Duke of Edinburgh's Award Centres


F2.1 Introduction

Recognised Training Centres (RTCs) wishing to be recognised to deliver DofE awarding activities using the RYA National Operating Licence should submit a completed DofE Centre Application form.

RTCs wishing to be recognised to deliver DofE awarding activities and become a DofE centre must operate in accordance with these Guidance Notes, the DofE Handbook and the requirements shown below.

The RYA will terminate DofE approval of an RTC that a) has its RYA recognition suspended or terminated; or b) is in consistent breach of their DofE roles or responsibilities.

Should an RTC wish to offer activities to DofE participants outside of that those activities for which they are recognised by the RYA, they must enter an additional agreement directly with the DofE, known as an Approved Activity Provider “AAP”.

DofE Centres are authorised to use the DofE logo. Copies of the logo and branding guidelines are available from the DofE website. This authorisation will cease on withdrawal of RYA recognition or termination of DofE Centre approval.

F2.2 Staffing

  • The RTC shall appoint a DofE Co-ordinator/Leader who will be the main contact between the RYA and the DofE centre.
  • All DofE Co-ordinators at DofE Centres must successfully complete the one-day ‘Introduction to the DofE’ training course. The course must be completed within six months of approval as a DofE Centre. Failure to complete this may result in termination of DofE Centre approval.
  • Sufficient staff must be available to run activities in accordance with the RYA RTC Guidance Notes
  • It is the principal’s responsibility to ensure that all staff undertake the necessary training as set out in the DofE Handbook
  • The RTC shall inform the RYA of any changes in DofE Centre staff immediately.
  • In addition to RYA Staff Qualification records held, accurate records will be kept of all staff approved todeliver DofE activities.

F2.3 Insurance

The DofE centre must have adequate insurance to cover all aspects of DofE programmes organised ordelivered by the centre and in accordance with that required by the RYA.

F2.4 Expeditions

  • Proposed expeditions must meet the DofE’s 20 conditions of the expedition section as set out in The Handbook for DofE Leaders.
  • All expeditions and outdoor activities must be processed and approved in line with agreed centre practices and procedures. This approval must come from the Head, Governors, Director or Chair of the organisation as agreedby the RYA, and carried out in accordance with the RYA Recognised Guidance notes.
  • All expeditions should be notified to, and approved by the RYA, in advanced, by a process and timescale to beagreed by the RYA and the DofE centre.
  • All expeditions in DofE wild country areas and expeditions outside of the UK must also be notified to the DofE Charity following the timescales and procedures set out on the Doff website. (All expeditions taking place outside the UK, or in waters outside of UK International Waters, require the submission of a Blue Form. For the avoidance of doubt, all Gold expeditions must submit a Green Form, unless a blue form is appropriate.)

F2.5 Approving Awards, monitoring and record keeping

  • The DofE Co-ordinator/Leader must check that the participant has completed his/her DofE programme, in accordance with the guiding principles and timescales as set out in The Handbook for DofE Leaders (most current edition issued by the DofE), before the participant’s Award is submitted to the RYA for verification and final approval
  • Any ‘Participation Place’ issued by the RYA or RTC must not be assigned to another participant.
  • RTC/DofE Centre must use eDofE to support and keep accurate records of all participants completing the DofE programmes.
  • The RTC should ensure completed Awards awaiting processing are submitted by the agreed date, usually within 21 days.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14 to 24. Doing their DofE gives young people the opportunity to experience new activities or develop existing skills.

There are three progressive levels of programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

There are currently 275,000 young people participating in a DofE programme in the UK, with over 80,000 achieving a Bronze, Silver and Gold Award each year.

There are four sections (five at Gold):

  • Volunteering: At their local centre, club or Team15 night on a regular basis.
  • Physical: Regular sailing or windsurfing activity, either learning or racing.
  • Skill: Developing practical, social or personal skills.
  • Residential and Expedition: Adventuring with boats or boards.  

The DofE website is full of information explaining the opportunities for young people. 

How training centres get involved 

Please see 'Running DofE Programmes' in Related Documents.

RYA centres and clubs can become DofE centres and offer the Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and Residential sections to their young people. If you want to set yourself up as a DofE centre, please contact training@rya.org.uk.

In addition you may also be eligible to become an Approved Activity Provider, offering the residential and expedition parts of the DofE to young people outside of their RYA centre. See 'Approved Activity Providers' on the right.

How to volunteer and get involved

There is a considerable amount of interaction between the participants and the adults who are supporting them. If you are interested in getting involved, see ' Volunteer Roles' on the right.

For further information or advice, please email us at training@rya.org.uk or see our FAQs.