A “skill” is a hobby or activity that isn’t an aerobic Sport!

It is often a practical skill like painting, knitting, learning an instrument, gardening, cookery, snooker, cards, learning to be an umpire or sports officiator, creative writing, photography, woodwork etc.  

It might also be something academic like learning about something and writing a report on it or taking a course in something, or classifying a collection.  

It might be something new or something you want to improve on. Check the SKILLS list here for ideas.

How many hours do I need to complete?

  • You need to complete one hour a week of your chosen activity for the timescale you have chosen for this section showing committed and regular participation: it’s a marathon NOT a sprint
  • A SHORT intensive period of activity squashed into a few days does NOT count.

What is classed as a skill and what isn’t?

SPORT does NOT count as a SKILL!  So playing football, hockey, table tennis or doing swimming, dancing, ballet, etc are SPORTS and NOT SKILLS!  You cannot do a SPORT activity, or learn a sporting activity, and expect to pass this off as a SKILL.

Curriculum school subjects do NOT count as SKILLS e.g. learning geography in lessons

Joining an external course in a new subject would count as a skill. Eg, going to an evening class to learn Mandarin or Bridge.

Taking a course in life-saving and passing a qualification is a skill.

Doing life-saving is a volunteering activity and NOT a skill.

Doing ballet or dance is not a skill, they are sports. Drama is a skill.

Canoeing is a sport, canoe building is a skill.

Bike maintenance is a skill, cycling is a sport.

Note that NO lessons at all ever count towards DofE.  Clubs in lunchtime and after school can count towards your DofE, so long as you regularly attend minimum 1 hour per week activity over the correct timescale and ask a suitable willing adult to be your assessor.

Who will assess my skill?

A suitable adult assessor (not a parent or close relative) who knows about the activity and is suitably qualified to be able to advise you, set suitable goals and monitor your progress.

What you DO depends on your level of skill at the outset: you can be a beginner or very experienced in your chosen skill e.g. start a new musical instrument or continue one and go for Grade 8, or anything in between! The key is to progress with your skill for an hour a week, minimum, and produce evidence that shows progress.  You should decide what your targets and goals are with your assessor at the beginning. Keep a diary record of dates you attend.

What do I need to do when I have chosen my skill?

  1. Please complete the form provided about your chosen skill and hand this in to your DofE leader by the deadline set. If you are unsure about whether or not your skill is suitable speak to your leader beforehand to check. Once your form has been submitted and approved you can then upload your activity details on eDofE and submit them for approval.
  2. Once your activity has been formally approved you will need to ask your assessor for your skill to sit down with you and set some goals that you will work towards over the course of your timescale. These goals must be met at the end in order to pass so make sure they are realistic in the timescale you have chosen.
  3. You will also need to hand your assessor the letter in your folder which outlines their role in your DofE award and requires them to complete their details and sign the form to agree to be your assessor. This letter will need to be returned to your DofE leader by the deadline set.

What do I do when I’ve completed my skill?

When you FINISH: ask your assessor to complete your eDofE record card (Bronze ; Silver) if they agree that you have finished the required time. This completed record card will need to be scanned onto eDofE, marked as assessor’s report and submitted to your leader for final approval. Taking photos or keeping certificates is also useful to scan onto eDofE.

Programme Ideas – Skills

DofE Skills Section Information

Thank you to Reigate Grammar School for their assistance with our DofE webpages.