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What is the Duke of Edinburgh's 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%)





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.

Peter Cheese, Director of the CIPD – the professional body for HR and personal development, says: ""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".






​3 months

​6 months

​12 months


​3 months 

One section for 6 months, the other for 3 months​

One section for 12 months, the other for 6 months​


3 month​


​2 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


​Shared activity away from home for 4 nights and 5 days with people you don't know

​NB: All Bronze participants must undertake a further 3 months in any of these three sections to a total of 6 months

​NB: Silver 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 sections

​NB: Gold 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



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.

For more information or to sign up, email Ian Handy, Volunteer Coordinator and DofE Manager on


email Ian Handy, Volunteer Coordinator and DofE Manager on

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DofE holder and current Surrey student Rachael: 




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