Evidence and Signing Off Sections
Here are some hints and advice to help you along the way while you are working on your Gold sections – the evidence submitted for all Gold awards is all looked at and checked thoroughly, and some awards have been sent back for more evidence because of insufficient quantity or quality, so make sure you get yours right first time.
Our biggest tip is to keep gathering and uploading evidence while you are working on the section – don’t leave it all to the end then find out you missed opportunities or threw out useful documents. Remember you can upload evidence as:
- A Video (.mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .avi, .mov, .wmv, .flv)
- A Image (.jpg, .jpeg, .jpe, .gif, .bmp, .png)
- Text – typed or pasted directly into the text box
- Uploading any of the following file types: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .txt, .rtf, .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .ppsx
Remember to rotate images so they are the right way round before or after you upload them.
Examples of evidence you could upload are unlimited, but here are some ideas:
- A video of you in action (if the content is not clear give it a descriptive title and a date)
- A video diary of your thoughts on the section
- Photos of you in action (if the content is not clear give it a descriptive title and a date)
- Photos of any product of your labour such as cooking or craft projects
- Scanned copies of certificates or qualifications achieved
- Copies of external reports or photos such as match reports or news stories
- Copies of relevant (non-confidential) letters, plans, or meeting minutes
- A copy of a log of your activities. This could be a scan, a word or excel document or a print of a tracking app. This is strongly recommended for activities where there is no set weekly meeting with others or your assessor such as learning to drive, going to the gym on your own, or practicing a craft on your own. Exactly what each entry in this log needs to contain depends on what you are doing, but there is a basic prototype on the DofE website (bottom of the page).
How much evidence do I need for each section?
How long is a piece of string? We can’t give you a definitive answer for this – it depends on what you are doing, the evidence you can produce, and the quality of evidence you provide. Quality is better than quantity. Here are a couple of examples:
Physical – Going to the Gym on your own
- 3 records from a fitness/tracking app showing a log of your visits to the gym with dates and some graphs showing your progress over time on several variables such a distance covered on treadmill, reps on weights
- A couple of photos of you in action
- 4 video diaries of yourself reflecting on what you want to achieve, how it’s going during the section and how it went overall at the end.
Volunteering – as a young leader with Brownies
- A scan of an annotated term plan with your notes about what you need to do/prepare/bring for each night
- A scan of the leadership qualification you achieved
- A couple of photos of you in action labelled descriptively with dates
- A photo of the results of a craft activity you lead and a video of you demonstrating to the brownies
- Some freehand text reflecting on how it went
Residential – a Thistle camp conservation holiday organised by the National trust of Scotland
- The letter confirming your place on the course and providing a programme for the week
- Some photos of you and the group in action
- A before and after photo of one of the projects you were working on
- A diary you kept every night through the week reflecting on each day
Reflecting on each section
At Gold level for each section you must include some reflective comments from yourself. This can take a variety of forms – if something you have done within the section has already prompted you to produce something appropriate upload that – you don’t have to do something special if you have already done it. This could take several forms:
- A couple of sentences entered into the text entry box as a standalone piece of evidence
- A video diary entry
- A diary or log you kept throughout
- A copy of something that prompted you to record and think about this.
The kind of questions you should be thinking about are:
- What was most challenging for me?
- How did I overcome difficulties?
- What did I enjoy the most?
- Did I meet the goals I set myself? If not why not? (it can be ok not to meet your goals, but you need to reflect on why this was – did something out of your control happen? were you overambitious?) If you didn’t meet your original goals, what did you achieve?
- What did I learn or gain from this section?
- What difference have my actions made to others? (where appropriate)
The Assessor’s Report
For each section you need to get an assessors report from the person you nominated at the start of the section. You can get your assessor to fill in the page in your ‘keeping track’ booklet and scan this. If they happen to have written something else which fulfils the criteria (see below) e.g. a course report, you can upload a copy of this. An assessors report needs to (briefly):
- Reflect on your experience and performance within the activity during the relevant time period
- Record and celebrate your achievement within the section particularly with relation to the goals you set yourself
- Acknowledge (explicitly or tacitly) that you have demonstrated the DofE requirements of effort, perseverance, and improvement
You can submit your Assessor’s Report like any other piece of evidence, or your assessor can do it directly by going to www.dofe.org/assessor. For them to do this they will need to know:
- Your eDofE number
- The level this is for (i.e. Gold)
- The section they are submitting the report for (i.e. physical, skill, volunteering, residential)
Why not send them the above web link along with your eDofE number and level when you ask them to provide your report? When they do this they will have a text box to enter their report. If they are uncertain about what to write there are hints and tips and some examples available on the website. Once they submit the report it will go straight to us (as your leaders) to approve, and once we do so you will be able to see it on your eDofE account. Simples!
Finishing a Section
Once you have completed a section and you have submitted plenty of evidence including an Assessor’s Report, you should press the Submit Section button in eDofE which will send it to the leaders for appoval. Once the leaders have approved the section you can’t add any more evidence unless you ask us to reopen the section. When you have completed your last Section your whole Award will be automatically submitted for verification.