New to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

Check out the Official DofE Website for more information!

What is a DofE Programme?

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 between 14 and 24 and realise there’s more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by.

You can do programmes at three levels, Bronze, Silver or Gold, which lead to a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

You achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you’re going for Gold).

You’ll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter,developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only).

But here’s the best bit – you get to choose what you do!
Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing. And along the way you’ll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

DofE Levels

There are three levels of programme you can do which, when you’ve successfully completed lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The main differences between them are the minimum length of time it takes to complete them, how challenging it is and the minimum age you can start.
Depending on your age, you are free to start at any level but most people prefer to try for Bronze and work upwards. There are age restrictions for each one so it makes sense to build yourself up rather than dive in at the deep end.

Don’t forget, you have until your 25th birthday to complete whichever level you’re working on and achieve an Award.
The table below shows the different overall age restrictions and time requirements for each level.


You achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you’re going for Gold).

These sections are:

  • Volunteering – helping someone, your community or the environment
  • Physical – becoming fitter through sport, dance or fitness activities
  • Skills – developing existing talents or trying something new
  • Expedition – planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey
  • Residential (Gold only) – staying and working away from home as part of a team

The length of time you have to spend on each section depends on the level of programme you’re doing.

How long will it take me?

It will usually take you at least 6 months to complete your Bronze programme.
It will take you at least 6 months for Silver if you’ve already achieved your Bronze, or 12 months if you’ve jumped straight into Silver.

For Gold, you’ll need to do your programme for at least 12 months if you’ve got your Silver Award, or 18 months if you’ve started at Gold level without doing Silver- even if you’ve done Bronze.

We’ve put the length of time in months – you need to show regularactivity and commitment during this time of at least an hour a week. You can’t achieve an Award in a short burst of enthusiasm over one weekend!

Remember, all activities for a DofE programme MUST be completed by your 25th birthday.

Once you’ve done the minimum amount of time needed to complete your DofE programme, we’re sure that you’ll have had so much fun that you’ll want to keep on doing your activities!