Is the Duke of Edinburgh Award Worth Doing?

For the last 5 years, Type IT! is proud to be part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. As an Approved Activity Provider with the DofE, we have helped hundreds of young people learn to touch type for their skills award.

There’s a lot more to the DofE than just something to put on a personal statement or C.V.

Completing any of the Duke of Edinburgh award is a great way for young people to build self confidence, problem-solving skills and independence. These soft skills balance well with the academic knowledge they’re gaining at school, giving them a well-rounded set of tools to tackle any challenges that might come their way.

Let’s delve into what it’s all about and how the true benefits it brings.

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh Award has been around for a long time now. In fact, it was founded back in 1956 by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip and the honour has now passed down to his son Prince Edward.

It is a globally recognised program so young people take on the challenge from across the world. The aim of the award is to foster personal development and provide a challenge for young individuals to push their limits, discover new talents and develop essential life skills. Most young people start their DofE journey from the age of 13 but it’s open to individuals up to 25 years old.

The DofE Award is also a useful way to enhance employability by encouraging participants to engage in activities across four key areas: Volunteering, Physical, Skills, and Expedition.

What different levels are there?

There are three levels of the award:

Bronze Level: Available for participants aged 14 and above.

Silver Level: Available for participants aged 15 and above (or turning 15 during the current academic year).

Gold Level: Available for participants aged 16 and above (or turning 16 during the current academic year).

The age ranges are there to ensure that the DofE Award is tailored to the specific developmental needs and capabilities of participants at different stages of adolescence and young adulthood.

Participants can progress through the levels, with most people starting at Bronze and working their way up to Silver and Gold, gaining increased challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities for personal growth and achievement. Older participants, can choose to skip Bronze and in some cases Silver also, and go straight to Gold.

How long does it take to complete the DofE?

🥉 Bronze DofE takes at least 6 months to complete across four different sections.

  • Volunteering, skill and physical sections – two are 3 months, one is 6 months (and you can choose which)
  • Expedition – 2 day, 1 night assessment with at least 6 hours of planned activity per day.

🥈 Silver DofE takes at least 6 months to complete across four different sections.

  • Volunteering section – 6 months
  • Skill and physical sections – one is 6 months, the other 3 months (you can choose)
  • Expedition – 3 day, 2 night assessment with at least 7 hours of planned activity per day. There are also practice expeditions to do.

If you didn’t do Bronze, you have to do an additional 6 months of volunteering or either the physical or skill sections. So in total it will take 12 months to complete.

🥇 Gold takes at least 12 months to complete over five different sections.

  • Volunteering section – 12 months
  • Skill and physical sections – one is 12 months, the other 6 months (you can choose)
  • Expedition – 4 day, 3 night assessment with at least 8 hours of planned activity per day plus practice expeditions  
  • Residential – a 5 day, 4 night residential camp away from home with people you don’t know.

If you didn’t do Silver, you must complete an additional 6 months in either volunteering or the longer of the skill/physical sections.

Gold would take at least 18 months to complete.

Benefits of the Duke of Edinburgh Award:

Engaging in the DofE Award can have a profound impact on the lives of young individuals.

Here are some key benefits:

  • Personal Growth and Character Development:

The DofE Award challenges participants to step out of their comfort zones, helping them build resilience, self-esteem and confidence, and determination.

It helps them to form friendships, and have fun.

Through a series of activities and expeditions, participants develop essential life skills such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.

  • Broadened Horizons and New Experiences:

Participants have the opportunity to explore new activities and hobbies, nurturing a sense of adventure, curiosity, and a love for lifelong learning.

Expeditions allow participants to discover the beauty of nature, develop navigation skills, and foster an appreciation for the environment. Volunteering allows them to feel empathy towards others and develop a sense of caring and giving in the community.

  • Enhanced Employability:

The DofE Award is highly respected by employers as it shows qualities relating to commitment, initiative, using time effectively and a willingness to take on challenges. It helps to develop skills relating to problem solving, communication and presentation skills.

Participants can take these new valuable skills into the workplace, helping to give them an edge in a competitive job market.

Skills Section of the DofE Award:

The skills section is a key part of the DofE Award and one where participants can explore their interests, broaden their horizons, and gain proficiency in something new they are keen to learn.

Here are some of the skills that participants can select for their DofE journey:

  • Touch Typing:

Touch typing is an essential skill in today’s digital age, helping people to type faster and more accurately so that they can perform their job roles more effectively. Our DofE Type IT! touch typing program is a specialist tutor supported course designed solely for DofE students, helping them to learn how to touch type and earn their DofE Skill Award at the same time. By mastering touch typing, participants can boost their productivity, enhance their written communication, and gain a valuable skill for academic and professional success.

  • Musical Instrument:

Learning to play a musical instrument can offer so many benefits including discipline, creativity, and self-expression.

This is the ideal opportunity for participants to choose an instrument they are passionate about, whether that’s the guitar, piano or drums!

  • Photography:

Photography allows participants to develop their creativity. It’s an ideal opportunity where they can learn various techniques such as learning about composition, lighting, and post-processing.

  • Cooking:

Developing culinary skills not only equips participants with a practical and enjoyable hobby but also empowers them to take control of their nutrition and well-being. From mastering basic cooking techniques to experimenting with diverse recipes, participants can become confident chefs in their own kitchens.

  • Public Speaking:

Public speaking is a highly sought-after skill that enhances communication, self-assurance, and leadership abilities. Participants can choose to join public speaking clubs, practice delivering speeches, and develop the art of captivating an audience with their words.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award provides an exceptional opportunity for students to challenge themselves, explore their interests, and develop vital life skills. The Skills section of the DofE Award allows participants to pursue their passion and gain expertise in a chosen area.

Learn A DofE Skill With Type IT!

At Touch Type It!, we are proud to offer a specialised touch typing course tailored to DofE students, enabling them to unlock their typing potential and earn their DofE Skill Award.

While the DofE Award doesn’t carry as much weight with universities as it used to, it definitely adds a huge amount of personal value. DofE helps prepare you for university life, by replicating university experiences such as going away from home, and interacting with people you have never met before. It helps you to develop your skills and push yourself to try new challenges. So perhaps when choosing to do DofE, it shouldn’t be about doing it for anyone else other than how it’s going to benefit you as a person.

We invite all DofE participants to start their DofE Award with Type IT! and equip yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the digital age. Check out our DofE touch typing course .

Alternatively, give us a call on 020 3962 2059  to have a friendly chat about how we can help you!

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