The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

What is the DofE?

A DofE programme is a real adventure. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You just need to be aged between 14 and 24.

You can do programmes at three levels:

  • Bronze(aged 14+)
  • Silver(aged 15+)
  • Gold(aged 16+)

…which lead to a Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

You achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections:

  • Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community
  • Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities
  • Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests
  • Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad
  • At Gold level, you must do an additional Residential section, which involves working and staying away from home doing a shared activity.

Time and age requirements


Minimum period of participation by:


Direct entrants

Previous Award holders


6 months



12 months

6 months


18 months

12 months

Direct entrants are young people starting their DofE programme at either Silver or Gold level, who have not achieved the previous level of Award.


Choosing activities

There is a massive choice of activities that count towards DofE programmes.  You can select practically any activity you want – as long as it’s legal and morally acceptable.

  • Activities are placed in specific sections for a reason.
  • You need to choose activities you are going to enjoy.
  • Activities could be something that you are already doing or perhaps one you’ve always wanted to try.

Think about what you want to do for each section, and check with your DofE Leader that your choices can be counted.

Use the helpful lists and category finder on

More Information

For more information or to find an award group in your area please contact :

Brian Smith

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Development Officer 

Oban Education Office
Dalintart Drive
Oban PA34 4EF

07826 918813

01631 567833