Blog 1 November 2023

Helping more young people access the DofE

As part of our Youth Without Limits strategy we’re committed to helping more people access DofE programmes by ensuring that we’re meeting the needs of all young people. To do this, from 1 November, we’re making some of the temporary programme changes we introduced during the pandemic, permanent and introducing some other new flexibilities.

Earlier this year, Young at Heart became a DofE Licensed Organisation – the only children’s heart charity in the UK to offer the DofE. Their expedition was made possible through our #DofEWithADifference flexibilities. These enabled a group of young people to do their expedition in a restricted space and stay in camping pods, instead of camping overnight. This meant they could stop and take medication and have the security that they were near to their parents, while also having fun and gaining the benefits the Expedition section brings.

We’ve heard of lots of examples where #DofEWithADifference made a real difference, which is why we’ve made flexibilities like the ones used by young people at Young at Heart permanent.

Read more about what’s changed here.

“This expedition has been a really good opportunity for all of them to actually get together as a big group and build up good friendships.”

– Andy, DofE Manager

What’s changed?

Since 2020, we’ve had #DofEWithADifference temporary flexibilities in place to ensure young people had the opportunity to complete their DofE programme despite pandemic restrictions. These have now ended and the flexibilities we introduced earlier in the year have now been made permanent. Here’s a summary.

All sections

Activities may only be changed once in each section at each level as before 2020 and Participants are required to complete the lower level in order to progress to the next.

Expedition Section

We shared information about the changes to the Expedition section in March 2023. You can read the full details on the ‘How to run DofE Expeditions’.

Volunteering Section

We’ll continue to allow volunteering from home or for a family member for some participants whose personal circumstances prevent them from accessing external opportunities. Read more here.

Residential Section

Participants are required to stay away from home in an environment that is unfamiliar whilst completing shared evening activities as before 2020 and Residentials are required to have a minimum of five participants.


The Certificate of Achievement will become a permanent addition, with some changes to how it is awarded. We’ll introduce the functionality to download the new Certificate of Achievement from eDofE – so look out for more information when this is available. Read more here.

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