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. 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.


Practice – 27 to 30 Jun 2020

Final – 17 (arrival) to 21 July 2020 

Practice – 24 to 27 Oct 2020

Planning Day for July 2021 Final  – tbc Feb 2021 – Gillingham School Inset Day, if convenient 

Training – 13 to 16 Feb 2021 during half term, bunkhouse 

Training – 10 to 13 Apr 2021 during Easter Hols

Practice – 10 to 13 Apr 2021 where training was completed previously 

Final – 9 (arrival) to 13 April 2021 where training and practice completed previously 

Practice – 2 to 5 Jul 2021

Final – 22 (arrival) 26 Jul 2021

Looking forward to July 2022 Final 

Practice – 23 to 27 Oct 2021

Planning Day for July 2022 Final  – tbc Feb 2022 – Gillingham School Inset Day, if convenient 


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, .