We recognise that this is a worrying time for everyone, and Participants may, amongst other matters, be at some points concerned about how they will continue their Award and achieve their Award.
If Participants can, it’s important they stay healthy and active during this time and continuing with their Award activities can help with this – even if they’re not able to engage in their usual activities e.g. school, sport, music lessons etc.
As Participants usual activities may be postponed or cancelled, below are some ideas to help Participants continue with their Award activities. Please remember that all activities must still be approved by a Participants Award Leader, and that their parents/carers/guardians (if under-18) are happy for them to undertake these activities.
Participants may also decide to take a break from their activities and pick them up again later on, and that is fine too. Don’t forget: Participants have until they’re 25 to achieve their Award, if a Participant is near their 25th birthday and are concerned they will not complete their Award in time, they will need to speak to their State or Territory Office for further information and advice. Participants are reminded to contact their Assessor for each Section for ideas on how they can continue their Award activity away from their usual sessions, or at home.
Also, remember that Participants are able to change their activity if they can no longer continue their current one, but they will need to get approval from their Award Leader first. To do this, Participants can simply change the activity on their ORB account and submit it to their Leader for approval. However, they must also ensure they get a report from the Assessor for their current activity to record what they have done so far, and then find an Assessor who can sign off their new activity.
Guide to Temporary Changes and Further Guidance of Award Requirements in the context of COVID-19
To support Participants during this challenging time and to encourage young people to stay active, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia has implemented some temporary changes to the Award Requirements. These changes are temporary and valid for the period 01 May 2020 – 31 December 2022. The temporary changes are supported by further guidance that is designed to clarify existing Award requirements outlined in the Australian Award Handbook (Edition 1 2020).
The temporary changes and further guidance are a broad set of options for continuing the Award during COVID-19. These have been agreed at an international and national level and are not compulsory.
If you are an Award Participant and have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, please ensure you speak to your Award Leader for support, and agree if and how you may adapt your activities to be able to continue and complete your Award. For ideas on how to stay active in your Award during COVID-19, please see the key resources below.
The Virtual Exploration
One of the outcomes of the Temporary Changes is the Virtual Exploration (previously known as the Virtual Bronze Exploration or VBE). The Virtual Exploration allows participants to fulfil the Adventurous Journey component of the Award Fully or semi Virtually. Find here to find out more.
The Governor-General of Australia thanks and commends Duke of Ed Participants & Leaders during COVID-19
How to waive the requirement for a Bronze Practice Journey on ORB
National, State and Territory Offices
Although the National, State and Territory Offices may be working from home or remotely for the foreseeable future all emails and calls are still being answered as promptly as possible.
The ORB Helpdesk is fully operational and happy to help with any ORB questions or issues. Please contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org with email queries or 1300 438 537 (option 1) if your issue is complex and requires a discussion.