Skills section requirements

What counts as a skills activity?

For your skills activity you need to choose an activity that will allow you to prove you have broadened your understanding and increased your expertise in your chosen skill. It should not be a physical activity, for example horseriding, as this counts towards your Physical section, however, you could choose to learn about caring for horses.

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

How long should I do my skills 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 Skills 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:

  • 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 ineDofE or download a paper programme planner from this page to help you.
  • Training– You will need to do any training or briefing necessary for you to do your skills activity. The skill chosen could be a course, in which case training will be the full activity.
  • 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.
  • 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. If you are doing a course it is likely that your Assessor will be the adult running the course.They can submit their report online at


Skills pictures ineDofE

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

  • A leaflet or information sheet about the course you’re attending
  • Photographs of you doing your skills activity
  • Photos of anything you make during a course or of a presentation you gave
  • A course syllabus
  • 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 skills activity as long as it meets the DofE’s requirements and it’s approved by your Leader and Licensed Organisation.

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