Offsite events guidance, forms and risk assessments
This includes guidance on the safe provision of:
- Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) trips
- adventurous activities
- outdoor learning
- Ten Tors
- planning forms
- risk assessments
Evolve for guidance, planning forms and risk assessments
We use Evolve software to manage and provide guidance for offsite trips and visits.
All schools will need a login to access Evolve which we provide as part of the package available through Dorset Nexus Outdoor Education offsite events and adventurous activities support.
Employers must make sure that employees are provided with appropriate guidance, training and access to further competent advice under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations. The local authority recommends that all schools buy in to this package to fulfil these requirements.
A decision not to buy in should be accompanied by evidence clearly demonstrating how your school is addressing the requirements of the Act.
Access the Dorset Nexus outdoor education offsite events and adventurous activities package
To access the outdoor education offsite events and adventurous activities package:
- Log in to Dorset Nexus.
- Click on the services tab.
- Click on outdoor education.
- The quote for your school will appear.
Contact Dorset Outdoor Education Advisory Service if you need help.
Dorset Council (DC) can only provide support and approval for schools operating under the DC DofE licence.
Where schools have become a directly licensed centre (DLC) the guidance and approvals process must be managed directly by the school and is no longer the responsibility of DC.
Where the DLC has bought into the DC Offsite Trips Guidance package expeditions should be logged in the same way as a normal school trip using Evolve. This process does not approve the expedition as fulfilling the Award's 20 conditions, which must be undertaken by the DofE manager of the DLC.
Centres delivering DofE under the DC DofE licence must notify us of all DofE expeditions so we can check they meet our standards of management and award criteria. The management of all DC licensed DofE ventures must meet the recommendations of the SW Outdoor Education Advisers Panel.
If you don't notify us of the expedition and it's not approved, it will not be recognised by the award. Your insurance may also be invalid.
All DofE schools and centres must check insurance cover if they're offering a temporary DofE place to an external participant.
Contact our DC insurance team on 01305 224075 for more information.
You must use our forms to submit your expedition proposal at least:
- 4 weeks before departure for expeditions in the UK
- 16 weeks before departure for overseas ventures
Personal accident cover for DofE
The DofE as a charity provides a minimal personal accident cover for participants and leaders.
As Dorset Council (DC) we provide minimal personal accident cover for DC local authority schools and DC DofE volunteers.
Contact our DC insurance team for more information.
Public liability insurance for DofE
As Dorset Council (DC) we provide public liability insurance cover for DC local authority schools and DC DofE volunteers. This is an indemnity in respect of their legal liability (and that of participants and adult helpers) for bodily injury or damage to property arising in connection with a DofE activity led by DofE staff and volunteers.
As Dorset Council we cannot provide insurance for DC DofE academies or independent schools. Coordinators must check liability cover with their own school business insurers.
Guidance documents for DofE
See DofE guidance documents:
- wild country supervision guidance
- non-wild country supervision guidance
- additional expedition staffing guidance
- DofE award expedition downloads and useful resources
- National Guidance OEAP Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions
Approval forms for DofE
Find documents for schools (this includes independent schools) and non-schools.
Schools licensed with DofE Dorset
Documents for schools licensed with DofE Dorset:
- DofE Dorset expedition approval process for schools
- DofE local authority notification of expedition form 5
Documents for non-school units:
- DofE Dorset expedition approval process: non schools
- DofE local authority notification of expedition form 5
- DofE non-schools form supplementary info and staff form
- DofE non-schools emergency procedure
Risk assessment forms
Risk assessment documents:
- DofE Dorset generic expedition event template risk assessment
- DofE Dorset lone working controls
- DofE Dorset generic camping stove risk assessment
- DofE expedition safety card
- DofE team overdue procedure
- Generic extreme weather (heat and storm) risk assessment
- DofE generic camping stove risk assessment
As a DofE licensed organisation we have committed to:
notify ASL or the charity immediately in the event of any serious incident or accident that leads to or could have led to injury of a participant or staff - Clause 3.10
The information is used to:
- review practice
- inform others (without reference to specific names)
- potentially develop support and/or resources at the appropriate level
Staff must be aware of their safeguarding responsibilities on school visits. They should be outlined in the schools staff behaviour policy/code of conduct. Find out more about keeping children safe in education from GOV.UK.
The Dorset 24-hour emergency phone number is 07623 544346. This is for use in serious emergencies only, where you need more support from the council by Dorset Council schools, youth centres, for example.
Guidance for offsite events
- Equality Human Rights website which relates to reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils
- Foreign Office website which gives advice on overseas travel
- Ten Tors website for guidance on Ten Tors. This includes information on safety considerations, supervision guidance and the official guidance booklet for managers and trainers