The Duke of Edinburgh Award


The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14 to 24. Delivered in more than 130 countries, the programme is the world’s leading youth achievement award and has helped more than 6.5 million young people develop for life and work since its launch in 1956.

The RYA was recognised as a National Operating Authority for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in 2012 and more than 25 RYA recognised training centres are now also recognised as DofE centres. 

Through a DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and university and job applications.

There are three progressive levels of programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

Participants can complete all the sections, including the expedition, at a recognised DofE centre where activities will be signed off by an Accredited Assessor. But many of the activities young people are already taking part in at their local clubs or training centres can also count towards their award and just need to be signed off by an impartial assessor with knowledge of the activity (find out more in our FAQs). These could range from:

  • Volunteering: Helping out at the their local Training Centre, club or Team 15 night on a regular basis, this could be as an assistant, in the kitchen or maybe even on the committee!
  • Physical: Regularly taking part in Sailing or windsurfing activity, why not set yourself a goal to gain a certain certificate in the RYA National Sailing or Windsurfing scheme or maybe participate in regular club racing.
  • Skill: All about developing your skills, whether practical, social or personal. You may choose to sharpen up your powerboating, learn a new skill such as boat repair work or perhaps increase your theory knowledge and learn all about meteorology!
  • Expedition: This could be an on-the-water expedition or a more traditional hike or shore-based adventure that is organised through the centre.  
  • Residential: You may never have been away from home before, let alone using your board or boat to go on an exciting adventure with friends, so now is the time!


Useful resources

Are you a young person thinking about doing your DofE? Here's everything you need to know:


Clubs and centres interested in DofE recognition should contact the RYA training team