The Duke of Edinburgh award, abbreviated to DofE, is a programme that was set up by the former Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip in 1956. The programme originally rolled out here in the UK but can now be completed in 144 nations. The award is targeted at 14-24 year olds to help them “navigate adult life” and any person from any background can sign up.
There are three levels of the award – bronze, silver and gold and different tasks must be completed in order to achieve the award. At both bronze and silver levels, there are four sections. You must participate in volunteering, complete a physical activity of your choice, prove you have broadened a skill and complete the final expedition. There is a timescale given to complete all these activities and you must keep a logbook of all tasks completed (which must be signed off). The gold award also includes a residential section, where you must live away from home in a community environment and complete various daytime activities together.
Typical examples for volunteering activities include helping children, working with the environment or animals, coaching, teaching or raising awareness. Physical activities could be any sport or extreme activity. Typical examples for skills include performance arts, games and recreation, music or media and communication.
The most recognised and perhaps the most challenging part of DofE is the expedition. Alongside a group of friends or colleagues, you must complete both a practice and real session. Many take weeks to prepare for the expedition, mapping out the exact route and stops, learning how to build tents, how to survive “in the wild” and stocking up on food and drink for the expedition.
Upon completion of the award, you receive a certificate and a badge. Those who achieve the gold award are also invited to celebration events, which typically take place at royal residences and are attended by a member of The Royal Family.
The DofE award is a wonderful way to build skills in all areas of life, to meet new people and work towards a goal. This award is widely recognised around the world and helps employability.