Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Programmes

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is committed to helping young people from all backgrounds complete unique personal development programmes and achieve Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Duke of Edinburgh Mission

To inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements.

Taking Part

Undertaking their DofE helps young people from a wide range of backgrounds in many ways, enabling them to develop new skills and giving them the self-confidence and self-belief to expand their horizons.


By doing their DofE, participants will develop:

  • Self confidence
  • A sense of identity
  • Independence of thought and action
  • A sense of responsibility
  • An awareness of their potential
  • An ability to plan and use their time effectively

There are three progressive levels of DofE programmes; Bronze, Silver and Gold. DofE programmes are structured into four common sections, with an extra one at gold.  You should aim to complete an hour for each section per week.

Section 1: Volunteering – undertaking service to individuals or the community


  • Face time an elderly relative or lonely friend
  • Write a letter to a relative
  • Pop to the local shop for essentials items (milk and bread) for an elderly and/or vulnerable neighbour
  • Help a younger sibling with their homework

Section 2: Physical – improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities


  • Go for a run, walk or cycle
  • Help with the gardening

Section 3: Skills – developing practical and social skills and personal interests


  • Learn to bake/cook
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Learn a language
  • Learn to do some gardening and grow your own vegetables
  • Keeping a small pet. Complete research, such as what foods is your dog not permitted to eat and why.

Section 4: Expedition – planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.  This year only the expedition will take place locally.  It will not be an overnight stay.

Young people design their own DofE programmes by selecting appropriate activities for each section.

Bronze timescale

It will usually take you at least 6 months to complete your Bronze programme.

  • Volunteering section: 3 months
  • Physical section: 3 months
  • Skills section: 3 months
  • Expedition section: 2 days/1 night

You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.  It’s your choice which one and, though you can change your mind later, you should decide which section you want to do for longer at the beginning.  Knowing how long you’re going to do it will help you to choose your activity and set your goals for each section.

Silver timescales

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.

  • Volunteering section: 6 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
  • Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights

If you jump to Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections. For more information you can visit the Duke of Edinburgh website at www.dofe.org.