The Gold Award can be completed at any time by anyone from 16 to 25 years old. You may be able to backdate appropriate activity to your 16th birthday. You can enrol without a previous Award.

There is no pressure to finish Gold within a set period – sections can be started when it suits. A break can be taken without losing credit for activity. 

The commitment has to be regularly spaced over the time period chosen. eg at least an hour a week; or 2-3 hrs once a fortnight; or a day a month. 

You can pop in for help or information most term time Tuesdays after school at any stage in your Award

UCAS and the DofE: My advice

The range of activities possible is endless because the Award is about recognising your own personal achievement. You build it around you and consider activities that you are probably doing anyway outside of mandatory curriculum. For instance driving is a skill; so is an Extended Project Qual at school; an NCS week is a Residential; helping at school would be volunteering. 

Local ideas and links:

  • Volunteering  here
  • Physical here
  • Skills here
  • Local, UK and International Residentials here
  • Expeditions
    • There are three stages to any DofE Expedition. 
      1. Training in appropriate level countryside (you do not have to be 16 to train for Gold) completing the Gold training framework
      2. Two day and two night Practice when you must be 16 years old. 
      3. Four day and three night assessed expedition 
    • Want to cycle, sail, ride, paddle or walk at a different time? Individuals may find a team place here
    • Foot Expeditions with Gillingham OAC as below

Directs (ie those without Bronze/Silver) may have to take part in a catch up basic training day and do the First Aid Course – details here

Teams and the people in them have to be safe and ready enough to execute a self-sufficient and unaccompanied assessed expedition that they’ve planned themselves. On assessment, teams are remotely supervised and meet leaders at agreed checkpoints

COVID19 restrictions: The team has resumed expeditions in line with current DfE guidance for educational settings and in accordance with  temporary DofE expedition flexibilties.


DATES to consider – remember its ONE of each stage but you can choose to defer at any stage and pick it up again when it suits

  • 19 – 22 February half term 3nts (Bachelors Hall Bunkhouse) Wild Country Training £55
  • 24 and/or 25 February half term – a planning day for Easter Lowland Gold Final
  • 9 – 12 Apr Wild Country Practice (if not achieved previously) £55
  • 21 – 25 Apr (Inset day) Easter Lowland Gold Final (alongside Silver Final) £50
  • 7 and/or 8 May – planning day for the July Wild Country Final
  • 7 – 10 July Wild Country Practice (if not achieved previously) £55
  • 22 – 26 July Wild Country Gold Final £70


Yr11s are free after GCSEs (towards end of June in 2022) 

Yr12s and 13s may need to ask permission of the year head to take time out of school or to rearrange internal mock exams.