FAQs

 

 

Eligibility

I’m only studying here for one semester, can I take part?

I’m an international or EU student, can I register for Duke of Edinburgh?

I’m over 24 years old, is there any way I can get involved in the Duke of Edinburgh?

Already involved in DofE

I’ve completed my Gold award already, can I volunteer with Duke of Edinburgh?

I started an award at another organisation in the UK, can I complete it here?

I’ve done all the work for an award but never submitted it, can I do that now?

Activities and section requirements

Can I backdate the start of an activity to count towards my Duke of Edinburgh award?

Can I change volunteering placements halfway through my award, or do a couple of different volunteering placements to make up my time?

Can I do an expedition other than hiking?

How much will the Duke of Edinburgh award cost in total?

Can I count part of my degree course as a skill?

Can I count a placement that is part of my course as my volunteering?

Can I do a physical activity as a skill?

Commitment

What happens if I can’t do my DofE activity over Christmas/summer or exam periods?

How much time do I need to dedicate to the Duke of Edinburgh award?

How long will it take to complete an award?

Finding activities

I can’t think of anything to do for my skill

I can’t think of anything to do for my physical

I can’t think of anything to do for my volunteering

What is a Residential and how do I find one?

Expeditions

What kit do I need for expeditions?

What training do I need for expeditions?

Recording and verifying your activities

How do you know I’ve done what I said I’d do?

I’m a sports or society committee office holder, does this count for something?

How do I record my activity?

What goals do I have to set?

How do I find an assessor?

Can my friend or family member be my assessor?

What is eDofE?

eDofE is asking me to decide which section I want to do for longest right now but I want to wait and see which one I enjoy the most. What can I do?

• I’m only studying here for one semester, can I take part?

Unfortunately not. The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award is the shortest award you can participate in and this takes a minimum of 6 months. However, the Duke of Edinburgh award might be run in your home country too – have a look on the website here. We cannot transfer you between countries in the middle of an award, so you have to start your DofE in the country you’ll be finishing it in.

• I’m an international or EU student, can I register for Duke of Edinburgh ?

Yes absolutely! We have a large number of EU and international students currently doing their DofE. As long as you’re going to be in the country for long enough to complete your award then there are no barriers to joining.

• I’m over 24 years old, is there any way I can get involved in the Duke of Edinburgh ?

Yes – we’re always looking for volunteers to help run the DofE Programme. Depending on your skills and time commitment there are lots of ways to get involved. Apply to be a volunteer: http://www.napierstudents.com/volunteering/opportunity/67/

• I’ve completed my Gold award already, can I volunteer with Duke of Edinburgh?

Yes please! We’d love to have you and your accumulated knowledge and experience will be invaluable in supporting current participants through the award. Apply to be a volunteer: http://www.napierstudents.com/volunteering/opportunity/67/

• I started an award at another organisation in the UK, can I complete it here?

Yes absolutely, we can transfer you to the Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association (ENSA) licencing authority which means we can administer your award from here. Make sure any part of the DofE that you completed at your previous institution is signed off by your assessors and get all your evidence up to date. You might also want to let your old Leader know that you’re leaving.

Arrange a meeting with Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator to talk about your current situation and how ENSA can support you. See the Started at School section for more information.

• I’ve done all the work for an award but never submitted it, can I do that now??

Yes, this should be fine as long as you’ve got assessors reports for all your completed sections to verify what you’ve done. If you haven’t got assessors reports you will need to get in touch with the organisation you did your DofE with to see whether you can obtain them. Without an assessors report you would need to do the section again.

• Can I backdate the start of an activity to count towards my Duke of Edinburgh award ?

You can backdate an activity for up to three months in one section only. You can only backdate for an activity that you aim to continue for the rest of your section.

• Can I change volunteering placements halfway through my award, or do a couple of different volunteering placements to make up my time?

You should be doing the same volunteering for the duration of your award if at all possible. If your volunteering placement stops unexpectedly we can accommodate a change like this in consultation with Duke of Edinburgh Scotland.

Alternatively you can do a couple of different volunteer placements as long as they are linked by a common theme. For example a volunteer interested in conservation might want to try a couple of different activities under this broad heading. Make sure you record the overarching theme on eDofE as the online system won’t let you add multiple volunteering placements.

• Can I do an expedition other than hiking?

Yes go for it! The main obstacles to this are cost and logistics. The cost might go up if you need to buy or loan specialist equipment or get additional training or expert staff that we do not currently have the capacity to provide. You would also need to make sure you have enough interested people to form an expedition group.

Remember you’ll have to undergo a practice expedition before you can do the assessed one, which may add to your costs. Having said that we’re keen to help facilitate new ideas for expeditions. Some examples of alternative expeditions are mountain biking, canoeing, paddle boarding, horse riding, skateboarding, and sailing. Check out the DofE’s 20 conditions for expeditions to get a better idea of the expedition parameters.

• How much will the Duke of Edinburgh award cost in total?

The registration fees for DofE are £17 for Bronze, £17 for Silver and £24 for Gold. On top of that you will likely need a decent pair of hiking boots and appropriate outdoor clothing (though remember your discount at the Cotswolds shop!). For the expedition you will also need food, and may need to contribute to travel and your expedition supervisor’s/assessor’s fees. These fees will vary depending on how many are in your expedition group to split the cost, but might be around £15-30 per day.

ENSA are hoping to cover the majority of training costs for all participants, and will aim to offset expedition costs too. The only other costs are associated with your chosen activities, for example you may need to pay sports membership fees to join a club, or perhaps a regular fee for music tuition. 

If you're doing the Gold award, you may have to pay money towards your Residential activity too, though free ones are available at various times of the year. 

• Can I count part of my degree course as a skill?

No, your skills (and physical) must be something you do outside of your course curriculum, although you may want to build on the skills you are learning at university in some way – for example building a website for a community organisation, or making a promotional film for a charity.

• Does volunteering for a business or as part of my professional placement count?

Unfortunately not. Volunteering for the DofE must be in a not-for-profit organisation or charity, and not in a business which makes a profit, e.g. a private vetinerary clinic would not be appropriate, but volunteering for the PDSA would be fine.

You cannot use a University professional placement, or any volunteering you do as pary of an employability or work-based learning module, to count for the volunteering section as you receive course credit in recompense for your time. 

• Can I do a physical activity as a skill?

No. You can check the Duke of Edinburgh’s list of physical and skill ideas to see where an activity you’re interested in falls if you’re unsure. Even though you can develop skill in a sport, this still counts as physical activity. If you were to coach a sport, then this would be a skill as the thing you're learning is how to teach effectively. 

• What happens if I can’t do my DofE activity over Christmas/summer or exam periods?

It is recommended that if you need to take a short break of a week or two, you make up the time you lost just after or just before the break, for example doing two hours of swimming the week you get back from Christmas vacation instead of one. For longer periods like summer when you might be abroad or unable to do your regular activity, you can take a break from it and resume in the autumn – i.e. you don’t count the summer months towards your completion time.

• How much time do I need to dedicate to the Duke of Edinburgh award?

We recommend one hour per week on each activity. You could do this as two weeks every fortnight, but it should generally be spread out on a regular basis over the required number of months, not lumping 8 hours of activity into one session every two months.

• How long will it take to complete an award?

This depends entirely on your motivation and organisation. 6 months is the minimum time commitment for Bronze, twelve months for a direct Silver, or 18 months for a direct Gold. If you have done Bronze, Silver will take a further 6 months, and if you’ve done Silver, Gold will take 12 months. You can take as long as you need to complete an award though. The only time limit is that you must complete it (including submitting all of your evidence and assessor’s reports) by your 25th birthday.

• I can’t think of anything to do for my skill

Have a look at the ENSA Societies or DofE Skills suggestion list to see if anything jumps out at you. Arrange a meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator, Ellie, if you’re struggling – E.Snape@napier.ac.uk

• I can’t think of anything to do for my physical

Have a look at the ENSA Sports Clubs or DofE Physical suggestion list to see if anything jumps out at you. Arrange a meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator if you’re struggling – ensa.dofe@napier.ac.uk

• I can’t think of anything to do for my volunteering

Have a look at the VBase Opportunities Board or DofE Volunteering suggestion list to see if anything jumps out at you. Arrange a meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator if you’re struggling – ensa.dofe@napier.ac.uk

• What is a Residential and how do I find one?

A Residential is an activity you do away from home for 5 days and 4 nights with a group of other people who you don’t know. You can have a look at the Duke of Edinburgh’s opportunity finder for some ideas, or check out Xchange Scotland. You can go anywhere in the world for your Residential, though remember to keep an eye on costs.

• What kit do I need for expeditions?

The Duke of Edinburgh has a recommended kit list that you can look at, bare minimum is some decent hiking boots and appropriate outdoor clothes for all weathers. We have some kit you can borrow like tents, bags, sleeping bags, camping stoves, maps, and compasses. We will cover this more in depth during your expedition training, and remember your Cotswolds discount card when buying equipment!

• What training do I need for expeditions?

You will generally need navigation, first aid and campcraft training. You won’t be allowed to take part in an expedition until the expedition supervisor is satisfied you can take care of yourself in your chosen environment. There may be additional training requirements if your expedition is an activity like canoeing or mountain biking. 

• How do you know I’ve done what I said I’d do?

The Duke of Edinburgh award is partly an honour system, which means that we trust you to be honest about your activities in keeping with the spirit of the award. However we also require at the minimum an assessors report for each activity section.

You should meet you assessor at the start of a section, ideally throughout your activity, and then again at the end of your activity to obtain an assessor’s report from them. This report is required to complete a section. We also encourage you to upload evidence to eDofE along the way, e.g. photographs, timetables, reflective writing, certificates…whatever reporting methods are appropriate for your activity.

•I’m a sports or society committee office holder, does this count for something?

Yes! This counts towards your volunteering section. Make sure the length of time you’ll be in your committee position covers the time requirement, but apart from that you treat it as any other volunteering activity. Make sure you log your hours and skills on VBase.

• How do I record my activity?

You must record what you are doing for each section on the online system eDofE. You will be asked to create a programme plan for each section which will need to be approved by the DofE Co-ordinator before you start the activity. Once approved, you can start uploading evidence to your account. 

We also suggest you set up and use a VBase account to log your hours and record skills you develop as part of your activity sections. This is a fantastic way of keeping track of everything you’ve done and reflecting on what you’ve learnt from it. You can download your VBase record as a document at any time which can be a valuable tool when completing job applications or writing a C.V.

• What goals do I have to set?

We expect you to set yourself goals that will challenge you in some way. Even if you don’t end up meeting the goal, the important thing is that you’ve tried to reach it. If you set yourself a goal of running a half-marathon for your Physical, and really push yourself to train for this, then it is less important whether you actually end up running the marathon. That isn’t to say you should set unobtainable goals, but we will query your programme plan if your goals are too easy. We recommend talking to your assessor about what they think are suitable goals to aim for.

• How do I find an assessor?

Assessors can come from all walks of life. For your Volunteering section this will likely be the volunteer manager or someone similar with the organisation you’re volunteering for. For the Physical section we recommend your team coach, an experienced leader, a training instructor, or staff member at the location you carry out your activity.

For the Skills section, your assessor should be someone with some knowledge of your skill, so may vary widely. It could be a lecturer at University, someone in your local community, a society committee member, a qualified instructor, or a fellow student. However close friends or partners should not act as your assessor – there should be some degree of separation between you and your assessor so we can rely on independent and unbiased reports from them.

For the expedition we will find an assessor for your group, as they often have to be hired, and they will check up on you throughout your time away to see how things are going. If you’re struggling to find an assessor, contact the Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator - ensa.dofe@napier.ac.uk

• Can my close friend, partner or a family member be my assessor?

No, there should be some degree of separation between you and your assessor so we can rely on independent and unbiased reports from them.

•What is eDofE?

eDofE is the online recording system that all Duke of Edinburgh award participants use. It has replace physical booklets which were used up until a few years ago. eDofE is the official system for recording your DofE activity and you must use it to gain the award. You will first have to create a programme plan for each activity section, have this approved, and then upload evidence to it along the way.

At the end of each section you will need to obtain an assessor’s report and upload this to complete your section. The Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator will register you on eDofE once you have paid the award fee. If you started your DofE a little while ago, you may have a book, which you should keep using as we can’t register you on eDofE midway through an award.

• eDofE is asking me to decide which section I want to do for longest right now but I want to wait and see which one I enjoy the most. What can I do?

Even though you have to pick at the start, we can change this later if you change your mind, it will involve re-drafting your programme plan and resubmitting it. Do think about this carefully though and be realistic about which one you can see yourself doing for longer. Contact the DofE Co-ordinator to find out how to change this - ensa.dofe@napier.ac.uk

Manish Khatri
VP Reps and Volunteers
VP Reps and Volunteers

Manish is ENSA’s Vice President Reps & Volunteers. If you need any information or advice about anything relating to volunteering, please contact us and we can tell you all you need to know.

Email Manish

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