A reminder of some important rules for DofE Expeditions

11th March 2011

The Expedition season is almost here again, with not long to go until the Easter weekend, leaving little time to go for any Wild Country Area projects. To be sure all understand the requirements, Ron Alexander has made an extract from the Green Form to help you understand what is required.

Please send a copy of your Green Forms to Ron and once he gets the reference number he will copy it to SHQ. If your expedition is not in Wild Country, you should go through the normal procedure for activities, via your District Commissioner, again Ron would appreciate a copy. Groups using eDofE can get forms attached on the system and help in recording the expeditions.

Have a good expedition season!

What is the notification form for?

The form must be used to notify the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) that you are organising either an unaccompanied practice or a qualifying expedition in one of the DofE's designated wild country areas as defined in the Handbook for DofE Leaders (sixth edition pp 67-68). An unaccompanied expedition is one where remote supervision is used at any point, that is, all final practices and qualifying expeditions. Any training where remote supervision is used must also be notified.

Who needs to be notified?

The DofE Expedition Co-ordinator for the wild country area you are visiting, names and addresses are available at: www.DofE.org/go/expeditionareas

In addition a copy must be sent to your Operating Authority and their approval received.

Why?

Notifications and route details are submitted to Expedition Assessor Networks to:

  • Confirm that your proposals, if followed, comply with the 20 conditions of the Expedition section.
  • Ask for assessment by the wild country DofE Assessor Network.
  • Provide advice based upon local knowledge of the area to assist with the planning of the expedition.
  • Help the DofE to monitor, support and encourage responsible use of Britain's wild places and resolve any issues which might arise.

What information do you need to provide?

For qualifying expeditions requesting assessment through the Network you must send the following to the appropriate Expedition Co-ordinator:

At least 6 weeks before your expedition:

  • Two copies of the notification form per team fully completed and signed by your DofE Leader/Supervisor.
  • Two copies of route outlines (tracings on A4 tracing paper or a separate tracing for each day). The route outline should be taken from a 1:50,000 OS map and-include grid co-ordinates, grid references showing the start, all camp sites, the finish, the location and brief details of any exploratory work, bad weather alternate routes, escape routes and the direction of travel.

At least 2 weeks before your expedition:

  • Route cards with grid references, daily distances and timings, details of exploratory work, camp site locations, bad weather alternative routes and escape routes.
  • Notes on the aim of the expedition.
  • List of personal and team equipment to be carried including details of meals and supplies.

For practice expeditions or for qualifying expeditions where you have arranged your own assessment with an Acredited Assessor the following must be sent to the appropriate Expedition Co-ordinator:

At least 4 weeks before your expedition:

  • Two copies of the notification form per team fully completed and signed by your DofE Leader/Supervisor.
  • Two copies of route outlines (tracings on A4 tracing paper or a separate tracing for each day). The route outline should be taken from a 1:50,000 OS map and include grid co-ordinates, grid references showing the start, all camp sites, the finish, the location and brief details of any exploratory work, bad weather alternate routes, escape routes and the direction of travel.

At least 2 weeks before your expedition:

  • Route cards with grid references, daily distances and timings, details of exploratory work, camp site locations, bad weather alternative routes and escape routes.
  • Notes on the aim of the expedition.
  • List of personal and team equipment to be carried including details of meals and supplies.

You should send a stamped self-addressed envelope with your notification form.

What happens once you have submitted your form?

The Expedition Co-ordinator will review the information provided to assess its suitability as a DofE practice or qualifying expedition.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Expedition Assessment Voucher Process


Q) Why have Expedition Assessment Vouchers been introduced?

A) The Vouchers have been introduced to meet the growing cost of reimbursing the out of pocket expenses incurred by our volunteer Assessors, such as travel and car parking. The charges will also go some way to supporting the costs incurred by the Charity of administering the Expedition Assessor Networks.

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Q) What are Expedition Assessment Vouchers?

A) Expedition teams who want to use an accredited Assessor from one of the DofE Assessor networks for their wild country qualifying expedition (www.dofe.org/go/expeditionareas) must purchase an 'Expedition Assessment Voucher'. The voucher comes with an ID code which confirms that the payment is registered and valid. There are vouchers for each level: Bronze, Silver and Gold. This process exists manually today; we are simply automating the process and including the Gold level. Note: Vouchers have an expiry limit of two years from the date of purchase and refunds are not available after this time limit has been exceeded.

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Q) We are using our own Assessor - do we need to pay for a voucher?

A) Expedition teams that are using their own Assessor (not requesting an Assessor from the Assessor network) do not pay for an Expedition Assessment Voucher.

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Q) Who orders Expedition Assessment Vouchers?

A) Anyone can purchase vouchers from the online DofE shop (www.dofeshop.org) if they have a DofE shop account or a eDofE account. You can also order the vouchers directly from ASL Tel: 0131 553 5280 Fax: 0131 553 5776.

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Q) How much do the vouchers cost?

A) Bronze: 40 per expedition team, Silver: 60 per expedition team, Gold: 80 per expedition team.

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Q) How do I receive the 'ID code' for a purchased voucher?

A) When you purchase a voucher from the online DofE shop, you will receive an order email confirmation to your main email address (located within your DofE shop account or in your eDofE account) and a separate e-mail which contains the ID code for each voucher purchased. If you contact ASL to purchase the vouchers then they will forward the voucher codes to your declared email address.

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Q) What do I do if I do not receive the voucher ID code email?

A) Please check your e-mail address is saved and ticked as the main contact in your eDofE account, and then check the email has not been sent to another one of your addresses. If you cannot find the e-mail then contact your DofE Regional/Country Office.

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Q) How do I use the Expedition Assessor Vouchers?

A) When you complete the Green Expedition Notification form and tick the box to request an accredited Assessor from the network, you provide the ID code in the relevant box which is sent to the Expedition Co-ordinator. The Expedition Co-ordinator will check the ID code is registered and valid. They will get back to you if they have questions and/or confirm that they have an Assessor ready for your expedition. DofE staff should keep a record of which expedition teams are using which Expedition Assessment Voucher ID code in a safe place.

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Q) What happens if the Expedition is cancelled before it starts and I have already provided the ID code?

A) If the expedition is cancelled by yourself (for example: if the team size is below four people, or the travel arrangements to the wild country have fallen through) up to 48 hours before the start of the expedition you can apply to reuse the voucher. To do this, contact the Expedition Co-ordinator and request they release the voucher. This means you can reuse the voucher for an alternative expedition within the two year time period. Note: You must notify the Expedition Co-ordinator at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled start date.

Author: Gary Bainbridge

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