DofE Sections

The next exciting step of your adventure is deciding what you are going to do as part of your DofE programme. There are so many different activities to choose from, just go to the section pages for more information, ideas and advice - you can also download some ideas lists and a handy programme planner for each section to help you identify the activity you want to do, who's assessing you and what goals you're setting for yourself.

There is a fantastic list of activities to choose from but, if you can’t find exactly what you want to do, have a chat to your Leader - most activities can count towards your DofE but check first.

 

 

 

 To help you get started here's a quick overview of what you'll need to think about:

  • You decide: It is up to you to find an activity that you wish to do in your own personal time; maybe something you’re already doing or something you are interested in. Most of all pick something you'll enjoy - it'll make it easier to stick at it!
  • How much is the activity? It depends on what you are planning to do, some will be expensive, some will be cheap and some will be completely free - it is your choice on how much you want to spend on each activity.
  • Where can I do an activity? Find out whether this activity can be done in your local area. If it can't, then it might involve you looking further away or searching for another activity. Part of the challenge of doing your DofE is finding a local opportunity.
  • How long do I have to do it? That depends on which level you are working towards and which section you are on. Please see the section pages for the different time requirements by level.
  • Insurance and safety for an activity: You may need to ask the provider of that activity what training and insurance cover is required or is in place.
  • Check the activity: Remember to check if what you are planning to do is permitted for the section. The DofE is very firm on what activities fall into which sections and they cannot be used for more than one section.
  • Changing your activity: Even though we don't encourage this, if absolutely necessary, you may make one change of activity in each section at each level. You must restart the preparation, training, activity and assessment process and the time spent on both activities will add up to meet the overall time requirements for that section.
  • Repeating activities for the next level: If you did a previous level (Bronze/Silver), you can choose the same activity for your next level (Silver/Gold), but you need to show development in it. It's best to try something new!
  • Remember to tell your Leader about your plans before you start so you don't waste time on activities which won't count or don't fit into the right section!


The Skills section is all about developing practical and social skills and personal interests. By choosing to develop a particular skill you are not only developing a new talent but you will also boost your self esteem, develop practical and social skills and learn how to set and rise to a challenge. If this isn't enough, it should also be good fun too!

From podcasting to playing a musical instrument, fine art to website design, there's an endless list of the types of skills you can do, so have a chat with your Leader and other people in your community to find out what’s on offer!

Opera superstar Katherine Jenkins achieved her Silver Award - and unsuprisingly did singing for her Skills section, studying for her Associated Board of Music Singing Exams - getting a higher grade for her Silver than Bronze. She said:
"If you love something - work hard, be focused and discplined and then you will be ready for when the right opportunity comes your way. My personal motto is 'it's never crowded on the extra mile' - I am so grateful I had the opportunity to do my DofE at school."

What do you need to do next?

  • Find out what you need to do in detail, including the process and timescales, on our Skills requirements page
  • Check out the ideas in each of the skills categories of activity using the links on the right (remember - you need to get your Leader to agree your choice and make sure it fits our requirements for the Skills section)
  • Download a handy Skills section programme planner on the right hand side
  • Download a list of skills ideas on the right hand side
  • Develop a plan for a programme which is specific and relevant to you
  • Once you've got your activity, Assessor and goals sorted, set up your plan in eDofE, get your Leader to approve them - and you're good to go!
Skills Programme Ideas


Through the Physical section you should achieve a greater physical fitness through participation and improvement in physical activity. It's sure to make you feel healthier and you'll have fun along the way!

You don't need to be super fit or Olympic standard to achieve this section - giving it a go and getting better is enough.

From hockey to dance, rock climbing to swimming, wheelchair basketball to yoga - almost any dance, sport or fitness activity can count. You can join a team or do it on your own, concentrate on something you're already doing or try something completely different - it's up to you.

If you are still unsure about what you could do then have a chat with your Leader and other people in your community to find out what's on offer!

Need some some inspiration? Rebecca Adlington, Swimmer, Double Gold Medal Winner at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing once said:

"In order to succeed you need inner strength, self-belief and true grit. Never give up on your dream even when times are tough. Aim high and you will achieve your goal".

What do you need to do next?

  • Find out what you need to do in detail, including the process and timescales, on our physical requirements page
  • Check out the ideas in each of the physical categories of activity using the links on the right (remember - you need to get your Leader to agree your choice and make sure it fits our requirements for the Physical section)
  • Download a handy Physical section programme planner on the right
  • Download a list of physical ideas on the right
  • Develop a plan for a programme which is specific and relevant to you
  • Once you've got your activity, Assessor and goals sorted, set up your plan in eDofE, get your Leader to approve them - and you're good to go!
Physical Programme Ideas

Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people's lives. Getting off your sofa and taking time out to change things for the better can be great fun.

From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there's an endless list of the types of projects you can get involved in, so have a chat with your Leader and other people in your community to find out what’s on offer, what needs doing and who needs help!

If you can't find a project you want to get involved in, why not set up a new one that will help your community? This can be on your own, with a couple of friends or even with your whole DofE group – your Leader can help you do this and may be able to act as your Assessor.

Ben Fogle, TV presenter and Silver Award holder reckons volunteering is a great thing to get involved in:
“Employers and universities recognise the value of having people who have a life away from their job. This is where the DofE comes in, it's now become the leading Award for young people to demonstrate they have interests outside of everyday life. Volunteering gives you a chance to make a difference to others and to their community. I believe that you'll find your voluntary work will increase your confidence and self-esteem and give you new skills. I would advise you all to embrace volunteering opportunities; it's a great way to collect extra experience that could give you the edge at a college, university or job interview.”

In case you're still wondering what you'll get out of the Volunteering section, this is what Sarah has to say about it:

"For my volunteering I spent a year helping children with special needs. Doing my DofE gave me even more back than the hours and effort I put in."

Volunteering Programme Ideas
Volunteering Programme Planner