Additional needs

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is achievable by any young person who chooses to take up its challenge, regardless of ability, gender, background or location.

A fantastic source of information regarding the DofE and additional needs is The Handbook for DofE Leaders and the DofE Expedition Guide which has been developed to include a detailed overview of the DofE’s Expedition section and additional needs support.

Achievable by all

All our programmes are driven by the following ten guiding principles which are at the heart of everything we do. These are:

  • Non-competitive
  • Balanced
  • Achievable by all
  • Progressive
  • Voluntary
  • Achievement focused
  • Personal development
  • Demand commitment
  • Personalised
  • Enjoyable

By following these ten guiding principles, we aim to give any young person the opportunity to do their DofE programme, regardless of their personal circumstances. The personal and non-competitive nature of a DofE programme means that participants from different and diverse starting points can equally proud of achieving a certificate based on their personal challenge and journey.

Signed and subtitled videos

We have a number of signed and subtitled videos available on our YouTube channel to support young people with additional needs.

YouTube videos
Expedition section

The Expedition section of the DofE can be very challenging but also extremely rewarding to a young person with additional needs. The best starting point for information for Leaders is The Expedition Guide.

The guide is designed to be the focal point of DofE policy and support for Leaders delivering expeditions for young people who have additional needs. The 20 conditions of the expedition are covered in detail in the guide and there is also advice and information on a range of issues including modes of transport, variations and integration.

We have a selection of additional needs expedition resources which Leaders and participants have found useful in our Resources Centre.

Resources Centre
Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections

We have a selection of additional needs resources for the Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections which Leaders and participants have found useful in our Resources Centre.

Resources Centre
Leader Recorded

The DofE has developed functionality to allow specific Leaders (or other adults in the participant’s hierarchy) to act in eDofE on behalf of participants who are unable to engage fully in the system because they have additional needs, or are prevented from using technology for cultural/religious reasons.

More detailed information is set out in the Leaders’ user guide and if you think you and your participants would benefit from using Leader Recorded speak to your DofE Manager and use this nomination form.

Leader recorded user guide