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 SKILLS list here.
NO! A SHORT intensive period of activity squashed into a few days does NOT COUNT, even if it is a super activity and you were not paid for it and they said it’s suitable for dofe e.g. an intensive four day course learning something new would NOT count for DofE skill, even if they say it does. Complete eDofE correctly and ASK before you book anything at all so that we can advise you before you spend any money on courses.
You MUST complete activities over the full 3 or 6 or 12 month time period, showing committed and regular participation: it’s a marathon NOT a sprint.
Doing your skill for one hour per week over 3 months or longer DOES count for DofE.
YES! You can do a course and then follow it up with more activity that builds on your learning for an hour a week to match the 3 or 6 or 12 month time scale.
Rule of thumb: If it puffs you out then it is more than likely a sport and does NOT count as a skill for dofe.
Just to be clear…
SPORT does NOT count as a SKILL! So playing football, hockey, table tennis or doing swimming, dancing, ballet etc etc are SPORTS and NOT SKILLS! You cannot do a SPORT activity, or learning a sporting activity, and expect to pass this off as a SKILL.
Learning a sport or an aspect of a sport does NOT count 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. e.g. 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. PSHE, electives, PE, first aid electives, games do not count to any dofe section. 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.
Please talk to dofe staff if you are unsure and submit your activity details for approval (not draft) on edofe so that they can be formally checked BEFORE you start anything.
FIRST find 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.
When you FINISH: ask your assessor to sign up your edofe record card if they agree that you have finished the required time. Keep a log or diary of dates you attend and scan this into edofe as evidence. Taking photos or keeping certificates is also useful to scan into edofe.
The obvious choice for many RGS students is learning a musical instrument: instrument lessons or singing lessons or choir rehearsals in school but outside lesson time will count. Chess and similar clubs are also very popular.
We offer some opportunities through RGS activities:
First Aid: Bronze award course: each expedition group must have one person trained in first aid. 3 months
Sign Language course: Silver skill 3 months
Places are limited so sign up for these in early so you are not disappointed.
Numerous school clubs offer skills opportunities: film club, chess club, debating club, RGS MUN … ask around and get involved!
Download and find more skill ideas here:
SKILLS dofe guidance