Duke of Edinburgh Award

“I’ve used DofE to take me everywhere from the Scottish Highlands to the USA to South Africa and gained lifelong friends and unique memories all along the way. Currently I’m just waiting on an expedition to complete my Gold award. I’m studying Civil Engineering and hope to take this into my Army career. Outside of DofE I enjoy the outdoors, fitness and partying. The past year has been, I think we can all agree very strange, but my hope is that when restrictions are lifted we can all go away to somewhere new and have a blast completing our awards together on an expedition!”

Finn Corcoran

About the Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised programme where participants can gain recognition for extra-curricular activities that contribute to personal and skill development. The programme is open to anyone under the age of 25 – there are three different levels you can take part in, Bronze, Silver or Gold.

There are five sections to the programme:

  • Volunteering – undertaking voluntary service to individuals or the local community
  • Skill – developing practical and social skills and personal interests
  • Physical – improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities
  • Expedition – planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad
  • Residential – At Gold level, participants must complete an extra Residential section – which involves staying and working away from home, completing a shared activity.

Why do the DofE?

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great way of achieving recognition for your achievements outside of your degree. DofE holders use their Award to illustrate their achievements on job application forms and CVs.

Skill Development

In an August 2014 survey, DofE participants said they improved the following skills:

  • Team work (91%)
  • Communication (75%)
  • Problem solving (59%)
  • Self-management (55%)

Employability

In a 2014 report, the D of E programme found that over 93% of DofE participants were confident that their experiences would help them find a job. 

Employers tell us that there are certain skills they look for when recruiting, such as team working and resilience, both of which individuals demonstrate by achieving a DofE Award. It can help young candidates stand out to potential employers, particularly when applying for entry level positions.

Peter Cheese, Director of CIPD; the professional body for HR and personal development

Requirements

ComponentBronzeSilverGold
Volunteering3 months6 months12 months
Skill3 monthsOne section for 6 months, the other for 3 months​One section for 12 months, the other for 6 months​
Physical3 monthsOne section for 6 months, the other for 3 months​One section for 12 months, the other for 6 months​
Expedition2 days, 1 night​3 days, 2 nights. At least 7 hours of planned activity each day​3 days, 2 nights. At least 7 hours of planned activity each day
Residential​Shared activity away from home for 4 nights and 5 days with people you don’t know
Notes All Bronze participants must undertake a further 3 months in any of these three sections to a total of 6 monthsSilver participants who have not achieved their Bronze Award must undertake a further 6 months in either the volunteering or the longer of the skills and physical sectionsGold participants (who have not completed their Bronze or Silver) must undertake a further 6 months in either the volunteering or the longer of the skills and physical sections

Costs

All those who wish to take part in the DofE programme must buy a ‘Participation Place’ – these cost £27 for Bronze or Silver and £35 for Gold (this cost includes postage). Once you’ve paid, you will receive:

  • A Welcome Pack
  • DofE Reward Card (15% off at Cotswold Outdoor)
  • An Achievement Pack
  • Limited personal accident insurance for DofE activities
  • Your certificate and badge once you have completed all sections
  • An invitation to a Gold Award presentation ceremony (Gold level only)

After that, the costs are up to you – how much it costs will depend on the activities you choose to do.  When it comes to the Expedition section you can ask around and borrow items to keep the costs down.

Get Started

If you’re ready to sign up or just want to find out more about the DofE scheme, get in touch with Ian on i.handy@surrey.ac.uk.