FAQ

Do I have to use eDofE?

Yes. It’s really important and very easy. You put together and submit your plans on eDofE so that the Leader approves what you’re planning and can see that you’re getting on with it. All the Assessor Reports have to go up on eDofE too, to complete a section. When it’s all done the whole Award is then also verified electronically on eDofE. It’s also accessible 24/7!

How long do I have to spend on each activity?

There is a “guideline” of a minimum of an hour a week, however please don’t think that this means that you can do 13 hours in one or two days and that completes a 3 month section! You could do something like a morning every fortnight or a day every month but that depends on the length of the whole section and must be agreed with your Leader. Basically, you have to start and finish on the days you’ve put into your plans and pan out your commitment over that time.

What activities can I do for the sections?

There are hundreds of things you can do. Download a handy list of programme ideas for all sections (remember this is not definitive!)

What Games and Sports can I do for my Skills section?

Only those specifically under this heading on the programmes ideas sheet (above). Even though lots of games/sports need skills to play that does not mean they come under the DofE Skills section.

Find out more about the Skills section.

What counts as a volunteering activity?

Volunteering is about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment or animals. Your volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation, e.g. school, church, community group/club/association.

Helping needy individuals counts but not something like “babysitting” for an able person who could afford to pay! Always check with a Leader. Remember: volunteering goals are NOT about yourself!

How will I know if what I’ve chosen to do is right?

First of all discuss your idea with a Leader. Then put it onto eDofE and SUBMIT your Programme Planner for approval. Remember that saving it as a “Draft” idea means it isn’t brought to the attention of the Leader (by the system) and you may waste months – and money – if it’s wrong!

Can I do things during school or college or Uni lesson time?

Only if the time you are using is normally your free time or you have chosen to take an extra subject which is outside of your required timetable. (This is not necessarily the case for all educational establishments – specific advice must be sought)

What is an Assessor?

Someone with whom you agree your initial goals and who is happy to write up a brief report at the end of your commitment. You must know who this person is going to be at the start of the section for obvious reasons (we hope!). Assessors can write up their report on the Welcome Pack page, so it can be scanned onto eDofE or they can use the Assessor Portal at http://www.dofe.info/assessor/

Can I ask a close relative to be my assessor?

No. They could train, mentor or support you but you’ll need to do an Activity (text or pic) Log so that someone else (possibly a Leader) can sign it off.

What evidence do I need on eDofE?

Only the assessor report. Other pics/docs etc are only usually put on if you are creating a log of activity for an Assessor who is not your instructor/mentor (as per question above). Or you want to create an Achievement Pack.

I’ve forgotten my eDofE username/password!

Leaders can help you with your username but your password is a bit trickier! Don’t try guessing your password more than twice – it’ll lock you out for 24hours. Simply follow the “Forgot your Password?” link on the log in page

Do I have to do all the Expedition training and practices? 

Yes. The objective of this section is to train a team that can plan their own expedition and then complete it in a self-sufficient and unaccompanied manner. This cannot be achieved safely if Participants have not attended both base and offsite training. Initially hikes are supervised directly, for training purposes; as skills and experience are built supervision becomes more remote. There are “20 Conditions” to a DofE Expedition which are very clear:

20 conditions of the Expedition section

What happens if I have a medical condition that makes it difficult to carry a heavy pack?

Expedition conditions can be varied for individuals who are in this situation. We’d need to see a letter from a Health Professional with an outline of the circumstances and what should be considered in terms of load bearing. All Participants must carry the minimum of waterproofs, first aid, food and water for the day.

What Expedition equipment do I need to have?

Gillingham OAC has been very lucky in the outside financial help that it’s received and has a good store of essential personal equipment that can be borrowed upon filling out a lending agreement. Clearly things have to be taken care of and returned fit for purpose, otherwise there has to be a charge. Team equipment – tents, trangias, fuel, maps, compasses are supplied.

Here is a list of things that are needed with handy notes: Kit List 2018

How often do I need to come to the Centre?

If you are doing your Expedition then you will need to complete your training both onsite and offsite.

You will see, under the “Programme” tabs, what is expected of Participants.
Where the title of the session is “drop in” that means you can come in any time during that session in order to sort out things on a personal basis.

Other than Expedition training eDofE is an excellent way of keeping in touch if coming to the Centre is difficult and means you only have to have access to the Internet to do so.