Registering for the DofE
- 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.
- I’ve done all the work for an award but never submitted it, can I do that now?
Yes, 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 your old assessors to try and obtain them. Without an assessors report you would need to do the section again.
- I’m only studying here for one semester, can I take part?
Unfortunately, as the Bronze award is the shortest award and takes at least 6 months, you won't have time while you're in the UK. However, the DofE might be run in your home country too - check out the International Award website and search for your country!
- 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.
• How long will it take to complete an award?
This depends entirely on your motivation and organisation!
Each level of the Award will take you a minimum amount of time (6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver, 18 months for Gold), but you can spread your activity over a couple of years. You must complete your Award by your 25th birthday.
- What happens if I'm away for Christmas/summer or too busy in exam periods?
You can pause your DofE activity whenever you need to, and start re-counting your months when you're able to. You can also continue your activity while you're away from Edinburgh if possible.
• How much time do I need to dedicate to the Duke of Edinburgh award?
You should spend one hour per week on each activity for the duration of each section.
- How much will the Duke of Edinburgh award cost in total?
You pay a registration fee to sign up to the Award which is currently £20 for Bronze and Silver, and £27 for Gold. You will need to contribute to your Expedition fees as well, which will include:
- Expedition Supervisor
- Expedtion Assessor
- Food and water
- Personal clothing items
- Transport to and from your Expedition area
The Supervisor costs around £100 per day, and the Assessor costs £55 for Bronze, £75 for Silver, and £100 for Gold for the whole Expedition. The other costs will vary depending on where you go and what equipment you already have. Please see the section on kit below to find out what ENSA can provide you with.
Remember that these costs will be split between your group, so for a group of 7 people, the Expedition Supervisor will cost around £14 per day.
- 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. You can buy discounted gear at Cotswolds Outdoors who have a shop in Rose Street in central Edinburgh.
ENSA provides the following kit:
- Sleeping bags & sleeping bag liners
- Roll mats
- Emergency whistles
- Emergency shelters
- First aid kits
- Camping stoves
- Camping mugs and cutlery
- What training do I need for expeditions?
ENSA will provide you with first aid, campcraft, and navigation training. These training sessions are mandatory for undertaking your Expedition, and you will attend them with your Expedition group so you all learn together. The Expedition Supervisor will make sure you are competent in all these activities before allowing you to go out on an Expedition.
- Do I have to do a hiking Expedition?
No not at all! Some examples of alternative Expeditions are mountain biking, canoeing, paddle boarding, horse riding, skateboarding, and sailing - the only restriction is that the Expedition has to be under your own physical power with no motorised assistance (unless you require an electric wheelchair).
The main obstacles to this are cost and logistics. You may need to buy or loan specialist equipment, get additional training or a specialist Expedition Supervisor. You and your group will need to be proficient in your chosen mode of transport, and the group must have at least 4 people in it!
- Can I stil do the Expedition if I have a physical disability?
Yes, the DofE is open to all regardless of physical ability. We can obtain specialist equipment for you and will work with the Expedition Supervisor to work out a route that fits your needs. Just come and talk to the DofE Coordinator about it.
Sections & Activities
- Can I change activities halfway through a section, or do a couple of different activities for a section?
Not usually. The DofE is a test of your commitment, which means sticking with the same activity for the duration of a section. If you are no longer able to continue an activity, e.g. the charity shop you are volunteering at closes down, then you are permitted to change to a similar activity in consultation with the DofE Coordinator.
- Can I count part of my degree course for my Skill section?
No, all of your activites must be voluntary and unrewarded by course credit, money, or other benefits in kind. You can take the skills you are developing at University outside of lessons and build on your knowledge in your own time. This is the same for any volunteering or placement modules - as you are receiving course credit for these modules you cannot use them to count towards your DofE
- I can't think of anything to do for my Skill/Volunteering/Physical section!
ENSA Societies and Sports Clubs can be a great way to get started on your Skill and Physical sections, and you can explore the Volunteering opportunities that VBase has to offer. The DofE have a programme ideas document you can download here, and your DofE Welcome Pack will also have suggestions.
You can always come and chat to or email the DofE Coordinator to talk about what you might want to do for each section too! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I’m a Sports or Society Office Holder / a Programme Rep, can I use this towards my DofE?
Absolutely! Being an Office Holder or Programme Rep can count towards your Volunteering or Skills section as long as you will be spending at least 1 hour per week on these activities.
- What is a Residential and how do I find one?
For your Residential you need to undertake a shared activity with people you don't know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment. Evenings are often as much a part of the experience as daytime activities. This section offers a high degree of flexibility but it must be done with an organised group, registered charity or Approved Activity Provider - browse the DofE Approved Activity Provider opportunities here.
Your activity can be anything that provides you with an opportunity for broadening your interests and experiences. It is ideal for trying something new or it can be related to existing interests or activities followed in other sections of your DofE programme.
• How do I record my activity and keep track of what I'm doing?
We use an online system called eDofE to record your progress. Once registered, you can log on and fill out a plan for each section and add evidence to your account. You will be asked to set a goal for yourself, and your activity plan will be approved by the DofE Coordinator - wait for approval before beginning a section in case there is a problem with your plan.
- How do I complete a section?
A section is complete when you have both fulfilled the time requirements and obtained an Asessor's Report for the section. For each section you will need to find an Assessor, someone who can monitor your activity and perhaps provde guidance or tutoring along the way. The Assessor could be a housemate, your coach or volunteer manager, someone you study with or a fellow society member - the only restriction is that they cannot be a family member.
Your Assessor should agree to this position at the start of your section, so approach them early. They will be asked to submit a short report on your activities and personal progress at the end of the section, which can be done online or by hand. ENSA will organise an Assessor for your Expedition section as this person will need to be an offficial DofE Expedition Assessor.