The Gold DofE Award
Go the extra mile and start your Gold DofE Award. The pinnacle in DofE Award challenge and achievement.
Open to all backgrounds, cultures and abilities, DofE can be a game-changer - raising your self-esteem, aspirations and opening doors to employment!
Start your DofE award at any point in the year and make connections and friends outside of your school. There are no restrictions as to when you can join.
What age can I start?
You can register for the Gold Award once you turn 16 years old. You can start your Gold Award at any point after your 16th birthday. The award must be completed by your 25th birthday.
- Volunteering in the community for 12 months
- Working towards a physical goal for 12 months*
- Working towards a skills based goal for 6 months*
- Venturing on a 4 day/3 night expedition
- Going on a residential for 5 days/4 nights
*If you haven't completed silver, you are classed as a direct participant. You must commit to a further 6 months in either the volunteering, or the longer of the skills or physical sections.
For further information about what to expect, read DofE's summary of all the sections
How are the sections approved and evidenced?
- Select the timescales on eDofE for your Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections. Don't worry if you're not sure, you can always go back and edit these dates later. This video can help you get started: eDofE | How to use the DofE App - YouTube
- Submit the activity you’d like to do for each section. Please check the activity is permitted for each section. For section ideas, visit: Ideas for Activities - The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (dofe.org)
- Your DofE Leader will review the activity you've submitted. Once they have approved, you're ready to get started
- At the end of the section, you will need to ask your identified assessor to write a short assessor report evidencing your work towards your chosen goal. This can be completed using the relevant page from your welcome book, or completed online: Assessor’s Report - The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (dofe.org)
- Your DofE leader will review, approve and sign-off sections
How much is it?
Registration for the Gold award is £159 payable upon registering for the award. This registration fee includes:
- eDofE account creation
- DofE physical welcome pack
- eDofE support and advice - join our monthly support calls or email us anytime
- Leader approving evidence and approving/querying sections
- Award verification
- Badge and Certificate processing
- Training sessions - taking place at either a youth centre or virtually. View our 2023/24 programme dates and what's involved.
The expedition section which includes a Training Day, Practice and Qualifying expedition costs £650. Totalling 10 days. This is payable at the point of expedition booking or can be paid in three instalments.
Our qualified and experienced DofE leaders support participants through their entire DofE journey, from start to finish. They prepare participants for the expedition plus provide one-to-one support with eDofE and give guidance on section activities throughout the entire award journey.
Expedition Snapshot - what to expect
Training day – 1 full day
This will be one full day which is instructor led where you will further learn the practical skills to complete your qualifying expedition. This will include map reading, use of a stove, menu planning and emergency procedures.
Practice Expedition - 4 days / 3 nights
Qualifying Expedition - 4 days / 3 nights
As part of an expedition team (between 4 and 7 young people), you’ll plan and complete two fun and challenging expeditions. You'll navigate and hike in the countryside, camp under the stars, cook in the outdoors and be self-sufficient. The practice and qualifying expeditions take place between April and October each year.
In the lead up to, and throughout the qualifying expedition, participants are assessed against DofE's 20 conditions. Read the 20 conditions of the Expedition section.
How do I start?
You can register and start your DofE journey at any point in the year. You can get started with the physical, volunteering and skill sections when you receive your eDofE account and welcome pack. If you want to get set-up on eDofE ahead of your first training session, watch this eDofE training video. There are lots of recommended videos to watch, so do take a look at the full training list.
Get in touch
Contact our friendly DofE Award Team: DofE@essex.gov.uk