Our policy and code of conduct ensure the safeguarding of young people is at the heart of how we work at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), and at the heart of how we work with others to deliver the DofE.
Safeguarding at the DofE is the action taken to promote the welfare of children (under the age of 18) and adults (18 upwards) and protect them from harm.
We have a duty of care towards anyone interacting with the charity, regardless of the nature of the interaction, and this includes our participants. By doing their DofE, young people (14-24) are encouraged to push their boundaries – within safe parameters – to achieve a world leading personal achievement award. This is at the heart of our purpose as a UK registered charity and informs our approach to safeguarding, which also reflects the charity’s unique structure.
The DofE is delivered locally by over 4,000 organisations – including schools, community groups and specialised centres – which are granted a licence to run our programmes. A core requirement of the licence is that they have a robust approach in place to ensure the safeguarding of young people and adults.
Three quarters of the organisations we work with are schools and colleges, which means their safeguarding and safe working practices are inspected by Ofsted, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and equivalent bodies in the devolved nations. Of the remaining organisations, many are community-based or registered charities with defined legal structures and regulation by, for example, the Care Quality Commission, Charity Commission or OSCR in Scotland.
The guidance below informs licensed organisations on safeguarding expectations when delivering the DofE. In addition, guidance is provided for how we work directly with young people as contributors to content and events to promote the DofE. In essence:
– Everyone who delivers activities with participants on our behalf through a licence, must have suitable safeguarding arrangements in place as set out in the licensing agreement.
– Everyone working for the DofE, either as a permanent member of staff, freelancer or contractor, and regardless of seniority or role, has a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults, in line with our Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Policy.