Physical section requirements

What counts as a physical activity?

For your physical activity you need to choose any sport, dance or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example, playing a sport regularly and showing personal improvement would count. However, learning to be a coach in the same sport would be a Skills section activity, whilst being a volunteer coach counts for the Volunteering section.

The definitive rules can be found in The Handbook for DofE Leaders, available from DofE Essentials (through eDofE).

How long should I do my physical for?

You can take a break, for holidays, exams or just because you feel like it. As long as you’ve finished the activities before your 25th birthday you can still achieve an Award. The table below shows Physical section time required for each level.

Level Minimum time Notes
Bronze 3 or 6 months You must do one of your Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections for 6 months, the others for 3.
Silver 3, 6 or 12 months Either your Physical or Skills section must be done for 6 months, the other for 3.  If you haven’t achieved your Bronze Award you must extend either your Volunteering or the longer of your Physical or Skills sections to 12 months.
Gold 6,12 or 18 months Either your Physical or Skills section must be done for 12 months, the other for 6.  If you haven’t achieved your Silver Award you must extend either your Volunteering or the longer of your Physical or Skills sections to 18 months.

Remember you must commit to regular activities averaging at least an hour a week during this time!

What to do in four simple steps:

  1. Preparation– You need to research what you want to do and agree it with your Leader. You must find a suitable Assessor and set yourself goals so that you can show how you progressed at the end. Use the electronic programme planner in eDofE or download a paper programme planner frome this page to help you.
  2. Training– You will need to do any training or briefing necessary for you to do your physical activity.  Training may form part of your activity and count towards your timescale.
  3. Activity– the most important and enjoyable bit – actually doing it! You must do each activity for an average of an hour a week for at least the minimum time required at your level.
  4. Assessment– To complete your DofE programme you must meet your Assessor to talk about what you’ve done and make sure they sign it off.This is most likely to be your sports, dance or fitness teacher.They can do this online at


Physical pictures in eDofE

Don’t forget to collect lots of photographs, letters, certificates etc. along the way to upload to your eDofE account.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • A leaflet or information sheet about the sports fitness / dance course you’re attending
  • A brochure about the sports centre
  • Photographs of you doing your physical activity
  • A fixtures list
  • A certificate of achievement or attendance
  • Assessor’s report – they can write this for you on an Assessor’s Report card for you to upload (remember to mark it as your Assessor’s Report).

Anything that’s not electronic you should photograph or scan as a jpeg and upload it toeDofE.

Check out our ideas for each category to inspire you! Remember, this is not a set list – you can set up your own volunteering activity as long as it meets the DofE’s requirements and it’s approved by your Leader and Licensed Organisation.

Physical categories

Find out more about what you can do under the eight Physical section category headings:

Team sports

Individual sports

Water sports

Racquet sports



Extreme sports

Martial arts

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