We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions about DofE Direct.
What is DofE Direct?
DofE Direct is a new way for 18-23 year olds to achieve their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; online and independently without the need to attend weekly sessions at a local DofE centre. You’ll be able to progress through your DofE activities in your own time with dedicated support from a DofE Leader via email and telephone. If you haven’t got a local DofE group nearby or the centre you’re currently at doesn’t offer Gold level, you can do your Gold DofE through DofE Direct too.
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 throughout the process by a DofE Leader by phone, email and on eDofE and you can contact them when you need to. 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!
Q: What is DofE Direct?
A: DofE Direct is an independent way for those aged 18-23 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 18-23 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: 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 (GAP) where you will receive your certificate, either at St. James Palace (London), Buckingham Palace (London), Holyrood Palace (Scotland) or Hillsborough Castle (Northern Ireland). This is an amazing day where you have the opportunity to meet a member of the Royal Family as well as listen to our high profile 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.
Q: Who do I contact at the DofE if I need help or have any questions?
A: If you have any questions regarding DofE Direct please email [email protected]. Alternatively you can call the team directly on 01753 727474 (Kelly), 01753 727 404 (Nina) or 01753 727444 (Jez) if you have any questions.
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: How do I transfer to DofE Direct if your centre has closed and cannot find another?
A: 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.
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.
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 and your CV stand out from the crowd, particularly when looking for employment.
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 top UK employers think when they see DofE on your application click here.
Q: How much is it to join DofE Direct?
A: To join the DofE Direct is £75. This does not include any additional costs that there may be to do your Expedition and Residential sections.
Q: What will I get for £75?
A: The £75 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 submitted through the form below it will go through to one of our DofE Direct Leaders who will call you to take payment of £75 over the phone.
Q: I am half way through my programme and need to transfer to DofE Direct do I still have to pay £75?
A: If you have already signed up to Gold, the cost to transfer is £30. You will need to contact the DofE Direct team for a referral code.
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 DofE Residential opportunities can be found on our website.
Q: I’m not sure what kit to take for the expedition. Who can I talk to?
A: The full DofE kit list can be found on our website. 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. 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.
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+.