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Below are some of the most common questions that County/Area DofE Advisers and Leaders ask.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to contact the DofE Team within the Education Department at UKHQ via dofe@scouts.org.uk.

Some of the most popular questions the DofE get asked are published at https://www.dofe.org/faqs/ , you may also find your answer here.

Signing up for the DofE

Can young people in the Scouts section start their DofE programme?

No. Provision of the DofE programme within Scouting is only available to members in the Explorer Scout or Scout Network sections.

How do I register my Explorer Scouts for the DofE?

They need to complete and have a parent sign the enrolment form and send this, along with payment, to the County/Area DofE Adviser. The adviser will then issue a welcome pack and also a login to the eDofE system. There may be local variations in process such as sending the payment to the County Office.

What flexibility is there for starting a DofE programme?

Within Scouting, DofE is part of the programme for Explorer Scouts and Scout Network only.
The core age range is 14 - 25; however provision is now available to start Bronze and Silver early.

For Bronze, as a minimum, the young person must be an Explorer Scout and be in the academic year in which they turn 14 years old.
Note: Young people can transition from Scouts to Explorer Scouts from 13.5 years old.

For Silver, as a minimum, the young person must be an Explorer Scout and be in the academic year in which they turn 15 years old.

There is no flexibility for starting the Gold Award early; only activities started after a participant’s 16th birthday can count towards their Gold Award.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has tweaked their age range after trialling a new age range in a 2 year pilot scheme. In particular, this has allowed schools that offer DofE to sign up their Bronze participants from the first day of the academic year in which they turn 14, so participants can complete the award as a peer group.

Volunteering section

Can existing Scout members under 14 years old volunteer within a section?

No. Scout members under 14 years old should not be volunteering as a Young Leader with any section. Once they move up to Explorer Scouts, they can become an Explorer Scout Young Leader and volunteer within either a Beaver Scout, Cub Scout or Scout section. This is the case for those volunteering for any Scouting Top Award (including DofE).

Can non-members under 14 years old volunteer within a section for their Bronze Award? What is the process for this?

No. Non-members cannot volunteer within any sections until they are 14. Non-members can volunteer with either a Beaver Scout, Cub Scout or Scout section when they are aged 14-18 for a fixed period of time as required for their award. This must be in agreement with the Section Leader.

Are non-member volunteers doing their DofE covered by insurance?

Yes. When the non-member is taking part in any Scouting activity either within the meeting place or outside they are covered by Public Liability insurance. They are not covered for personal accident by The Scout Association.

What training do Young Leaders need to do for their DofE?

It is compulsory for Explorer Scout Young Leaders to complete Module A within their first three months of becoming a Young Leader. This is the minimum requirement for a Bronze DofE Award or for the first DofE level a participant takes part in. If Module A was completed for their first award, then additional training would be expected for other levels, for example First Aid.

Explorer Scout Young Leaders should be made aware of resources available and be given a copy of the Orange Card. This also applies to non-members operating as Explorer Scout Young Leaders whilst undertaking their volunteering section of an award.

Do non-members need to do any training whilst they are volunteering at a section?

Yes. Non-members are also required to complete training similar to Explorer Scout Young Leaders as outlined above. More information can be found in Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) Rule 4.37 - The appointment of Young Leaders and in the DofE Leader Support Pack.

Expedition section

Do I need to complete a form for DofE Expeditions?

If an expedition that is being used for the DofE is going into wild country then a green form must be completed and sent to the Expedition Network. They must be sent at least six weeks before the expedition is going to take place if you require the Expedition Network to supply an assessor, or four weeks before if you are supplying your own assessor or it is a practice expedition.
If an expedition is taking place in the Peak District then a red form should be completed.
The area contact will issue an Expedition Notification Number. The forms are downloadable from dofe.org/forms. There are different rules for international expeditions.
For all other gold expeditions a green form must be sent to the DofE Team at UKHQ.
More expedition information can be found at dofe.org/expedition.

What is the procedure for an expedition abroad?

If an international expedition is going to count towards a DofE, then a blue form should be completed and sent to the DofE Team at UKHQ along with the information listed on the form and a copy of the travel abroad form.
UKHQ will seek an Expedition Notification Number for the expedition from DofE Head Office. This number will then be sent to the Expedition Leader and the County/Area DofE Adviser will be notified. All forms should be submitted at least 12 weeks before the proposed expedition leaves the UK.

How do I get variations approved?

If any variations to the 20 conditions of the expedition section are required then the expedition variation request form needs to be submitted to the DofE Team at UKHQ. This will then be processed and approval will be returned to the leader/adviser who submitted it. See the County Adviser induction pack for a detailed matrix on who can approve the variations.

Who can assess an expedition being used by a participant for their DofE?

All those wishing to assess the expedition section of the DofE are required to be accredited by the DofE and the Licenced Organisation (The Scout Association). Once accredited an Assessor Accreditation Number will be issued. An Expedition Assessor’s accreditation will need to be renewed every 5 years. To be a DofE assessor you should be a member of The Scout Association (not an occasional helper or a Network member) and have a valid disclosure. There is also an option to purchase an assessment voucher from the DofE Shop and request an Assessor from the Expedition Network.

What happens if you get lost on your expedition, do you have to do it again?

The decision whether a young person completes the expedition is down to the assessor. The expedition must be completed, and it is the role of the assessor to check that the 20 conditions have been met.

How long does the expedition have to be?

All modes of travel, such as walking, canoeing or cycling, are measured in hours of planned activity. Each level has a minimum number of hours of planned activity each day (Bronze: six, Silver: seven, Gold: eight) and at least 50% of this must be journeying with the rest of the project work.

Residential section

Can a young person attend a jamboree with their unit as a participant and use this as their residential?

Attending as a participant with their unit does not meet the criteria relating to living and working with those unknown to them. However, attending as a member of the service team with people unknown to them is a suitable activity for the residential section.


Who should sign off each section of the DofE?

The young person needs to upload evidence to eDofE for each section of their programme. This evidence will vary, but they do need to include at least one piece of assessor evidence. The assessor for the Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections should be a person who is appropriately qualified or experienced in the activity being undertaken and not a family member.
The Expedition section needs to be assessed by a DofE Accredited Expedition Assessor. Once the section is complete the leader will approve the section within eDofE to confirm that there is enough, and the right sort of, evidence.
If the County/Area DofE Adviser approves a section they will not be able to verify the award.


Who decides if someone has completed their DofE?

When a young person has had each section approved as complete by their leader, the award is submitted to the County/Area DofE Adviser for verifying (at Bronze and Silver) or to the DofE Team at UKHQ (at Gold). If these people are happy that all of the sections are accurate and the award is complete they will verify the whole award. At Gold, after the DofE Team at UKHQ have verified the award, it then goes on to DofE Head Office for final verification.

How do I get badges from the DofE?

These are restricted items and can only be purchased by those who are authorised to do so by the DofE Manager or in the case of England, Wales, the Channel Islands and British Scouting Overseas by the County/Area DofE Advisers (as listed on Compass). Gold Badges come direct

How do I get hold of the Scout DofE badges?

These can be ordered from Scout Shops Ltd via your District or County/Area Badge Secretary.

How does a young person get invited to a Gold Award presentation?

On finishing their Gold programme, they will need to submit their Award for approval on eDofE. To do this they will need to complete the Gold Award Presentation info on eDofE. When the Award is approved they will be put on the list for a Gold Award Presentation and will receive an invitation about 6-18 months after the Award is approved.

Other queries

How do the DofE and the Scout awards link together?

The Chief Scout’s Platinum award, Chief Scout’s Diamond Award and the Queen’s Scout Award are in some ways equivalent to the Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE. If a young person has completed a DofE, this exempts them from completing the similar requirements of the equivalent Scout Award. Full details can be found in The Adventure Begins leaflet and the Reach the Top resource. It is important that a young person wanting to complete a DofE programme enrols, before they start undertaking activities.

Can you do the DofE at school and link it with Scouting?

Many schools operate the DofE. It may be possible for Scouting activities done at Scouts to count towards a DofE programme being undertaken through school, but this is the decision of the school. In a similar way, young people undertaking the DofE through Scouting can use the activities they do in extra-curricular time at school for their award. Anyone wishing to transfer into The Scout Association needs to request this to dofe@scouts.org.uk providing the name of the person being transferred, as well as the person’s eDofE ID number, Centre (Scout County/Country) and the name of the Group (often an Explorer Scout Unit/Scout Network or District) to be moved to.

What is the gateway award and how does it relate to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

The Mencap Gateway Award is a programme of activities which operates in conjunction with the DofE. It offers a credible alternative to those with profound disabilities, particularly those with learning difficulties, whose range of capabilities may exclude them from completing a DofE programme. It is flexible, designed to meet individual needs through personal choice and independence by encouraging participation, integration and community involvement. More information can be found on the Mencap website.

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