To achieve your DofE Award you must complete 4 sections (5 if you are completing your gold award). 

These sections require the participant to find an activity to attend or take part in for each of the sections for a set amount of time. Sections can range from 3 months to 18 months depending on the Award chosen, and if a previous award has been achieved. 

Any activities chosen for your sections will need to be completed out of curriculum time and will need to be an hour long; your activity may be longer than an hour however only an hour per week can be documented for your DofE award.

The following is a list of all sections within the DofE award’s and some examples of activities for each of those:

DofE Award Sections  Section Guidance
 Volunteering With a department at School, within the local community, etc.
 Physical With a sports club in or outside of School/ College/ Centre, etc.
 Skills Instrumental lessons, skills club in or outside of School/ College/ Centre, etc.
 Expedition With an approved AAP provider or within School/ College/ Centre
Residential (Only Gold Award) 5 days and 4 nights spent taking part in an activity with other people that you have never met before, this can be overseas or within this country and is generally aimed at supporting the local community but this may vary depending on the residential chosen

Activities (Sections)

The next exciting step of your adventure is deciding what you are going to do as part of your DofE programme. There are so many different activities to choose from, just go to the section pages for more information, ideas and advice – you can also download some ideas lists and a handy programme planner for each section to help you identify the activity you want to do, who’s assessing you and what goals you’re setting for yourself.

There is a fantastic list of activities to choose from on www.dofe.org, if you can’t find exactly what you want to do, have a chat to your Leader – most activities can count towards your DofE. All we ask is that any new activity is checked with your Licensed Organisation to make sure it’s counted for the right section and that you’ve set yourself enough of a challenge.

The definitive rules can be found in The Handbook for DofE Leaders, available in the DofE Essentials Shop (you have to sign into eDofE first).

To help you get started here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to think about:

You decide... 

It is up to you to find an activity that you wish to do in your own personal time; maybe something you’re already doing or something you are interested in. Most of all pick something you’ll enjoy – it’ll make it easier to stick at it!

How much is the activity? 

It depends on what you are planning to do, some will be expensive, some will be cheap and some will be completely free – it is your choice on how much you want to spend on each activity. Look at your schools to see what activities they provide which you can join in - that's a good place to start or look if you are stuck.

Where can I do an activity?

Find out whether this activity can be done in your local area or School/ College/ University. If it can’t, then it might involve you looking further away or searching for another activity. Part of the challenge of doing your DofE is finding a local opportunity.

How long do I have to do it?

That depends on which level you are working towards and which section you are on. Please see the section pages for the different time requirements by level.
Insurance and safety for an activity: You may need to ask the provider of that activity what training and insurance cover is required or is in place.

Check the activity

Remember to check if what you are planning to do is permitted for the section. The DofE is very firm on what activities fall into which sections and they cannot be used for more than one section. before starting any activity, we recommend you make a few basic checks to see how the organisation keeps young people safe.

Changing your activity

Even though we don’t encourage this, if absolutely necessary, you may make one change of activity in each section at each level. You must restart the preparation, training, activity and assessment process and the time spent on both activities will add up to meet the overall time requirements for that section.

Repeating activities for the next level

If you did a previous level (Bronze/ Silver), you can choose the same activity for your next level (Silver/ Gold), but you need to show development in it. It’s best to try something new!