Strategic objectives 2017


In 2011/12 we set ourselves challenging targets to be achieved by 2016/17. At that time we could not have foreseen the dramatic impact of cuts in Local Authority budgets and the resulting closure of youth work activities across the country.

At the DofE we felt the impact of these changes in 2014/15 when we were able just to maintain activity levels but we lost a year in our growth plan. Reassuringly, however, we demonstrated that we could increase the proportion of young people completing and achieving their Award.

This will require a committed investment in both people and facilities to recruit, train and support the thousands of volunteers that will be required, and to help those young people less able to fund their own DofE involvement. We have a clear strategy and plan for this over the next five years.

Our Anniversary year has reinforced the strength of our position as a well-run, cost-effective Charity, achieving excellent results for young people and engaging our communities in the noble aim of developing the next generation.

We are undoubtedly well placed and have a wonderful opportunity to make the most of this position for the benefit of young people and society as a whole.

Our 2016/17 targets were:

  • Awards started: 300,000. We started 271,439 on their Award programme... +7% on the previous year.
    Disadvantaged participants: 20%. We increased the number of disadvantaged participants by 19% to 49,453. Frustratingly this is 18% of our Awards started which falls just short of our target of 20%. This objective will continue to form a central part of our strategy for the coming five years.
  • Awards Achieved: 50%. A rate over 50% has been achieved – 133,369. Traditionally this rate has been calculated by dividing the current year completions into last year’s starters. However, the development of our business information systems will allow for a more sophisticated cohort view of completion to be established for future years.

Our new targets to 2020/21 are:

  • Awards started increasing annually to reach 350,000 per annum by 2020/21.
  • Disadvantaged participants rising to 70,000 per annum, representing 20% of Awards started annually.
  • Awards achieved rising to 210,000 per annum by 2020/21 representing around 60% of Awards started.

To achieve this we will need to:

  • Optimise the reach of each DofE centre increasing the average number of participants. In order to reach this target we will invest in the training and support of DofE Managers and their teams.
  • Improve the proportion of participants progressing through the Award levels.
  • Optimise staff team performance, delivering maximum value for the fees and donations that fund all staff posts.
  • Implement a range of key development initiatives including:
    - Improved management information for volunteers and staff.
    - Continuous improvement of IT systems and mobile access.
    - Campaigns highlighting the positive benefits of a DofE Award for employability and wellbeing.
    - Build on our positive brand position, refreshing and updating all materials.
    - Focused support and resources to engage with at risk and marginalized young people.

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