Find out how the Duke of Edinburgh Award operates in Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire Council is licensed by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as an Operating Authority for its 17 DofE centres. These centres are operated by PVG checked, trained and qualified volunteers. Each centre is led by a Coordinator who is supported by the Aberdeenshire Awards Office, a small team led by the Aberdeenshire DofE Manager
To gain the Award, the young people aged 14-24* devise a programme for themselves: they learn a new skill, undertake a physical activity, volunteer in the community and go on 2 team camping expeditions. For the expedition, our volunteers train the young participants in First Aid, Navigation, Campcraft, Emergency Procedures and so on. Good attendance at the training meetings is mandatory. There are 3 increasingly challenging levels: Bronze Silver & Gold.
Among the guiding principles of the Award are that it is: open to everyone, achievable by all, non-competitive, achievement focused, progressive, voluntary and enjoyable!
The DofE award has 4 (there is an additional Residential section at Gold level) sections which the young people complete. The main DofE website has a full explanation. Each participant’s progress through the Award is managed and evidenced on eDofE, the online system the young people and volunteers have access to during their time on the programme. More about eDofE
The Aberdeenshire Duke of Edinburgh Awards Team works closely with the Duke of Edinburgh area office in Edinburgh and the Aberdeenshire Council Health & Safety Team to ensure the highest level of training, resources and practise is put into place for participants and Leaders.
The online educational excursion approval system called Evolve allows scrutiny of all expeditions prior to approval. Each group of 4-7 young people on a DofE trip is supervised by at least one experienced adult qualified in First Aid and an appropriate outdoor qualification, who is supported by other adult helpers
The understanding and support of parents is vital to the DofE programme for many reasons. Perhaps to get from A to B for volunteering, or to liaise with other parents to organise transport for the expedition. On the other hand, parents need to allow the young people to “self support” as the programme only really gives the young people the maximum learning and enjoyment when they take responsibility for their achievements
If you become concerned about your child during an expedition please remember there is an Emergency Base Contact system in place; you will be contacted in the event of unforeseen developments or an emergency. Generally “No news is good news!” During the expedition please avoid unnecessarily contacting your child/ ward as this impinges on the self-sufficient nature of the expedition
*13 year olds can participate in DofE before their 14th birthday if their peer group are aged 14. Participants have until their 25th birthday to complete the award