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 4-6pm 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)
      2. Two day and two night Practice
      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

Participants take part in planning their Final Expedition and complete one training and one practice beforehand 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

DATES to consider – remember its ONE of each stage! Full details on Gillingham events get posted here

The planning for the Final will be completed in one full day in February. There will be no need to come in Tuesday evenings.

Due to the current restriction of movement and contact we are asking current 2019 Golds, who have completed their training, to put the last week in August in their diaries for undertaking a 2 day, 2 night Practice in North Dorset. This is all subject to being given the go ahead by Dorset Council. 

Remember its ONE of each stage. 3 events – training, practice, final

Fri 25 (after school) to 27 Sept in N Dorset Practice 2019 cohort  

Mon 26 to Wed 28 Oct 2020 in Wiltshire Practice 2019 cohort 

Sun 25 to Wed 28 Oct 2020 in Wiltshire Final 2019 cohort 

Fri 12 Feb 2021 Planning Day for 2021 Finals  Gillingham School Inset Day

Sat 13 to 16 Feb 2021 during half term bunkhouse on Dartmoor Training 2020 cohort 

Fri 9 (arrival) to Tues 13 April 2021 where practice completed previously in Wiltshire Final 2019 cohort

Thurs 15 to Sun 18 April, end of Easter, where no previous training. On Dartmoor Training 2020 cohort

Thurs 15 to Sun 18 April where training was completed in February on Dartmoor Practice 2020 cohort 

Sat 10 July to Tues 13 July where training completed on Dartmoor Practice 2020 cohort

Fri 9 July to Tues 13 July where training and practice completed on Dartmoor Final 2020 cohort 

Sat July 24 to Wed July 28 2021 Gold Final 2020 cohort


Yr11s are free after GCSEs until September

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