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DofE Expedition Skills

The DofE Expedition Skills (DES) course is a brand new addition to the DofE’s Modular Training Framework (MTF).

The DES is a basic expedition skills course. It gives expedition leaders and expedition support staff the theoretical and practical skills needed to support DofE expeditions (N.B. expeditions on foot, in normal, rural and open countryside - e.g. normal Bronze territory).

See here for a description of the course and a list of frequently asked questions.


What will you cover during the course?

Read the course training flyer and learning outcomes.

The DES is a 30 hour training course, normally run as a residential, with a combination of theoretical and practical learning sessions. Learners cover:

Supervision skills

  • Knowledge of the DofE’s Expedition section
  • Expedition planning skills
  • Knowledge of Licensed Organisation procedures

Hard skills

  • Navigation
  • Countryside Code and conservation 
  • Cooking and campcraft 
  • Personal and group kit 
  • Weather. 

Next steps:

  • Other Modes of travel
  • Experience
  • Qualifications

Please note that this course has a substantial practical element and will involve significant outdoor learning and physical activity.


Who should do this course?

This course is suitable for adults who wish to gain practical experience in the expedition skills needed to support the delivery of foot-based expeditions in ‘normal’ terrain (commonly used for Bronze expeditions).

Those who already have these skills should consider other training, such as the Expedition Supervisor Training Course or Expedition Assessor Accreditation Scheme.



No practical experience is required in advance of the course. This is a DofE-run course and trainers will use a continuous assessment process to ensure that learners cover all of the learning outcomes, which will then be recorded on the course certificate.


Relation to other DofE Training:

See how the DES connects to the rest of the MTF and with the other adult expedition training modules.


Pre-Course Requirements:

Delegates must complete two online modules to prepare them for the course.

Finally, print or email the ‘Letter of Completion’ for both courses to the Course Director.



It is the responsibility of each Licensed Organisation/AAP to ensure that all those supporting expeditions have the skills and experience to do so.

Completing the DES does not imply that a learner has been approved to support expeditions by the DofE; the responsibility lies entirely with the LO/AAP.


Course resources:
  • Delegate Log Book: print off extra sheets, to allow course delegates to record their experience, before and after attending the course.


Course information

If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact your DofE Regional/Country office.

Use the Opportunities Finder to find a DES course.