By: Blonde Two

If you have ever thought about volunteering to work with young people (we can recommend it) and have some applicable skills but don’t have the time to organise whole expeditions, you might want to consider the role of DofE Expedition Assessor. An expedition assessor works with DofE teams during their assessed expedition but doesn’t have to get involved with training them (in fact, the very best assessor experiences come from assessors who don’t know the team previously). Their official role is to monitor the team’s progress through the expedition, popping in and out of their expedition and making sure that they adhere to the Expedition 20 Conditions. In reality, a good expedition assessor will also play the role of advisor as they encourage the teams they are assessing progress towards success. In order to be an expedition assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, you need to be an ‘expert’ in your field (usually walking in similar terrain but expeditions can be undertaken in other ways, including horseback and cycling). You will need to attend accredited DofE training and then undertake a supported assessment during which you work with an experienced assessor.

It is at this point that I would like to introduce you to Claire. Claire is a water sports instructor and Guide leader but also has a lot of experience running DofE expeditions. She is a good friend of the Two Blondes and very kindly volunteered (not for the first time) to assess Blonde One’s recent Silver Award expedition with Trinity School in Teignmouth. While we were doing a bit of team waiting, I asked Claire a few questions about her role.

What do you like about being a DofE expedition assessor?

I like being able to support the kids in their expedition because they will be creating life long memories.

What are the differences between being a DofE expedition assessor and a DofE leader?

As the assessor, you can be part of the DofE team without taking on the responsibility and massive time commitments.

What do you like best about the expedition assessor role?

I like sharing my outdoor experience and interacting with a variety of young people. When the participants achieve their expedition it’s a very proud moment even though I haven’t trained them.

What is your favourite moment of a DofE expedition?

Greeting them as they finish and having a reflective chat with them at the end are both very special moments.