Supervision and Assessment

This page explains how our expeditions are supervised and how groups are assessed to determine whether they pass.

Reigate Grammar School runs the largest, longest running, safest and most successful DofE unit of any school in the country.  DofE at Reigate Grammar School is rated as exceptional.  We expect the highest standards from participants to ensure that everyone is safe on our expeditions.

Bronze and Silver expeditions are operated by school. For Gold, we now work with our excellent trusted partners Expeditions Wales who deliver the expeditions. RGS staff support the delivery of Gold expeditions.

Here are some details about how our expeditions operate and some important rules and expectations required to pass your RGS DofE expeditions. 

Groups must be planned, prepared and fit and ready to go on their expedition.

Please contact DofE staff at school if you are unsure about anything on this page.  Participants are made aware of the importance of these rules and expectations throughout their expedition preparation and training.

Safety is the top priority and the rules and expectations outlined here have been developed over years operating countless expeditions to achieve the safest and most successful outcome for everyone involved in RGS expeditions.

Before you go…

Please remember, DofE expeditions are not just stand-alone school trips. They are part of their DofE programme. To pass DofE expeditions RGS participants need to …

1. Attend planning meets and complete plans by deadlines.

2. Complete the entire expedition… late drop offs or early pick ups are not allowed.

3. Pass two expeditions, the practice and qualifying.

3. Complete any previous awards… RGS DofE students must earn their Bronze Award to continue with Silver and must pass Silver to continue with Gold.

4. Carry their own equipment. Participants must be fit enough to carry their own kit to operate independently and safely. The transport of kit between camps is not provided for injured or ill participants. Participants who are injured or ill should do the expedition when they have recovered and are sufficiently fit and well to carry the essential kit. This rule is for the safety of everyone involved and is one of our conditions for starting a safe expedition. If participants are unable to carry their own kit due to illness or injury then please contact staff as soon as possible to discuss options.

Supervision and Assessment

Experienced DofE staff make the decision whether groups have passed an expedition. Groups are trained and observed by staff throughout the expeditions, from start to finish. Groups are observed by staff before the expedition in the planning stages. Staff work closely with groups during the expedition, meeting them at check points, hiking out to remotely supervise or assess them, often unobserved. The same applies to all levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Experienced staff provide help and guidance to groups throughout expeditions. Groups will be told as early as possible if they are not meeting the requirements so that they can improve. It is extremely important that groups listen and act on any guidance or instructions given by supervisors and assessors.

Staff camp with or near groups overnight (depending on award level).  Groups are  debriefed at the end.  By then we have a comprehensive picture of how groups have progressed.

We expect there to be errors such as getting lost or other mistakes and these are important for groups to  learn from and improve.  Most groups who plan properly and are fit and prepared for their expedition readily rise to the challenge and enjoy the challenge!

What happens if a group does not pass an expedition?

Sometimes groups or individuals do not pass an expedition. This might be because they did not pass the required standard or because they did not finish the expedition, perhaps because an illness or injury forced them to quit. This will mean they have to repeat an expedition if they wish to pass the Award.

Usually, staff will make a group aware of any issues during the course of an expedition which mean they are not meeting the requirements to pass. Groups then have time to improve and should make every effort to show they are trying to address issues.

An important threshold is that groups should show they are able to operate safely and independently. This is an important prerequisite to passing an expedition.

Groups are made aware from training of the standards required to pass.

Groups not meeting a number of basic standards can be deferred which means they are asked to repeat an expedition. Failure is extremely rare and reserved for the most severe breaches of school and safety rules.

Repeating an expedition is not a punishment but a chance to improve on one or more of the aspects and expectations noted above to show they can operate safely and independently within the guidelines and expectations.

Please note that, there may be a cost involved if Approved Activity Providers require an expedition to be repeated.

If you have any questions about how groups are supervised or assessed then please contact DofE staff at school.