We’re determined that young people shouldn’t miss out on doing their DofE because of the coronavirus outbreak – and we want to do everything we can to support you so your participants can keep doing theirs, at what we know is a really challenging time.

To help you keep supporting participants, both now and for the duration of regional and national restrictions, we’ve introduced several temporary programme changes.

All sections

Participants can change section activities more than once.

Previously, participants could only change activities once per section. However, due to the pandemic, we know many participants have already changed activities to something they can do from home, and may want to resume their original activity once restrictions are lifted.

Some activities participants are doing from home may not continue when normal life returns (e.g. helping with the coronavirus efforts in their community) so they will need to find something new.

The minimum timescales must still be met, but this may be done cumulatively across multiple activities.

Participants can find out how to change an activity on eDofE here. If changing activities more than once, participants will need to use ‘revert to draft’ and resubmit their programme planner with their new activity. Participants will also need to upload an Assessor’s Report for each activity they have done onto their eDofE account.

Participants can progress to the next level before completing their expedition.

For those participants who simply won’t have the chance to complete an expedition this year and want to progress to the next Award level, we’ve introduced two temporary rule changes.

– At Bronze and Silver, participants who have completed their Skills, Physical and Volunteering sections – thus achieving the DofE Certificate of Achievement – can progress to Silver or Gold as though they have completed the previous level. This means that when they commit to their sectional activities, they will not have to complete additional time requirements. We’ve put together eDofE guidance on allowing participants to proceed as non-direct entrants here.

For those progressing from Bronze to Silver, this means they’ll only have to complete six months of activity, not 12. For Silver to Gold, this means young people will not have to do an additional six months in either Volunteering or the longer of their Physical or Skills sections.

– Bronze participants who progress to Silver in this way will be able to use their Silver practice expedition as their qualifying expedition at Bronze, enabling them to achieve both their Bronze and Silver Awards. Similarly, Silver participants who progress to Gold will be able to use their Gold practice expedition as their qualifying expedition at Silver. Find out more about our Expedition section flexibilities here.

Volunteering section

Participants can volunteer for family members, for example by mentoring or coaching younger siblings.

This should be more than a participant babysitting, or helping out with their usual chores!

As with all DofE activities, they should be structured and help the participant to meet the benefits and outcomes of the Volunteering section. Participants can follow our 13-week guide for inspiration and to help plan their sessions.

Participants can choose to volunteer to help any family member. This could include:

– mentoring a younger sibling and helping them with their schoolwork or homework

– coaching a sibling or another family member to learn an instrument or develop another skill

– organising a sports session or arts and crafts session for someone they live with to participate in

Participants can plan their sessions using resources online, and record what they do using a programme planner and activity log.

If a participant wants to help another family member in a different way, then their DofE Leader will need to check it’s suitable by ensuring it fulfils the aim of the section.

As with all DofE activities, to maintain the value and integrity of a young person’s Award, an Assessor cannot be a family member. However, participants can find some useful information on finding an Assessor here.

If a participant has chosen to volunteer for a family member and their section end date will be after 31 December 2022, it’s at the Leader’s discretion whether the participant should change their Volunteering section activity after that date. We suggest Leaders and participants consider whether the activity and goal will continue to deliver the intended outcomes of the section, as well as the impact of other factors, such as how long the participant has left to complete the section and which Award level they’re doing. The decision should be clearly communicated in the Assessor’s Report for the benefit of the Award Verifier.

Expedition section

It’s clear that the long-lasting effects of the pandemic may mean Licensed Organisations (LOs) and Approved Activity Providers (AAPs) face barriers in delivering ‘traditional’ expeditions for some time. As such, we’ve introduced a range of temporary flexibilities. Find out more here.

Residential section

Participants can go home at night to sleep and do their residential in two parts. 

We’ve made a number of temporary rule changes to the Residential section to enable opportunities to go ahead when it’s safe to do so. These include:

Residentials can be run with a minimum of four participants. This is to allow for single bedrooms for those providers who have limited bedrooms/facilities.

Participants can go home at night to sleep following the evening meal and any evening activities.

The residential experience can be split over two weekends if needed.

– Participants should aim to arrive before dinner on Friday evening and leave after 3pm on Sunday
– Both parts must be complete within one year
– Participants should be taking part in the same type of activity over each weekend, but each part can be with different people

A range of opportunities can be found on our Opportunity Finder.