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 when the lockdown ends, we’re introducing these temporary changes.

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

However, 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 choose to volunteer to help any family member, but we would suggest coaching or mentoring a family member, particularly younger siblings, as an activity which can easily be structured and help meet the outcomes of the section.. 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 just need to check it’s suitable by ensuring it fulfils the aims 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, you can find some useful information on finding an Assessor here.

2. Participants can now change section activities more than once. Time spent on previous activities will still count towards completion. 

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 will want to resume their original activity once social distancing limitations are lifted. 

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

Participants can find out how to change an activity on eDofE hereIf 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. 

3. Helping participants who can’t do an expedition this year, but wish to progress to the next level.

Helping participants who can’t do an expedition this year, but wish to progress to the next level.

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 have introduced two temporary rule changes.

– At Bronze and Silver, participants who have completed their Skills, Physical and Volunteering sections – achieving the DofE Certificate of Achievement – and progress to Silver or Gold, will be treated as if they have completed the previous Award level when it comes to the time they need to commit to their sectional activities.

– 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 the 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.

4. Supporting Gold Award participants to do their residential

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.

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 residential opportunities can be found on our Opportunity Finder.