Expedition Aim & Requirements

The aim of the Expedition section:

To inspire young people to develop initiative and a spirit of adventure and discovery by planning, training for and completing an adventurous self-sufficient journey as part of a team. Participants choose where and how they want to do their expedition.

Before an expedition – DofE Supervisors/Assessors must ensure the appropriate parameters are in place:

All participants must be within the qualifying age of the programme level and at the same Award level (i.e., not have completed the same or higher level of expedition).

There must be between four and seven participants in a team (eight for modes of travel which can be used by two people at once e.g., tandem bikes, open canoes).

The expedition must be of the correct duration and meet the minimum hours of planned activity.

  • Bronze: A minimum of 2 days, 1 night; 6 hours of planned activity each day.
  • Silver: A minimum of 3 days, 2 nights; 7 hours of planned activity each day.
  • Gold: A minimum of 4 days, 3 nights; 8 hours of planned activity each day.

All expeditions must be supervised by an adult (the Expedition Supervisor) who is able to accept responsibility for the safety of the team. Assessment must be by an Accredited Assessor. At Bronze level only, the Assessor may also be the Expedition Supervisor.

Participants must be adequately trained to safely complete an expedition in the environment in which they will be operating:

  • Bronze: Teams must complete the required training.
  • Silver: Teams must complete the required training and a practice expedition of a minimum 2 days, 2 nights.
  • Gold: Teams must complete the required training and a practice expedition of a minimum 2 days, 2 nights.

Planning an expedition

Participants must plan how they’re going to do their expedition:

Team Goal

Expeditions must have a clearly defined team goal – this could be researching an area of interest, contributing to a community action project, or developing soft skills.


The environment chosen must become progressively more challenging through the award levels – environments could include rural, urban or restricted spaces.


Accommodation should be by camping or other simple self-catering accommodation e.g., bunkhouses.

Time of year

Expeditions will usually take place between the end of March and the end of October. There should be a reasonable gap between the practice and qualifying expeditions.

Mode of travel

Participants must choose an appropriate mode of travel for the environment they’ll be journeying through. Journeying must be by participants’ own physical effort, although mobility aids may be used where appropriate to the needs of the participant.


Participants must plan an appropriate expedition menu, including cooking and eating a substantial hot meal each day (optional on the final day).

On expedition – Supervisors/Assessors should ensure:

Participants must behave responsibly with respect for their team members, Leaders, landowners, the public and animals, and must understand and adhere to the Countryside, Scottish Outdoor Access, Highway and Water Sports Codes (as appropriate).

Expeditions must be unaccompanied and self-sufficient. The team must be properly equipped, and supervision must be carried out remotely, considering what is reasonably practicable for participants and ensuring their welfare is paramount.

Participants must actively participate in a debrief with their Assessor at the end of the expedition and, at Silver and Gold level, a presentation must be delivered after the expedition.

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