This page contains information about opportunities for leader and participant training, as and when details become available. Please follow the links provided for more information about the application process, fees, etc. There may be help with funding for some of these courses - please contact Oxfordshire Open Award or DofE South East Region for details. If you are from the Abingdon area, the Abingdon Area DofE Committee has a small fund available to help people from the area who wish to gain outdoor qualifications to support DofE. Please see the Funding Opportunities page for more details.
Other courses may be available from some of the providers listed on the Expedition Opportunities page.
List of Courses
The leader training courses being offered by Oxfordshire Open Award are described in the Training Brochure, available for download below.
Please use the Course Booking Form (also available below) to enrol on any of the Oxfordshire courses.
The table lists all training courses currently planned by Oxfordshire Open Award, plus some of the upcoming courses from DofE South East (see the link above for their full list). Please see the sections below for descriptions of the courses' contents.
Code Course Dates Times Venue Cost Provider Notes (see also below)
LL23A Lowland Leader Training 18-19 November 2023 2 days Oxfordshire £130 Oxfordshire Open Award Deadline: 12th November; max 12 places
LL23B Lowland Leader Assessment 25-26 November 2023 2 days Oxfordshire £130 Oxfordshire Open Award Deadline: 19th November; max 8 places
FA23A REC2 First Aid 27-28 January 2024 2 days Oxfordshire £130 Oxfordshire Open Award Deadline: 7th January; max 12 places
LL23C Lowland Leader Assessment TBA 2024 2 days Oxfordshire £130 Oxfordshire Open Award Maximum 8 places
For Lowland Leader courses, the costs given are for DofE-related candidates. All candidates need to be registered with Mountain Training for their Lowland Leader Award at their own expense.
Lowland Leader Training: Candidates must have logged at least 10 varied walks in appropriate terrain.
Lowland Leader Assessment: Candidates need to have attended training (or have exemption agreed by MT), hold a first aid certificate for a course that has some form of assessment of at least 16 hours & have logged at least 20 varied walks in appropriate terrain.
First Aid Courses
First Aid for Leaders
Expedition groups should be supervised by an adult who holds a current first aid certificate. An 8-hour course (REC1 - Rescue and Emergency Care Level 1) is suitable for leaders of expeditions in lowland or open country areas. For wild country expeditions (i.e. HML/ML leaders) a 16-hour course (REC2 - Rescue and Emergency Care Level 2) is necessary.
First Aid for Participants
Silver and Gold Award participants should have completed at least a 2-hour first aid course prior to their venture.
First Aid courses specifically designed for participants will be listed here when they become available.
St Johns Ambulance has a free resource for schools to help with teaching first aid for DofE. You can request a free certificate once you cover the topics listed.
Day Walking Leader (DWL)
The DWL Award (short for Sports Leaders UK Level 2 Award in Day Walking Leadership) is a new nationally recognized qualification that trains adults to:
lead walking groups in lowland areas;
teach the basic skills needed to undertake a day walk safely.
Although similar to the Award in BEL, the Award in Day Walking Leadership (DWL) does not involve overnight stays or camping. There is a requirement to undertake 15 hours of voluntary leadership during the course. It is an ideal qualification for adults who wish to supervise Bronze and Silver DofE Groups on day walks. For further information see the Sports Leaders website.
Basic Expedition Leader (BEL)
The BEL Award (short for Sports Leaders UK Level 3 Award In Basic Expedition Leadership) is a nationally recognised award designed to train and accredit competent adults to take responsibility for others in the outdoors, including hikes in lowland country and the organisation of base and mobile camps.
Sports Leaders UK have created a new format for this course which now requires the 30 hours of voluntary leadership to be undertaken before the final assessment weekend. The voluntary leadership element can be undertaken through training Bronze or Silver DofE participants and/or staffing DofE practice expeditions.
Mountain Training Courses
Mountain Training administers the Mountain Leader (ML), Hill and Moorland Leader (HML - formerly known as the Walking Group Leader - WGL), and Lowland Leader (LL) Awards. Please see their website for more information about these Awards, and for a complete list of course providers.
Lowland Leader (LL)
The Lowland Leader (LL) Award provided through Mountain Training is available through Oxfordshire Open Award and forms part of the range of courses widely recognised as the benchmark for outdoor walking qualifications. This is an opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification, which will equip you to act as a leader for activities taking place within the remit of the award.
There are two components that make up the award, plus an optional third course, as detailed below.
Registration with Mountain Training (*£39 one-off fee)
Be at least 17 years old
1. Training requirements
Minimum of 16 hours training contact time (which will be run over 2 days)
You must have recorded a minimum of 10 varied walks in lowland terrain (woodland, coastal, farmland etc.) where the use of a map is required (ideally these will be recorded on Mountain Training’s digital logbook, DLOG). These can have taken place at any point (pre- or post-registration).
Or have attended a walking & navigation personal skills training course recognised by Mountain Training (e.g. NNAS Scheme, Mountain Training Hill and Mountain Skills Course)
Course cost: to be advised
*Registration fee is in addition to the above course fee
Training exemption opportunities (move straight to assessment)
It is possible to move straight to Assessment, if the following conditions are met in full:
You have completed BEL/CLA/HML/WGL or ML Training
You meet the assessment requirements outlined in the Assessment section below
You have registered with Mountain Training specifically for the Lowland Leaders Award (the £39 registration fee is applicable)
You have applied for and paid the training exemption fee of £50 to Mountain Training
For more information visit http://www.mountain-training.org/faqs/exemption-from-training - please contact us to discuss this further.
2. Assessment requirements
Minimum age 18 years old
Minimum of 16 hours assessment contact time (which will be run over 2 days)
Completion of an Oxfordshire Home Paper (consolidating learning)
You must have attended a Lowland Leader training course (or have been granted exemption – see further information above)
You must be familiar with the syllabus
You must have logged a minimum of 20 walks in lowland countryside in different types of terrain (woodland, coastal, farmland etc.)
You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as a Lowland Leader
Course cost: to be advised
Successful completion of training and assessment will gain you the Lowland Leader Award.
3. Optional Expedition Skills Module (upon request)
The Expedition Skills Module is an optional module available to walking leaders. This is an opportunity to increase your skills where you will be trained and assessed to lead groups on multi-day camping expeditions. It is ideal for those involved with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (among other things) because the skills covered apply to expeditions using commercial campsites as well as wild camping. The Module is a combined training and assessment course, typically lasting two days with at least one overnight camp and will cover the following syllabus:
Food and cooking
Planning and leadership
Training and supervising expedition groups
Course cost: to be advised
Introduction to the DofE Courses
These courses are for anyone who is new to the award or is taking on a coordination role.
The Introduction to the DofE training course will provide you with the information needed to be a DofE Leader and run DofE programmes within a centre. It will put the learning from e-induction into context in a practical way. It is suitable for new DofE Leaders as well as existing Leaders who want to improve their DofE knowledge.
DofE Managers' Courses
The DofE Manager has overall responsibility for the delivery of the Award by a Licensed Organisation (Operating Authority or Directly Licensed Centre). These courses are designed to help somebody new to this post.
DofE Administrators' Courses
The DofE Administrator performs a number of administrative roles for a Licensed Organisation, including ordering participation places and certificates etc. from ASL. These courses are designed to help somebody new to this post.
DofE Verifiers' Courses
The DofE Verifier's role is to review the evidence and verify that a participant has fulfilled the conditions to receive an Award. They take no part in the delivery of the Award. These courses are designed to help somebody new to this post.
Expedition Supervisor Training Courses
The Expedition Supervisor training course covers: understanding the role of the Expedition Supervisor, Assessor and other adults involved in the delivery of the Expedition section; Understanding the process of remote supervision; Understanding the importance of emergency procedures; Understanding the duty of care held by the Supervisor.
Details about the Expedition Supervisor training course may be found on the DofE website.
Expedition Assessor Accreditation Courses
All expedition Assessors must have successfully completed an assessor accreditation course. This involves taking part in an initial online training module, followed by a six-hour classroom session, and finally an assessment on a real expedition by an already accredited assessor. For more details, please follow this link, which will also take you to the online modules and all the necessary forms.
Other courses will be advertised on this page when they become available.