The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

As well as our guide below, take a look at this video to see how your horizons could be broadened by doing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

1. What is the DofE Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is an adventure and volunteering programme for people aged between 14 and 24.

You complete activities in 4 categories:

  • volunteering
  • physical
  • skills
  • expedition
  • residential (Gold Award only)

You'll find yourself helping people, getting fitter and learning new skills.

It's an award that’s highly valued by employers, colleges and universities.

Find out more about the award on the official Duke of Edinburgh’s Award website or visit DofE on Facebook. You can also read DofE stories to learn about what other participants have done, and how the scheme has affected their lives.

2. Age groups

There are 3 award levels to choose from: 

  • Bronze – if you are aged 14 or older
  • Silver – if you are aged 15 or older
  • Gold – if you are aged 16 or older

You'll have to decide which level to take depending on your age and the time you can commit. 

Check the timescales

3. Sign up in Westminster

First, you need to find your local DofE centre. This may be in your school, college or youth group.

Find your local DofE centre

If you're not part of a school, college or youth group, contact the Westminster City Council DofE leader:

John Nolan
Duke of Edinburgh's Awards
Westminster City Council
Telephone: 020 7641 4030
Text: 0793 931 9402
jnolan@westminster.gov.uk

Enrol

Fill in the enrolment form 

Return it to your DofE centre with the fee (details are on the form).

You'll then receive your welcome pack.

Cost

Our cost sheet tells you the price of enrolment and how much the expeditions cost.

Check the cost sheet 

Log your activities

You can record all your DofE activities online. Your DofE centre can help you to register, and there's also a user guide.

Log your activities with eDofE 

4. Volunteering

This will be something which uses your time to benefit groups of people or individuals. This can include activities such as volunteering in a charity shop, peer mentoring or supporting other students within your school, college or youth club.

Volunteer in Westminster

5. Physical

Take part in a sport or physical activity that will help to keep you fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle e.g. dance classes, gym or any form of sports or fitness classes.

Play sport in your area

6. Skills

Learn or develop a skill that interests and benefits you. This can be learning a musical instrument, a language, photography, art, ICT, mechanics etc.

Your DofE leader will be able to help you with suggestions. 

7. Expeditions

A DofE programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from; you just need to be aged 14 to 24 and realise there’s a world full of adventure waiting for you.

Join our next DofE expedition course to meet new people, make friends, gain new experiences, learn new skills, challenge yourself and get away from your daily routine.

Expedition section

To complete your expedition section, you must first complete a training programme relevant to your level followed by sufficient practice expeditions to hone your skills.

After you've completed your training, you must then plan and undertake a qualifying expedition. The length of your expedition depends on the level you are completing.

How long does my expedition need to be?

Each participant must complete training, a practice expedition and a qualifying expedition. The table below shows the minimum amount of time required for the qualifying expedition for each level. Scroll down for more Westminster expeditions in 2018.

Expedition steps Bronze Silver Gold
Training and preparation 6 hours 6 hours 6 hours
Practice expedition 2 days, 1 night 3 days, 2 nights 4 days, 3 nights
Assessment preparation 3 hours 3 hours 8 hours
Qualifying expedition 2 days, 1 night 3 days, 2 nights 4 days, 3 nights (+1 day)
Presentation Half hour Half hour Half hour

Expeditions

Introduction to Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition weekend (optional)

A 2 day expedition in the North Downs. This weekend is designed for people who would like to do their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award expedition, but have limited experience of Duke of Edinburgh expeditions or feel a bit rusty and would like to improve their knowledge and experience before embarking on the gold practice expedition in wild country. 

23 to 25 March 2018

Meet at East Grinstead train station

£85

Gold expedition programme

​£475 including all transfers in area, camp fees and hire of specialist equipment (excluding transport cost to locations and food).

Activity When Where Price
Pre-expedition training session 5.30pm to 9pm, 27 June 2018 London  
5 day practice expedition 2 to 6 July 2018 Brecon Beacons, departing from Merthyr Tydfil £250
2 x preparation and assessment planning sessions 12 to 19 July 2018    
5 day assessed expedition 29 August to 3 September 2018 Snowdonia £250

Silver expedition programme

£295 including all transfers in area, camp fees and hire of specialist equipment (excluding transport cost to locations and food).

Activity When Where
Training session 9am to 4pm, 10 March 2017

Canalside Activity Centre, Canal Close, Ladbroke Grove W10 5AY

Practice expedition 23 to 25 March 2017 North Downs
Assessment expedition 13 to 15 April 2017 North Downs

Bronze expedition programme

£195 including all transfers in area, camp fees and hire of specialist equipment (excluding transport cost to locations and food).

Activity When Where
Training session 9am to 4pm, 10 March 2017

Canalside Activity Centre, Canal Close, Ladbroke Grove W10 5AY

Practice expedition 23 to 25 March 2017 North Downs
Assessment expedition 13 to 15 April 2017 North Downs

Book your place

To book, contact John Nolan, Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, Westminster City Council.

Telephone: 020 7641 4030
Text: 0793 931 9402
jnolan@westminster.gov.uk

Organise your expedition

You'll need to form a team and plan and organise your trip beforehand:

Expedition kit

Things not to bring (the 'List of Shame')

Equipment list

Expedition FAQs

8. Residential (Gold Award only)

If you are a gold participant, you have to complete a residential project which requires you to:

  • spend at least 5 consecutive days away from home 
  • work and stay with people you do not know beforehand
  • learn or volunteer 
  • be part of an organised project
Last updated 15 September 2017