DofE Direct FAQs
What is DofE Direct?
DofE Direct is a way to complete your DofE programme if you no longer have Licensed Organisation (LO) such as a school or youth group. DofE Direct can bring the DofE to you. DofE Direct is run through eDofE, the DofE’s online record system. By using eDofE you can access your account at any time, and add a range of evidence to demonstrate your completion of your sections. You will be supported by a DofE Leader by phone, email and on eDofE. So, if you are aged 18-23 years old and want to achieve your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, then DofE Direct might be for you!
What benefits come from doing a DofE programme?
The Award, particularly at Gold level, is an enormously valuable achievement and is recognised worldwide. Universities and employers are looking for more than good grades and extra-curricular activities; they are looking for evidence that show more of you than your academic achievements so emphasising your involvement on your UCAS application for example can tell an institution that you are ambitious and have a positive attitude as well as a range of interests.There are many benefits from having a Gold Award on your CV, particularly in regards to employability. Having a Gold Award will certainly help you stand out from the crowd.
Here is what some employers had to say about the DofE:
“When we see a Gold Award on a CV,
we know we will be meeting candidates
who show focus and
commitment and these
are qualities we prioritise.”
Severn Trent plc
“Barclays is committed to supporting
employability of young people.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
encompasses many of these principles
promoting resilience, self-assurance
Group Head of Resourcing and Graduates,
Lord Digby Jones,
Former Trade Minister
and DG of CBI
Cost and keeping in touch
Your DofE Direct Leader is there to support you throughout the process, and you can contact them when you need to.
The cost to join the DofE Direct is £50. With this you will receive a Welcome Pack, participation place, welcome email. letter and upon completion, your badge/brooch and the opportunity to attend a Gold Award Presentation where you will be presented with your certificate. Here you will also have the opportunity to listen to high profile speakers and meet HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Earl of Wessex.
In the month after you first sign up your Leader will happily spend up to an hour a week assisting you remotely with your programme. Your leader will help you choose and source appropriate activities that meet DofE criteria. After this initial month you will receive at least one email or phone call from your Leader. This does not affect how often you can contact your Leader with your own questions and queries.
In the unlikely event you have issues with the functionality of your account you can also contact the eDofE technical support line.
There is a massive choice of activities that count towards your DofE programme. Participants can select practically any activity they wish – as long as it’s legal and morally acceptable. It could be something you are already involved in or something completely new to you.
Make sure you don’t begin your section before your Programme Planner is approved by your Leader to ensure it counts toward your programme.
When starting your section make sure that you already have an Assessor and that they are aware that you are doing your DofE and that they are willing to supply an Assessor’s Report at the end of your section. Please ensure that you put details (email and contact number) of your Assessor on your eDofE account when you are adding information about your chosen section, as your Leader may occasionally need to get in contact with your Assessor.
If you are new to DofE, please skip this next section.
Transferring to DofE Direct if your centre has closed and you cannot find another
Once you have expressed your interest in completing your DofE programme at DofE Direct, your allocated Leader will require the ID number that you received when you first signed up to do your Award with your former centre. Don’t worry if you can’t find it, we can help to find your account.
Your new Leader will transfer your account over to DofE Direct group on eDofE where you will be able to continue with your Award programme, and your new Leader will be responsible for signing off your sections.
As you have already paid for your place and received your Welcome Pack you will not have to pay the full amount to join DofE Direct. The transfer cost will be discounted for every section that is completed upon transfer.
Once you’ve completed your programme and it has been approved you will receive a congratulations letter and a badge/brooch to evidence your achievement by.
You will also be invited to a Gold Award Presentation where you will receive your certificate. This is an amazing day where you have the opportunity to meet HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Earl of Wessex as well as listen to our guest speakers. This day is a great occasion to meet other participants who have endeavoured through the great Gold journey just as you have. The Gold Award Presentation is a place to be proud of yourself and fellow participants – this is a day for you.
DofE Direct FAQs
Q: What is DofE Direct?
A: DofE Direct is an independent way for those aged 18+ to achieve their Gold Award. Participants who sign up will be assigned a ‘virtual’ Leader who will be based at Head Office.
Q: Why has the DofE developed DofE Direct?
A: The DofE has developed DofE Direct to enable more young people 18+ to access and complete their Gold DofE programme.
Q: Where is DofE Direct?
A: DofE Direct is UK-wide and not based in one specific area, and can be accessed through the internet and it is this that allows participants to have their independence and do the Award programme at their own pace.
Q: Who can do their DofE through DofE Direct?
A: DofE Direct is currently for those participants aged 18-23 years. It is available to participants wanting to do their Gold Award only.
Q: What happens when I complete my programme?
A: You will have the opportunity to attend a Gold Award Presentation (GAP) as any other Gold participant would. You will attend one of our presentations in St. James Palace (London), Holyrood Palace (Scotland) or Hillsborough Castle (Northern Ireland) where you will receive your Gold Certificate which will be presented to you by a high profile guest on behalf of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Earl of Wessex.
Q: Who do I contact at the DofE if I need help or have any questions?
A: If you have any questions regarding the DofE in relation to DofE Direct it is best to contact the Project Officer: [email protected] If your question is not specifically about DofE Direct you will be put in contact with the relevant person.
Q: How will I receive my badge/brooch and certificate once I have completed my DofE programme?
A: Upon completion you will receive a congratulations letter and your brooch/badge in the post. You will also need to fill in a Gold Award Presentation form on your eDofE account. You will then go on to the waiting list to attend a presentation at one of the palaces in the UK where you will receive your certificates.
Q: I need to upload my ID to prove my age but don’t know where or how to do this?
A: Upon signing up to DofE Direct you would have been sent an attachment within your welcome email explaining how to upload your ID and where. It is best to upload this to your volunteering section as ‘evidence’.
Q: What happens if I don’t upload my ID?
A: You will still be able to continue your programme as you will have access to your account, however if you finish your programme and have not uploaded ID your Award will not be awarded to you.
Q: What sort of ID do I need to upload?
A: Any photographic ID is acceptable but it must have a photo and your date of birth on it. Usually a passport or drivers licence is the best form.
Benefits of the DofE
Q: I’m thinking about doing my Gold programme but I am not too sure.
A: We recommend doing your Gold programme. It often makes you stand out from the crowd particularly when looking for employment. Not only does your Gold Award look impressive to employers it is also what university’s look out for during the application process.
Q: I’ve heard there are other benefits from doing your DofE. What are they?
A: There are a variety of benefits from doing your DofE. It is a character building programme where you can have adventures on the way and meet new people and gain new friends.
As well as this DofE always stands out from other applicants when applying for jobs and university, particularly at Gold level. To see what employers think when they see DofE on your application click here.
Q: How much is it to join DofE Direct?
A: To join the DVC is £50. This does not include any additional costs that there may be to do your Expedition and Residential sections.
Q: What will I get for £50?
A: The £50 will cover the costs of your Welcome Pack, eDofE account and set up and additional administration costs.
Alongside this you will get allocated a DofE Direct Leader who will be available to answer questions for you. You will get on average 20 minutes of support weekly from your Leader for the first month to help you learn the eDofE system, access your account and plan your programme. After the first month you will be contacted via telephone or email once a month from your Leader to check your progress. You of course will be able to contact your Leader at any time with any questions you may have.
Q: How do I pay for my participation place?
A: Once a DofE Direct application form is filled in through the DofE Direct webpage it will go through to one of our DofE Direct Leaders who will call you to take payment of £50 over the phone.
Q: I am half way through my programme and need to transfer to DofE Direct do I still have to pay £50?
A: If you have already begun your DofE programme you will be entitled to a discount when joining DofE Direct but this will be based on the status of your account at the time of transfer. Every account and participant will be looked at on a case by case basis to calculate the discount for transferring.
Sections and activities
Q: How do I get help/advice with a section?
A: When you sign up to DofE Direct you will be allocated a DofE Leader. This is the person you will contact for advice and help and they will do their best to steer you in the right direction.
Q: Will a national residential be provided for DofE Direct participants?
A: No. You would be responsible for identifying an organisation with whom you can complete your Residential section, which may involve a cost – loads of exciting opportunities can be found on our website here.
Q: I’m not sure what kit to take for the expedition. Who can I talk to?
A: The DofE kit list can be found on our website here. However we do recommend that you ask your Approved Activity Provider (or whoever is organising your expedition) in case there are any additional things you may need that are specific to the type of expedition you are doing.
Q: Do I have to do my sections simultaneously?
A: No you must do a minimum of one section at a time with a minimum input of 1 hour a week. You can do all or some of your sections simultaneously if you wish, however you must do a minimum of an hour a week per section and ensure that you upload some form of evidence alongside your sections.
Q: Is there a time limit to complete my programme?
A: Yes you can sign up to the DofE at any time and you will have until your 25th birthday to complete your programme. The minimum amount of time it takes to complete a Gold programme is 18 months.
Q: How do I fit this programme around my schedule?
A: As an aspiring young professional we understand that you may have a busy schedule. With DofE Direct you can do a minimum of an hour a week and one section at a time if you wish. You also have until your 25th birthday to complete your programme and that is why we have the flexibility within DofE Direct to allow you time to complete.
Q: Who will be my DofE Leader? How will I get the support I need if I have questions?
A: Your DofE Leader will be a member of DofE staff. They will be available for you to contact via email and telephone, and you will also have the option to contact DofE Technical Support for any eDofE technical queries too.
Q: What kind of support would participants get?
A: We aim to support DofE Direct participants in a way that suits them. Some may like regular contact, some may not and, in light of this, we will tailor our contact to support participants at any time and meet their individual needs. Participants can contact the DofE Direct team through emails and phone calls.
Q: I’ve lost my username and password – who do I talk to?
A: You should speak to your DofE Direct Leader in the first instance they can provide you with your username. You can then click the ‘forgot your password’ button on eDofE where you will be asked a security question.
Q: What happens if I can’t continue with my programme with the DVC?
A: If you are concerned about continuing your DofE programme it is best to contact your DofE Direct Leader and inform them. Don’t forget you have until you are 25 to complete your programme.
Q: How will I stay motivated?
A: A certain amount of motivation will be down to your will power. However, your DofE Direct Leader will be there to support you – all you have to do is contact them and they will get back in touch with you as soon as possible. Your DofE Leader will also check in with you regularly just to see how you are getting along with your Award and if you need any help.
Q: How demanding is it to achieve your Award at Gold level?
A: Completing a Gold DofE programme requires long term dedication and determination; this is one of the reasons DofE Direct being an independent route is only available to those aged 18+.