news 3 July 2020

Running DofE expeditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Young man on expedition wearing backpack

While lockdown measures are easing in some parts of the UK, the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 outbreak may present DofE Licensed Organisations (LOs) and Approved Activity Providers (AAPs) with barriers to delivering ‘traditional’ expeditions for some time.  

When considering how and when to resume expeditions, each DofE centre will need to follow Government guidance, their sector’s specific rules and guidance, and their own organisation’s policies and procedures. 

Government guidance for centres in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will vary. LOs and AAPs must follow the restrictions in place in the country they intend to visit: 

– IEngland, the DfE has issued guidance and the National Youth Agency has also published information for managing youth sector activities.  

– In Scotland, please review the guidance issued by the Scottish GovernmentYouth Scotland and/or Youth Link Scotland, as appropriate. 

– In Wales, please review the Welsh Governments guidance. 

– In Northern Ireland, please review the guidance issued by EANI and the recovery plan outlined by the NI Executive, as well as information on outdoor recreation. 

The DofE has introduced a number of temporary changes to expedition requirements to support LOs and AAPs to run ‘expeditions with a difference’ when possible, in line with Government guidelines 

These are in addition to the flexibilities already built into our programme rules. 

Temporary changes include the relaxing of normal terrain requirements, more flexibility around where young people can spend the night (including the option to return home, if necessary) and allowing participants who haven’t done their expeditions the chance to progress to the next level, without losing the chance to achieve their previous Award. 

You can find detailed information about these changes and flexibilities in our expedition changes Q&As. 

If you’d like support to create a tailored plan for your organisation, please reach out to your local Operations Team, who are on hand to help.  

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