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


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.


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:

  • for bronze you must do a 2-day qualifying expedition
  • for silver you must do a 3-day qualifying expedition
  • for gold you must do a 4-day qualifying expedition

Open award will be running a fast track bronze open award expedition which involves 3 pre-training sessions, 5 days residential, 2 days practical expedition training, 1 day preparation and team activity and 2 days assessment journey. All for just £250

Want to do your silver expedition? You can join the course to meet all the prerequisites to do your Silver Assessment in spring 2016 (Complete Silver Programme £350)

Training date Session Location
Thursday 6 October, 5pm to 7pm  Bronze and Silver
(Expedition Training 1)
Canalside Activity Centre,
Canal Close,
Ladbroke Grove,
W10 5AY
Thursday 13 October, 5pm to 7pm Bronze and Silver
(Expedition Training 2)
Friday 21 October, 4pm to 6pm Bronze and Silver
(Expedition Training 3)
Saturday 22 to Wednesday 26 October 2016 5-day Bronze fast track expedition -practice and qualifying expedition

South Downs, near Lewes


Saturday 22 to Wednesday 26 October 2016 5-day Silver expeditions training and practice expedition South Downs, near Lewes
Saturday 8 to Monday 10 April 2017 Silver qualifying expedition North Downs, near East Grinstead

Book your place

To book, contact:

John Nolan
Duke of Edinburgh's Awards Westminster City Council
Telephone: 020 7641 4030
Text: 0793 931 9402

Organise your expedition

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

How to plan and organise your expedition

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 March 2017