DofE Aberdeenshire 2020


Green light for local DofE Aberdeenshire expeditions- with precautions to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spread

DofE Aberdeenshire expeditions can resume from mid August 2020, provided certain precautions and procedures are followed.  

To summarise these precautions:

  • Scottish Government guidance MUST be adhered to at all times
  • Both participants and leaders to observe social distancing at all times
  • Equipment or food must not be shared
  • Transport must not be shared outwith households
  • Expeditions should take place locally, avoiding popular areas
  • The number of adult leaders/ assessors must be limited to 2 per team.  If sharing a campsite area, no more adults than from 5 households.

To be clear, each participant and leader needs to be equipped with their own tent & cooking equipment (unless sharing within a household).  DofE rule relaxations include pre-placement of equipment.  More details here.  Should a team consist of any participants who are aged 18 or over the team size must be restricted to 5

Download an example Aberdeenshire Council Risk Assessment here.

Find more info on planning expeditions on our Leader’s Resources page

The factors considered when concluding that currently expeditions should remain local are: 

  • Pressure of high visitor numbers impacting the countryside as reported to us by Cairngorm National Park, Estates and Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service.  It is vital for the future sustainability of DofE expeditions that we safeguard our good relations with the Cairngorm National Park DofE Expeditions Liaison Group
  • Increased possibility campsites will already be in use by others who have not notified land management
  • Impact of increased car journeys on the environment due to inability to share transport
  • Parking difficulties due to increased volumes of users
  • Increased volume of users reduces the ability to socially distance on path pinch points
  • Risk of spreading Coronavirus between home and expedition area
  • Speed & ease of returning home should anyone develop Coronavirus symptoms during the expedition 
  • Opportunities to take advantage of the temporary DofE With A Difference allowances
  • DofE Scotland policy encourages sustainable local expeditions where possible 


As mentioned above, DofE have introduced several rule changes and flexibilities to ease the difficulties of running expeditions this year.  Full details announced summer 2020 here.  


Arrangements have been put in place to recognise our young people’s achievements during Covid-19

If you have completed your sections, or are on track to do so, DofE will formally recognise your achievements & resilience.  Find out more

Physical, Skills & Volunteering Sections

In most cases it will be possible to continue with your sections and be rewarded for your efforts with The 2020 DofE Certificate of Achievement.  Clearly you will need to change your activity to one which is home-based or socially distanced.  To change your activities, simply fill in the option in your eDofE section- this  video shows you how.  For the time being, you can even change your activities more than once. The time spent on your earlier choices will still count.  Here are some ideas for home based activities


We’re all being encouraged to exercise daily outdoors wherever possible, so for most this should be an easy section to complete whilst social distancing.  Go for a walk, run or bike ride- track your progress with an app such as Strava or MapMyRun.  If getting outdoors is more difficult, how about following an online course in keep fit, Yoga or Pilates?   Here’s an example of an online class.


Perhaps you were attending a class or training for your Skill, for example guitar lessons.  Contact your tutor or assessor for guidance on developing your skills at home- many classes are continuing online.  If that’s not possible, consider changing your skill to one which can be based at home- maybe learn to cook, sew, build models, research genealogy/ family history or diy skills.  There’s now an opportunity to complete an SCQF Level 2  Hi5 Award from home (free of charge until 5pm 30th June 2020).  Just make sure you update your eDofE, your plans fulfill the DofE criteria & gain approval from your Leader or Coordinator.  Full details & how to get started here


For the time being, you can now volunteer for someone in your family- for example dream up a project or programme that will benefit somebody in your household, such as a younger sibling.  Full details here.  It should be possible to do something for your community without direct face to face contact- but always discuss your ideas with your parents or a responsible person first.   Perhaps isolated people could be helped or supported by regularly keeping in touch with them by phone or one of the various ways online.  Maybe an elderly neighbour would appreciate their garden being tidied or needs help with food supplies.  Or think more globally, how about volunteering online to help map areas of the world where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people?


Don’t forget this is a perfect opportunity to update your eDofE!!  Have you tried the eDofE smartphone App yet?  Here’s a guide to show you how to change your activities.  New to eDofE?  Here’s a video guide on how to get started