Temporary programme changes


Temporary programme changes and further guidance

We’re determined that young people shouldn’t miss out on doing their Award because of the coronavirus outbreak – and we want to do everything we can to support you so your participants can keep doing theirs, at what we know is a really challenging time.

To help you keep supporting participants, both now and when the lockdown ends, we’re introducing these temporary changes. Further guidance on the Covid-19 – temporary changes and further guidance on the award requirements can be found here.


1. Participants can now volunteer for family members, for example by mentoring or coaching younger siblings. 

However, this should be more than a participant babysitting, or helping out with their usual chores! As with all Award activities, they should be structured and help the participant to meet the benefits and outcomes of the Volunteering section.  Participants can choose to volunteer to help any family member, but we would suggest coaching or mentoring a family member, particularly younger siblings, as an activity which can easily be structured and help meet the outcomes of the section.. This could include:  

– mentoring a younger sibling and helping them with their schoolwork or homework. 

– coaching a sibling or another family member to learn an instrument or develop another skill. 

– organising a sports session or arts and crafts session for someone they live with to participate in.  

Participants can plan their sessions using resources online, and record what they do using a programme planner or activity log.  If a participant wants to help another family member in a different way, then their Award Leader will just need to check it’s suitable by ensuring it fulfils the aims of the section.  As with all Award activities, to maintain the value and integrity of a young person’s Award, an Assessor cannot be a family member. 

2. Participants can now change section activities more than once. Time spent on previous activities will still count towards completion. 

Previously, participants could only change activities once per section. However, due to the pandemic, we know many participants have already changed activities to something they can do from home, and will want to resume their original activity once social distancing limitations are lifted. Some activities participants are doing from home may also not continue when normal life returns (e.g. helping with the coronavirus efforts in their community) so they will need to find something new. 

Participants can find out how to change an activity on ORBIf changing activities more than once, participants will need to use ‘revert to draft’ and resubmit their programme planner with their new activity. Participants will also need to upload an Assessor’s Report for each activity they have done onto their ORB account. 

3. When expeditions are able to resume, Silver and Gold Expedition Assessors will temporarily be allowed to be known to the expedition group.  

Currently, Expedition Assessors for Silver and Gold level expeditions should be independent from the group. However, on a temporary basis, Assessors will be able to be known to the group (this includes helping run the Award group, or supporting expedition training) – although they must still be an Accredited Assessor.

We hope this will help groups more easily access the resources required to run expeditions when they are able to resume, whilst maintaining the quality assurance measure of each expedition being assessed by a trained Assessor.

4. Award staff members may be able to act as section Assessors, if required.

If participants require an Assessor for a sectional activity, they can request for an Award member of staff to help – more information about this can be found here.

To protect the value and integrity of Award programme, other requirements will remain the same. However, we’re continuing to look for ways we can be flexible to support you and young people at this time, and will update you if we introduce any further temporary changes.