Duke of Edinburgh Award

What is DofE?

A life-changing experience. A fun time with friends. An opportunity to discover new interests and talents. A tool to develop essential skills for life and work. A recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.

The DofE is many things to many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life.

14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, and planning, training for and completing an expedition.

Any young person can do their DofE – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.

Through a DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and university, college or job applications. Top employers recognise the work-ready skills Award holders bring to their business

Why do DofE?

For the hundreds of thousands of young people who take part each year, the benefits of achieving a DofE Award at any level are endless. DofE is about helping you along the path to a productive and prosperous future. As many of our participants say, it’s life-changing.

Achieving an Award will give you skills, confidence and an edge over others when you apply for college, university or a job. Beyond your academic achievements, universities want to see evidence of so called ‘soft skills’ that you have developed through extra-curricular activities, such as communication, commitment, leadership and teamwork. Your DofE Award is a fantastic way to demonstrate and evidence these skills in practice.

You’ll also make a difference to other people’s lives and your community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.

Our participants also tell us that doing their DofE gives them character traits like confidence and resilience, that can boost their mental health and wellbeing and help them face and overcome personal challenges.  

Additional Information

  • Bronze – for those aged 14+ years (Year 9)
  • Silver – for those aged 15+ years (Year 10)

If you aren’t 14 yet but are in the school year in which your peer group turn fourteen, you can start the Bronze DofE. Similarly, if you aren’t 15 yet, but are in the school year in which your peer group turn fifteen, you can start the Silver DofE programme.

There are two levels of programme you can do at Furness Academy which, when you’ve successfully completed them, lead to a Bronze and/or Silver 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.

Activities for each DofE section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, so they can be fitted in around academic study, hobbies and social lives. Development and regular progress must be shown and all activities must be completed by the participant’s 25th birthday.

Students are also required to attend weekly meetings on a Monday afterschool to gain the skills required to safely and successfully complete their expeditions.

Depending on your age, you are free to start at any level but most people prefer to start at Bronze and work upwards.

Bronze timescales

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 for 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 didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

Furness Academy endeavours to keep your costs down so the current cost of Bronze Duke of Edinburgh is £80, and the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award is £100. This includes the D of E Welcome Pack and participation fee, transport on expeditions, campsite fees, and expedition equipment costs.

Everyone receives a DofE Card to get discounts on things like kit so expeditions don’t need to be expensive. Technical and camping equipment can be borrowed from school at no extra cost.



You will receive an email with a link to your eDofE account. This is where you log your progress through your DofE programme and where your Leader checks and approves you’ve completed your activity in each section.

Once you’ve added your home address to your eDofE profile you’ll be sent a Welcome Pack with lots of helpful information and your personalised DofE Card so you can access discounts and offers on expedition kit and other items.

Then you can start choosing what activities you want to do and decide your goals – although you don’t have to wait until you get your Welcome Pack before you start planning your programme.

Once you’ve chosen your Assessors and your Leader has approved your plans, you’re ready to get going with your activities.

eDofE is the digital system where participants record their DofE programme and activities online, and get each section approved by their DofE Leader. Once you enrol, your DofE Leader will set up an account for you in eDofE and you’ll then be sent an email with your signing in details. Then you’re ready to activate your account and start choosing your activities and setting objectives.

On eDofE you can easily select what you want to do for each section, and get your DofE Leader to approve your choices and Assessor. You can check your progress throughout your programme and submit evidence in a variety of formats. You can message your DofE Leader and other participants in your group from within eDofE. You can also download your DofE Voucher from eDofE, giving you savings of at least 10% at recommended retailers.

When you’ve finished a section, you need an Assessor’s Report. The Assessor can do this online or by using an Assessor’s Report card you can photograph and upload into eDofE. Your assessor cannot be a relative.

When you’ve completed all the sections, we will approve your DofE Award through eDofE.



List of equipment that students can borrow from school:

  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Waterproof Trousers
  • Rucksack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Stove, pans and fuel – BORROWED BY ALL STUDENTS

2023 Dates

Bronze Navigation Practice – Thursday 27th April 4pm – Friday 28th April 4pm

Bronze Final Expedition – Friday 30th June 8:40am – Saturday 1st July 4pm

Silver Practice Expedition – Thursday 8th June 8:40am – Saturday 10th June 4pm

Silver Final Expedition – Monday 10th July 8:40am – Wednesday 12th July 4pm


2024 Dates

Year 9

Bronze Practice: 4pm Thursday 2nd May – 4pm Friday 3rd May

Bronze Final: 8:40am Friday 21st June – 4pm Saturday 22nd June

Year 10

Silver Practice: 8:40am Thursday 6th June – 4pm Saturday 8th June

Silver Final: 8:40am Wednesday 3rd July – 4pm Friday 5th July

DofE Picture Gallery