Tips for completing your DofE
Here are the answers to the most common questions asked about how to complete a DofE programme:
I completed everything for my DofE ages ago but didn’t send off my book and now I’m over 25.
So long as you completed all of your sections before your 25th birthday then you are still able to submit your Gold Award for approval. Your first step is to try to make contact with your Assessors for the sections which were not signed off at the time, and asking them to backdate their signature to when you completed the section. If you are not able to make contact with your Assessor, you can ask someone else who is aware of what you did to sign it off for you. You may need to provide additional proof of what you did to your Leader.
I can’t find my participant handbook. Can I still complete my programme?
Yes, you need to get your Leader or someone independent who is aware of what you did for your sections to write Assessor reports for each section of your Award and then upload these to your eDofE account for approval.
I am no longer a member of the group I started my DofE with, what happens next?
So long as you are still under 25 years of age, you can continue working towards your DofE. If you have moved to a new school, college or university, find out if they offer the DofE and if you can join their group. It is then just a simple case of their Leader moving your eDofE account into their group. More information can be found on our website: http://www.dofe.org/en/content/cms/doing-your-dofe/changing-groups/
My previous activity Supervisor/Assessor has left; who can write my Assessor report?
Your sections do not need to have Assessor reports written by your DofE Leader – any adult who is aware of what you did for your sections can write a report. Remember this person needs to be independent from you so cannot be a family member.
The Assessor for my Physical section is unsure what to include in the Assessor report? What should he include?
Your Assessor report needs to clearly show what activity you have been doing, over what time frame but also how frequently you have attended. It should also include some information on the progress you have made in reference to your original aims, along with the signature of your Assessor and the date the report was written. It is strongly recommended the Assessor includes an email address or contact number in case your Leader has any questions.
I did the Training and Practice expedition but missed the Qualifying expedition. Where can I do it?
You should initially contact the centre in which you have done your previous expeditions. They may have an alternative expedition planned. If not, your DofE Leader may be able to arrange for you to complete your qualifying expedition with another centre. The final options would be an Open DofE centre run by your Local Authority or an Approved Activity Provider.
How can I find an Approved Activity Provider for my expedition?
We have a list of Approved Activity Providers who provide a range of expeditions across the UK and overseas: http://www.dofe.org/finder/Default.aspx?ResultsOnPage=20&UserType=1
Where can I do my Gold Residential?
To achieve your Gold Award, you need to complete an extra section – the Residential. This involves spending 5 days and 4 nights away from home on a shared activity with people you’ve never met before.
We have a number of Approved Activity Providers who are listed on our website and can give you information and ideas on the residential courses which they run.
Some frequently asked questions on the Residential section are here: www.DofE.org/go/faqr
I can’t think of what to do for my sections.
You can count something you are already doing for any of your sections or you can start something completely new. You can find a list of activity ideas for each of the sections here: www.DofE.org/sections/
This list is not exhaustive, if you would like to do an activity which is not on the list, have a chat with your DofE Leader before starting it for your DofE to see whether it would be acceptable.
I started a section but don’t enjoy the activity which I am undertaking.
Even though we don’t encourage this, you may make one change of activity in each section at each level. You must restart the preparation, training, activity and assessment process and the time spent on both activities will add up to meet the overall time requirements for that section.
I initially chose to do my skill section for 3 months; however I’d like to change it so I can now do it for 6 months. Is it possible to change my timescales?
Yes! You can change your timescales at any time before your first section has been approved. Simply log into your eDofE account, click on Home, click on Timescales and change them.
I can’t carry on with my DofE because I have exams and other pressures.
Don’t forget you have until your 25th birthday to complete your DofE, regardless of when you started it. You can undertake your sections during the school holidays or at a time in the year when you are not as busy with other activities. Remember that you don’t have to undertake the skills, physical and volunteering sections at the same time and each section only needs to be on average of an hour a week. If you are struggling with your DofE programme then it may be worth chatting with your Leader to talk through options available to you.
I’ve had a change in financial circumstances and don’t think I can afford to do my DofE anymore.
The costs associated with doing your DofE are available here: www.DofE.org/costs
You may wish to chat to your Leader who may be able to provide you with ideas for activities for your sections which are low cost or even free. Remember you also have until your 25th birthday to complete your Award.
I can’t remember my eDofE log in information (Username/password).
Speak to your DofE Leader in the first instance who can provide you with your eDofE username. If for any reason you cannot get hold of your DofE Leader, contact the SW Regional Office on: 01225 874354 or [email protected]
For forgotten passwords, click the ‘Forgot your password’ button and you will be asked a security question. Alternatively, our YouTube channel has lots of videos including a step by step process on what to do when you’ve forgotten your password. www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4Vq29ukf8k
I don’t have access to the internet to upload evidence to eDofE.
There are many locations in your local area which will have access to the internet which you can usually access cheaply or for free. These include libraries, friends’ houses, schools, colleges, universities and youth clubs. The DofE will shortly be launching a mobile friendly platform so you can access eDofE via your smart phone. A YouTube video on how to start a DofE section is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktNfQGoMPc8
One of my Assessors tells me he has provided an Assessor’s report via the website but I can’t see it in my eDofe account.
You won’t be able to see it in your account until your DofE Leader has approved it. Contact your Leader and ask them to check in their account if they have any Assessor reports awaiting approval. Once they have approved it you will be able to submit the whole section for approval.
My Leader tells me that I need to upload 5 photos as evidence for each section as well as an Assessor’s Report, the website doesn’t mention this. What do I really need?
The minimum requirement on eDofE is one Assessor report for each section – however each organisation which runs the DofE can stipulate their own requirements. Your Leader needs to see enough evidence from every participant to be confident the requirements have been met. We would recommend speaking to your Leader.
The dates the Assessor wrote in my Welcome Pack don’t match the dates I have in my Programme Planner on eDofE, does that matter?
Your Leader will need to understand from evidence given that you have participated in your activity for the appropriate period of time. If the dates in your Programme Planner are not correct, so long as the dates are clearly identified in your Assessor report, signed and dated by your Assessor, then your Leader will have enough evidence.
My Leader says I need to enter the Aims and Goals for my expedition section. How do I do that?
As these are personal to you and your team, your Leader cannot enter this information and you will need to do this before your Expedition Section can be approved. Simply log into your eDofE account and click on Expedition. Enter your Aims (this is what you’ve decided to do as a team) and your Goals (these are personal to you and should state what you’d like to personally get out of your expedition). Make sure you Save the information once you have entered it.