The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is an internationally recognised challenge for members aged 14 to 24

Impress potential employers and universities with an achievement they know and respect

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14 to 24. Girlguiding has joined forces with DofE so you can complete this fantastic challenge as part of your guiding experience.

DofE fits in closely with many of the other awards and qualifications available to you through guiding, in particular the Queen’s Guide Award. There are three progressive levels of the award - Bronze, Silver and Gold - that vary in length and commitment.

For each level you need to undertake four sections; volunteering, physical, skills-development and an expedition. For the Gold level you will also need to take part in a residential event.

The best part of my DofE was doing my expedition to Greenland, crossing glaciers and seeing the Nothern lights - Hope, 18

Why should I get involved?

The DofE programme operates in over 100 countries, and is recognised by potential employers and universities as a mark of real personal development and achievement. The programme is balanced and develops you as a whole person - mind, body and soul - in an environment of social interaction and teamwork.

Activities within the DofE programme can also be matched with those you are already doing in guiding so you can get more than one award for the challenges that you complete.

Completing my DofE Gold Award was a challenge that changed my life. The highlight was attending the world Scout Jamboree as my residential. - Ellen, 22

What does it entail?

DofE has three levels.

  • Bronze - for those aged 14 and over taking at least six months to complete.
  • Silver - for those aged 15 and over taking at least 12 months for direct entrants (those without Bronze Awards).
  • Gold - for those aged 16 and over taking at least 18 months for direct entrants (those without Silver Awards).

You can decide which levels you complete and in what order, as long as you meet the minimum age requirement.

You must complete the levels you choose to work towards before your 25th birthday. This is different from the age for other awards and qualification in The Senior Section.

Information for Leaders

Leaders who want to support girls in their units to complete DofE awards should contact their County DofE Adviser (or Country/Region DofE Adviser) to find out more. Visit the DofE website for programme details.

Expeditions

For expeditions, all participants under 18 must have written permission to take part.

Here are the required forms your groups will need to use for their expeditions.

Girlguiding Green Form

This is used for all Girlguiding DofE practice and assessed expeditions at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Our Green Form replaces the DofE Green Form (DofE Expedition Notification Form for Expeditions in DofE Wild Country).

DofE Blue Form

This is used to notify DofE that a group - of any DofE level - is organising either an unaccompanied practice or a qualifying expedition outside of the UK.

DofE Red Form

This is used for expeditions taking place in the Peak District. The red form needs to be completed in addition to the Girlguiding Green Form and sent to both the Peak District Assessor Network and your DofE Home County Advisor.

Instructor qualifications

If you're training girls to go on a DofE expedition, make sure you have followed the DofE Expedition Training Framework for the relevant Award level and the DofE Expedition Guide.

You must have additional experience and/or qualifications depending on the type of expedition the girls you're supervising are going on, for example, whether they’re walking, cycling or canoeing. You must also be qualified and competent to supervise travel in their chosen environment – check our countryside classification for more details.

Check by using the Activity Finder to search for your mode of transport or activity type.

DofE participants who are not members of Girlguiding

Non-members of Girlguiding may volunteer for Girlguiding to fulfill the 'Volunteering' section of their DofE award at any level. The participant must be aged 14 or over, and registered on Go! with the role 'DofE Volunteer'.  If the participant is over the age of 18, they'll need to go through Girlguiding recruitment checks too.

Members doing their DofE outside of guiding

Some Girlguiding members will do their DofE at school, or with another organisation such as Cadets. Some of these members may still decide to do part of their DofE programme with their guiding unit, for example their Expedition or Volunteering. If this is the case, make sure you the follow rules and regulations of the outside operating authority - for example, Cadets - as well as with Girlguiding regulations.

Start your journey

Talk to your County DofE Adviser to register - check with your Leader if you are unsure who this is. There will be a registration fee for your DofE which your Adviser will tell you more about. To start planning your award, download our DofE pack