The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is an internationally recognised challenge for young members

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. It's open to girls and young women aged 14 to 24 or aged 13 and in the school year they turn 14.

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 Northern 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, or aged 13 and in the school year they turn 14. Takes at least six months to complete.
  • Silver - for those aged 15 and over, or aged 14 and in the school year they turn 15. Takes at least 12 months for direct entrants (those without Bronze Awards).
  • Gold - for those aged 16 and over. Takes 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. 

Our activity centres

We host regular Queen's Guide award and Duke of Edinburgh residentials at our activity centres. These 4-night stays are full of adventure and should meet the requirements for your award. Find out more about activity centre events.

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.


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. There's also more information on the girl-led residentials page. 

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).

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.

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.

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

Non-members who want to volunteer as part of their DofE 

If someone who isn't a Girlguiding member wants to volunteer with us as part of their DofE, they must be at least 14 years old. Remember that they’ll need to be registered on GO as a 'young external volunteer’. If they're over the age of 18, they'll need to go through our recruitment checks too.