronze, Silver or Gold level. Discretion is given to Licensed Organisations (also known as Operating Authorities) to permit those who are too young to enter the Bronze Award but who are part of a larger group aged 14 years and above to make a start with their friends. This discretion is primarily intended for those who plan their activities on a group basis. Group Leaders must be satisfied that participants are sufficiently mature to undertake the Bronze Programme. Licensed Organisations may permit those who have completed the Bronze Award to make a start on the Silver Award before their 15th birthday without imposing an artificial delay. No activity can count towards the Gold Award before the 16th birthday.

Entry into the Award

Young people enter the Award when they enrol with a Licensed Organisation. Hertfordshire Scouts acts as an award Licensed Organisation on behalf of The Scout Association.

Entry Packs and eDofE

An Entry Pack is issued to participants by a Licensed Organisation on enrolment in the Award. The Entry Pack contains background information on the Award, ideas of activities for each Section and advice on planning activities and recording progress and achievement. Progress in the Award should be recorded in the web based eDofE. Entry into the eDofE system is via a username and password. Once entered into the system, participants can upload their choice of activities, and also data in a variety of formats showing their own progress. Once the timelines are complete, then the section can be authorised by an Award Leader. The Activity Leaflets in the Pack form a back up record of progress and outcomes through the Award, verified by the individuals who have carried out the review and assessment in each Section.

How long will it take to do an Award?

You have until your 25th birthday to complete any of the Awards but it takes at least 6 months at Bronze, 12 months at Silver and 18 months at Gold for Direct Entrants. At the higher levels of the Award the minimum timescales are reduced (by 6 months) for holders of the previous level.

Download a Duke of Edinburgh Award entry form

Download a Hertfordshire Scouts Duke of Edinburgh’s Award entry form below. Any questions, drop a line to dofe@hertfordshirescouts.org.uk

More information: DofE Scout Association leaflet