- The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
The DofE logo
Abbreviation DofE Formation September 1, 1956 Type Youth training organisation Legal status Charity Purpose/focus To provide a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and teamworking. Young people progress through three levels of DofE programmes to achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Taking part builds confidence and develops self-esteem. It requires persistence, commitment and has a lasting impact on the attitudes and outlook of all young people who do their DofE. Headquarters Gulliver House Location Madeira Walk, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EU Region served UK Website D of E
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (commonly abbreviated DofE), is a programme of activities that can be undertaken by anyone aged 14 to 24, regardless of personal ability.
DofE programmes can on average take anywhere between 1 year and 3-4 years to complete, depending upon the route taken - all programmes must be completed by the participant's 25th birthday. Around 275,000 participants are taking part in their DofE Programme at any time in the United Kingdom.
A pilot award scheme "for Boys" started in 1956, with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as chairman. The programme borrowed from the Moray Badge, instituted at Gordonstoun School by its headmaster, Kurt Hahn, in 1934, and the County Badge adopted in Moray in 1941.
In February 1956 The Duke of Edinburgh's Award was first announced. It would be for boys aged 15 to 18. It was first administrated, and largely first designed, by Brigadier (then Sir) John Hunt, Baron Hunt, who had led the first successful climb of Everest in 1953. He had retired from the Army to run The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. It was designed to attract boys who had not been interested in joining one of the main British youth movements - the main one being The Scout Association. To participate, you did not have to 'join' any organisation, or wear a uniform. In the first 12 months, 7,000 boys had enrolled for the scheme.
In November 1957 it was announced that girls may be invited to participate. On Thursday 19 June 1958 The Duke of Edinburgh's Award was extended to girls, with the first girls allowing to join from 1 September 1958. The programme for girls was not the same as that for boys, and was for ages 14 to 20. The first girls received their Gold Awards on 3 November 1959 at Buckingham Palace. From January 1965, the Gold Award for boys and girls was made more similar, but other Awards had different requirements.
The first Gold Awards were made in 1958, and the charity was established in 1959. A combined programme for young people aged 14 to 21 was launched in 1969, and extended to those up to 25 in 1980.
The DofE Award
The concept of the DofE is simple – anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold.
With assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:
- Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.
- Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
- Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.
- Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
- At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home doing a shared activity.
Each section must be done for a minimum period of time. It must be monitored and then assessed by someone with knowledge of that particular activity to achieve an Award. Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants.
The popularity of the DofE continues to grow. Participation in DofE programmes and the number of Awards achieved has grown every year since 1956. Today over 275,000 young people take part in DofE programmes in groups which are run in over 11,000 DofE centres throughout the UK. Centres range from youth clubs and schools to voluntary organisation meeting places, businesses and Young Offenders Institutions. Every DofE centre is authorised by a licensed DofE Operating Authority which can be local authorities, schools, voluntary organisations etc. By virtue of its work towards the personal and social development of young people in their local communities, the DofE is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).
On 1 September 2008 the DofE was given a new look and feel. The website http://www.DofE.org was relaunched and a new logo introduced.
The DofE enjoys and active social media presence on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theDofE), Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/dofe), Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/dofe/) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/theDofEuk).
It will usually take a participant at least 6 months to complete their Bronze DofE programme.
It will take a participant at least 6 months to complete their Silver DofE programme if they have already achieved a Bronze Award. It will take a participant at least 12 months to complete their Silver DofE programme without a Bronze Award.
It will take a participant at least 12 months to complete their Gold DofE programme if they have already achieved a Silver Award. It will take a participant at least 18 months to complete their Gold DofE programme without a Silver Award, even if they have already achieved a Bronze Award.
Participants are required to show regular activity and commitment to the Award for the duration of their DofE programme, which is usually a minimum of at least one hour per week.
All activities for any DofE programme MUST be completed by the participant's 25th birthday.
The National Award Authorities in the Asia-Pacific region are:
- Australia - from July 1962
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
- People's Republic of China
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- United Arab Emirates
The National Award Authorities in the Americas region are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- The Bahamas
- Falkland Islands
- Saint Lucia
- St Vincent
- Trinidad and Tobago
The independent operators in the Americas operate in:
- British Virgin Islands
- Costa Rica
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States of America
The National Award Authorities in the European region are:
During 2006 the DofE reached 50 years of existence, and this anniversary was celebrated by a number of events worldwide.
eDofE is an online system that allows participants to record their progress online. eDofE pilots started in November 2008 and was made available to everyone from September 2009. eDofE underwent a facelift and major upgrade in May, 2011.
A comprehensive page of downloads with guidance on using eDofE, plus 'help' documents, can be found at http://www.dofe.org/en/content/cms/doing-your-dofe/edofe/
- Gaisce – The President's Award
- Outward Bound
- ^ Full list of NCVYS members
- ^ a b c d e "How long will it take me? - The Duke of Edinburgh's Award". http://www.dofe.org/en/content/cms/Doing_your_DofE/What_is_a_DofE_prog/How_long_will_it_tak/How_long_will_it_tak.aspx. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- ^ "eDofE". 2009. http://www.dofe.org/en/content/cms/leaders/edofe/edofe.aspx. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
- Official site
- Information on the International Award Programme in Australia
- Information on the International Award Programme in Canada
- Information on the International Award Programme in New Zealand
- Information on the DofE in Pembrokeshire
- Official Expedition Kit List United Kingdom
- Information on the DofE in Edinburgh
- Information on the International Award Programme in Singapore
- Information on the DofE in Croydon
- Information on the International Award Programme in Netherlands
- Gaisce - The President's Award
- USA Duke of Edinburgh's Award
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