DofE - Getting Started

Hi all
Currently my Sqn has nobody qualified in anything DofE or AT but we have a number of cadets who have expressed an interest in completing a DofE award. Can anyone in the know lay out the steps we’d need to take to get cadets a Bronze (and perhaps Silver) award? We’ve had a look through the ACATIs which are quite confusing in places, and attempted to contact the WATTO/Wg DofE Officer but with no success.

Obviously Covid-19 throws a spanner in the works for this, but we’re thinking strategically!

ACTO 74 covers everything.

There’s more to DofE than the expedition. I would recommend that someone or as many as you can muster go on the Intro to DofE course. They can be run virtually.

Basically, cadet needs to enroll, then plan their sections, do their sections, claim award. Simples in theory.

The IttDofE course will guide you through the whole thing.

To run the expedition, you will need at minimum an assessor and supervisor. The assessor needs to have done the accredited assessors course, and the supervisor will need an NGB qual like Lowland Leader.

The actual rules vary by level, as well.


Just want to comment to backup @Tango_Foxtrot with more than just a like.

This is something that people seem to forget all the time. DofE is in-fact more about the non-exped elements then the 2/3/4 days they spend on exped!

@Cadet04 if you are having trouble contacting the wg DofE officer, go to your region DofE officer. Say you are really keen on doing an intro to DofE course and would like to know when one is running.


Of course! I/we just happen to know the least about the expedition part, apart from it requires the most effort qualification wise.

Great, thanks. Am I correct in saying we’d need an expedition skills module on top of the LLA if we want to camp?

Yes. Lowland Leader and Hill and Moreland Leader require it. Technically Mountain Leader does too but I think that is ignored by everyone.
If someone has Basic Expedition Leader then that’s fine on it’s own.

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What JoeBloggs said, although for expeditions run up until July 2021 you don’t need to camp.

Depending on what happens, that might get extended.


Really? I was explicitly told it wasn’t needed, because of the campcraft element of ML assessment. The HML assessment info page specifically says

After you’ve passed your assessment, if you’re interested in taking groups on multi-day walks, the Expedition Skills Module is the obvious next step.

…which the ML page doesn’t say


I was told almost the opposite. I was told that because on the ML assessment as part of the exped bit they are assessing your personal competence (can you get through 3 days without getting cold or hungry) and not looking at your ability to teach campcraft or supervise it. It was also noted that this would never really be enforced.

Nice to see the same information being cascaded down, as ever :sweat_smile:

This was back when the EM was very new, so it may well be that the new ML syllabus has been updated to bring it more inline with EM too.

That would be sensible, wouldn’t it… you’d think that people would realise that if you had a leadership qualification, and could show you can look after yourself, then you can also explain those skills at the level needed for D of E :roll_eyes:

(although I was an ML and become a D of E supervisor / assessor before the EM even existed)

I’d also add that, as far as I know (although part very educated guess from the couple I don’t know personally), only 1 of the 6 Region D of E officers have got ML, which could lead to an interesting discussion about remit if they’re helping to make policy decisions

Have you spoken with local units? Although everyone is under multiple pressures atm, from an admin and org perspective a few extra bodies being added to an existing (effective) process might be small enough for someone to be willing to help you out.

…as long as you’re willing to put the effort in under their guidance for the bits you don’t strictly need them for.

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Yeah, we have worked with them in the past but for various reasons that hasn’t been possible for a while. Hoping to become a bit more independent which will hopefully get more cadets through the award.

The Intro to DofE course is well worth doing. If it’s a virtual course you could go outside Wing if need be.
A lot of making DofE a success is getting the detail right and keeping on top of all the admin.


We struggled for years to become self-sufficient for all bar the exped section as we couldn’t find/keep someone with the drive and time to learn and then run it (or have prior experience).

It takes some effort to get it going, but once running it’s not so bad. Intro to DofE as others have said will be useful.

Your Wing DofE Officer should be willing to give you a guiding hand - goes on their figures after all.

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We’re in a similar position. A few CIs and Staff Cadets have expressed interest in doing an LLA though so it shouldn’t be too bad. Hopefully after some other newer staff get out there too they might take an interest.

Indeed, just covid related issues I think at the minute.

Erm that would depend on your Wing, DofE figures would generally be down to the DofE Officer and there are plenty of AT Staff who aren’t DofE focussed.

Unless you have Cadets who are really desperate to go direct entry to Silver or Gold I would recommend getting some Bronzes under your belt first.

As has been suggested getting someone on an Intro to DofE Course will be a big help, but you don’t have to wait for that before you can start doing things.

Firstly you need to get someone on the Staff team a Leaders Account, I would recommend getting anyone who’s interested an account it makes life easier.

Secondly you need to get the Cadets registered, should be a simple form, there is a template but your Wing DofE Officer may have tweaked it slightly so check on Wing Sharepoint or with them direct, plus Cadets will need to stump up the realist ration fee. (I think it’s £24 these days but would have to double check).

It being Winter you want to be focusing on the Volunteering, Physical & Skill Sections, technically if you get Cadets started now they can have all 3 of those finished by May. There are shed loads of things they can be doing and anyone (except family members*) can be the assessor. So once they are registered they need to decide what they are doing for those sections and they need to then do it and provide evidence for each section. Remember it’s there award and they can do whatever they want as long as it will tick the required boxes.

You can effectively kick all of that off today if it suits you, no need to wait until you have done your intro course.

For example we have smashed out the non-expedition sections during Lockdown, loads of ours did the Joe Wicked PE session for physical and then one of the staff sighed them off as their assessor for example.

If you want any more details drop me a PM.

*I’m aware that under Covid lots of rules have been varied by I didn’t want to over complicate the post!

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This can be a staff cadet too! If the staff aren’t interested no reason a staff cadet can’t go on the intro course and get as leaders account.

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