Participant FAQs during COVID – 19 – Dukeofed

Participant FAQs during COVID – 19

I can’t do my physical activity because the club has closed, and my team’s training sessions are cancelled – how can I continue with my Physical Recreation Section?

Remember, only continue with any physical activity you are doing for your Award if you are feeling fit and healthy. 

If your regular activity has been temporally suspended, there are lots of ways you can continue maintaining relevant strength and fitness. Whilst mass gatherings must be avoided, you could consider range of activities to do at home including yoga, weight training, skateboarding or cardio exercises. Apps like Strava or Google Fit can help you monitor your activities and provide evidence for your Assessor. 


There are also lots of fitness sessions and classes that can be followed online (on YouTube) and done within your home; from Pilates, Yoga, WII fit to learning dance routines, bootcamps to HIIT workouts. You can record a list of the ones you do and keep a record of your hours using the ORB. 

Remember to seek approval from your Award Leader before you start. 

I haven’t started my Physical Recreation Section, what activities can be done from home?

There are lots of activities for the Physical Recreation Section that can be done from home, from yoga, or running, or online exercise classes. You can see a list of ideas here. 

Remember to seek approval from your Award Leader before you start.  

Can I continue my Skills Section activity from home?

If your regular session for your Skills Section isn’t running at the moment, speak to your Award Leader or Assessor to find out what you can do at home. This may include extra practising if you are playing an instrument, doing a performing art, doing games, or further research and project work. 


More ideas of Skills activities you can do form home can be found here.  


Remember to seek approval from your Award Leader before you start.  


I haven’t started my Skills Section, what activities can be done from home?

There are lots of activities for the Skills Section that can be done from home, from cooking or playing an instrument, to learning a new language or drawing / painting. You can see a list of ideas here. 

Remember to seek approval from your Award Leader before you start. 

Can I continue my volunteering activity if I have to stay at home?

This will depend on the activity you are doing for your Voluntary Service Section. Remember to ask your Assessor if there is anything you can do to support the organisation you’re volunteering for while you are at home; this may be helping with social media campaigns, working on their website, designing flyers or materials or writing reports or documents. Although it may not be what you usually do, there are lots of ways charities and organisations might still benefit from your support even if you’re at home. 

If you can’t continue your activity, then remember you can either take a break, or change activity. You may also decide to change activity if you are able to volunteer to help your local community at this challenging time.  

Remember to seek approval from your Award Leader before you start. 

Are there any other volunteering activities I can do at home?

If you’re unable to continue with your volunteering activity, or are looking to start your Section, there are a number of charities who provide volunteering opportunities that can be done from home. Remember to always check with your Award Leader before your start.  

A list of virtual volunteering ideas you can do from home can be found here. 

What do I do if my Adventurous Journey has been cancelled?

Speak to your Award Leader or Supervisor, as details will depend on your circumstances and Adventurous Journey arrangements.  

Your Award group may postpone your Adventurous Journey until later on in the year, or if you are soon to be leaving the Award Centre you are doing your Award with, you could also consider completing your Award through an Open Award Centre or Activity Provider. Remember that you have until you are 25 to complete your Award, so even if you will have left your organisation you will be able to join a new group and complete an Adventurous Journey up until that time. 

How can I continue to make progress towards my Adventurous Journey Section?

In most circumstances it will not be possible for Adventurous Journeys to be undertaken however Participants can research and plan for journeys. Participants and Award Leaders should keep abreast of Federal Government and their State and Territory health alerts and make decisions about their Adventurous Journeys based on this advice.  

My Gold Residential Project has been cancelled; can I still achieve my Award?

The organisation you have booked your residential with will be able to advise you on whether it can be postponed, and any refund arrangements. Although it’s really disappointing to have your Residential cancelled, you have until your 25th birthday to complete your Award. Therefore, you will hopefully have plenty of time to rearrange your trip or find another one in the future. 

I will be turning 25 soon and I am concerned I won’t complete my Award in time because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Can they be given an extension?

If you are nearly 25 and are concerned you will not complete your Award by your 25th birthday discretion may be granted by the National Award Office based on your extenuating circumstances this may include major medical issues as well as cancellations of Adventurous Journey’s or Residential Projects. The extension for you to complete their current Award would be for a maximum of 12 months’ subject to a minimum 80% of your Award is completed by their 25th birthday.

Please contact your Award Leader and State or Territory Award Office for further information about how to apply for an age-extension.

Gold Award Ceremony

If you were due to attend a Gold Award Ceremony this year, please contact your State or Territory Award Office for further information. 

I have added a new activity to an Award Section that I can do remotely or from home. Who can be my Assessor if I will only have physical contact with my family?

You will need to check with your Assessor if they are able to assess your activity remotely. If they can do this, you should create diary entries, photo and video records as well as use other remote communication channels such as video calls to check in with your Assessor. A parent/guardian can liaise with your Assessor to assist in verifying your progress with your Section.

My Assessor is no longer able to assess my activity, what should I do?

With prior approval from your Award Leader (can be via email) your Award Leader can act as the Assessor for the activity. Remember to still create diary entries, photo and video records as well as use other remote communication channels such as video calls to check in with your Award Leader so they can assess your activity.

How do I contact my Award Leader, or Assessor, if my school / club / group is closed?

This will depend on your situation and any prior arrangements made with your Award Leader and Section Assessors. You may have an email address or contact number you can use to call, or send a text or email. You might also consider setting up a messaging group on social media such as What’s App with other Participants from your Award group so you can share ideas, motivate each other and stay in touch during this time.  

How can Parents assist their children to complete their Award Sections when in a remote or isolated situation?

Assessors and Supervisors need to be independent. Parents or family members can only be an Activity Assessor or a Supervisor in exceptional circumstances requiring prior approval of the Award Leader on behalf of the Award Centre*. Where there is any doubt, the use of a family member as an Assessor or Supervisor needs to be approved by the Award State/Territory Office (see Award Handbook p.35).

An Assessor is a suitably skilled, experienced and/or qualified adult in the Participant’s chosen activity. Their role is to engage with Participants and offer guidance, mentoring and encouragement. Assessors are approved by the Participant’s Award Leader and must agree to and sign the Award’s Volunteer Code of Conduct.

Assisting the Approved Assessor: Parents and family members can, however be recognised by the Award Leader in an assistant role to the Assessor. For example: providing on the spot guidance; monitoring engagement and effort; verifying the regular participation; providing verbal or video feedback to the Assessor. It is important to note that the Assessor must however prepare the final report and sign off that regular effort was shown, progress was made towards the personal goal, the minimum hours and the duration requirements were met.

For further information:

*On what grounds (exceptions) would approval be given?

Medical conditions. Where a family member needs to attend to medications or support other medical conditions

Remote: Where it is impractical or costly for an Activity Assessor to regularly support and monitor the Participant’s activity

Highly specialised expertise/unusual pursuit: The activity chosen and approved by the Award Leader is not common and realistic/reasonable access to an Activity Assessor is a family member

Understanding the Principles used to design the Duke of Ed helps ensure its impact and effectiveness is maintained. It makes interpretation of the conditions where flexible is allowed, much easier and assists consistency in interpretation. These principles are design features and explain why the Award has such a positive impact. The Guiding Principles are listed in the Award Handbook on page 14.

I need to change my Award activity, what can I do?

You will need to get your Award Leader’s approval before starting a new Award activity, and may want to speak to them about finding an appropriate Assessor for the Section; it could be another volunteer that helps run your Award group, or a family friend who is suitably skilled and experienced in the activity. You will need to agree ways to communicate with them remotely, whether that’s emailing or sending evidence of your activity as you progress.  

Can I continue to the next level of The Duke of Ed Award without having completed my current level?

Participants are encouraged to complete all Sections of one level of their Award before progressing on to another level. However, if there is good cause for a Participant to commence the next level then, with their Award Leader’s approval, they may start with a Section at the next level if they:  


  • have completed that Section (including signed off by the Award Leader) in their current level  
  • have completed 3 Sections of the current level  
  • have made a substantial commencement of the Section that has not been completed  
  • have reached the minimum age of entry for the new level 
  •  complete the lower level before the higher level can be approved for sign-off, or the higher level will be treated as a direct entry including the need for one Section to be completed as a Major.  


*See in the Award Handbook.  

This is particularly relevant for Qualifying AJs cancelled due to COVID-19. This allows Participants to start logging Physical Recreation, Voluntary Service and Skills at the next level while waiting to complete their previous level AJ Qualifier. 


Help to inspire others by sharing how you are doing your Award from home

We know you are already doing amazing things to help your community and we know there are a huge range of examples of how the Award is not only still in action, but also helping you to build your resilience in yourself and your communities at this time.  


No matter how big or small; your story can help to inspire our global Award family and demonstrate the positive impact that participating in the Award can have on young people and our wider societies.  


As part of our effort to support our Award family, we are hoping to share as many stories and examples of the Award in action, around the world, as possible.  


What are we looking for?  


Stories, photos, videos, insights, ideas…all are welcome, especially ones that showcase how you are continuing or adapting your Award journey, the COVID-19 restrictions. For example: 


  • Participants who are learning a new skill to help themselves, their family or their community during this time (e.g. first aid, gardening/growing vegetables, leadership) 
  • Those who are dedicating their Voluntary Service section to supporting their local community as it tackles COVID-19  
  • Young people who are working to stay mentally and physically healthy, by finding new ways to continue their Physical Recreation Section at home 


To share your story head to our FacebookInstagram or YouTube page and tag #dukeofedaus 


Alternatively, you can share your story via our website: