This includes guidance on the safe provision of:

  • trips
  • 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:

  1. Log in to Dorset Nexus.
  2. Click on the services tab.
  3. Click on outdoor education.
  4. The quote for your school will appear.

Contact Dorset Outdoor Education Advisory Service if you need help.

Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) expedition guidance and approval forms

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:

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:

Non-school units

Documents for non-school units:

Risk assessment forms

Risk assessment documents:

Incident-accident report

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

See the Dorset Council DofE incident-accident report.

Safety advice


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.

Emergency contact

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.

Terrorist threat

We advise schools organising trips to take note of the guidance and advice found in the news section of  National Guidance. If you're travelling abroad, you should check out GOV.UK for guidance.

Guidance for offsite events

See the:

Contact Dorset Outdoor Education Advisory Service

Dorset Outdoor Education Advisory Service

Tel: 01929 552265
Full contact details