How Much Does DofE Cost?

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The DofE or Duke of Edinburgh Award is often pushed as being a great opportunity that can really help to boost your CV. However, what’s often left unsaid are all the little details relating to the DofE that might help you decide if it really is that worth it. One of the more significant details to think about is how much it costs to actually do the DofE Award.

In short, the DofE Award costs £25.50 for the Bronze and Silver DofE Awards and £32.50 for the Gold Award for participation. However, there are also other costs involved, particularly for the expedition component of the DofE Award. These will vary depending on, who you do the DofE with.

Continue reading for a break down into just how much the DofE Award is. In the following, you’ll be able to understand more about the DofE Award, including what the cost actually covers, why the costs may vary slightly and if these costs are even worth it in the end.

How much does the DofE Award cost?

The Duke of Edinburgh Award or DofE is a youth programme that young people between the ages of 14 and 24 can take part in. The aim of this programme is to enable young people to have a positive experience and to be able to develop new skills that can help them in a working environment as well as in everyday life.

You can learn more about DofE by checking out this page on its official website. For even more detail about what the Duke of Edinburgh Award is, check out this Think Student article.

The DofE Award was introduced in 1956 so to no surprise, its cost has changed quite a bit since then. However, the Duke of Edinburgh Award organisation is aimed at being affordable and accessible for young people in the UK and so the cost of participation is created to reflect this.

The DofE Award costs £25.50 for the Bronze and Silver DofE Awards and £32.50 for the Gold Award for participation. However, depending on who you do the DofE Award with, you might find that the cost is slightly more than this.

This is because organisations, such as youth clubs and schools will also need to cover other costs and so will set a price that also reflects these. These costs may include costs of transport or expedition as well as other things.

You can learn more about this by checking out this page on the official DofE website.

It’s also important to note that there may be an admin fee from your local authority, which would also cause the cost to be slightly higher. For example, for groups operating under the authority of Hampshire County Council, there is an admin fee of £9.50 (as of 2024). You can learn more about this on the Hampshire County Council’s website here.

How much does the DofE expedition cost?

In this article, we’ve already looked at the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s participation fee. However, as already mentioned, this fee doesn’t take all the costs into account.

The main cost that you’ll need to look at when doing the DofE Award is the cost of the expedition aspect. While we’ll look into what this is properly later on in this article, this aspect is as it sounds. The expedition part of the DofE is a trip, where students are camping and have to meet certain criteria to pass this part of their DofE Award.

While the participation fee is a standardised amount set by the DofE Award organisation, the costs involved in expedition will depend on who you do it with. Due to this, it’s best that you check with local providers in your area for more specific information.

However, we can still look at some examples to get a general idea of how much it is going to be.

For example, at St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College, the DofE expedition costs £325 for a 10-day expedition trip. This is including both the practice expeditions and the assessed one. You can learn more about this by checking out this page on the St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College’s website.

Alternatively, you may do the DofE through an Approved Activity Provider (AAP), such as Action4Youth. With this provider, prices will vary. However, for 2024 expedition dates, they range from £90 for the Bronze DofE assessed expedition to £275 each for training and assessed Silver DofE expeditions.

You can learn more about this by checking out the Action4Youth website here.

What does the DofE Award entail?

Now that we’ve looked at the main costs of the DofE Award, let’s look at what is actually involved in this programme. As previously mentioned, one of the components of the DofE is the expedition.

However, there are also 3 or 4 other components that participants will have to complete, depending on the level. In the following section we’ll look at these levels in more depth. You can also learn about the DofE in this Think Student article.

Look at the following list to see what these 5 components are and see a brief explanation into how they work.

  • Volunteering– This one is pretty self-explanatory as participants will need to complete some form of voluntary work. This can be done by volunteering with a charity, volunteering with social action causes or campaigns or some other voluntary acts.
  • Physical– In this component, participants will need to complete some kind of sport, dance or other fitness activity.
  • Skills– In this component, participants will need to complete some kind of activity that allows them to develop some kind of skill. They will need to be able to prove that they are making progress in this skill and to make sure that it doesn’t count as a physical activity.
  • Expedition– For this, participants will need to plan and complete an expedition with minimal help and no motorised help. While the route will need to be a continuous journey, this can be done through several modes of transport, such as foot or wheelchair, bicycle, boat, canoe or even horseback.
  • Residential (only for Gold DofE Award)– For this, participants need to spend a certain amount of time on a residential trip with an organised group, official charity or Approved Activity Provider (AAP). However, this will need to be done individually so participants won’t know anyone on their residential trip. In fact, others don’t need to even be doing DofE. In this group, participants will need to complete a particular activity, however what this is can be flexible.

You can learn more about this by checking out this page from the DofE Award website.

What are the levels of the DofE Award?

There are 3 levels to the DofE Award. These are Bronze, Silver and Gold.

For each of these levels, there are different age requirements. You can see what these are in the following list.

  • Bronze– To be able to do the Bronze level, you need to be at least in the school year, where you will be turning 14.
  • Silver– To be able to do the Silver level, you need to be at least in the school year, where you will be turning 15.
  • Gold– To be able to do the Gold level, you will need to be at least 16.

Regardless of the level, you will need to complete the Award before you turn 25.

As previously mentioned, participants on all the levels of the DofE Award will need to complete each of the components. However, the time scale for each of these will differ depending on the level.

Look at the following table to see how long each component lasts for each level.

  Bronze (one section will need to last 6 months) Silver Gold
Volunteering 3 months 6 months 12 months
Physical 3 months 3 months (either this or Skills will need to last 6 months) 6 months (either this or Skills will need to last 12 months)
Skill 3 months 3 months (either this or Physical will need to last 6 months) 6 months (either this or Physical will need to last 12 months)
Expedition 2 days and 1 night 3 days and 2 nights 4 days and 3 nights
Residential N/A N/A 5 days and 4 nights

You can learn more about all this from this guide on the DofE official website.

As we’ve already seen from the additional costs of the expedition component, any costs involved with these components are not included in the price of the participation fee. Due to this, how much completing the DofE Award costs for each participant can vary greatly depending on what they choose to do.

This also means that the costs will vary even more between the levels due to participants spending different lengths of time completing them.

Do you get help to pay for DofE?

In this article, we’ve already looked at what the costs of the DofE Award are and what you’re actually paying for. However, we’ve not quite looked at what is in place to help you cover these costs.

If you complete the DofE Award through your school, you might be able to receive financial aid directly through them. This is because the Duke of Edinburgh Award organisation is offering funding of up to £9,000 for schools to start offering the DofE Award to students. One of the ways this funding can be used is to give support to students, such as through giving them a place on a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

How this works will be up to your school so if you are interested in doing the DofE but are unable to pay for it, you should contact them directly. You can also learn more by checking out this guide from the DofE organisation.

Other than this, you can get discounts to help you cover costs for equipment for the expedition component. You can learn more about these by checking out this page on the DofE website.

*All the costs mentioned within this article are true at the time of writing (February 2024).

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