A new specification for organising overseas visits is now available for universities, schools, adventure travel companies, gap year providers and others, thanks to a revised British Standard to be launched today at the Society.
Originally drafted in 2007, BS 8848 is the British Standard for organising and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities outside the UK. By voluntarily signing up to the standard, providers can demonstrate that they are following good practice to help reduce the risk of injury or illness.
Shane Winser, the Society’s Geography Outdoors Manager, who chaired the British Standard Institution’s drafting panel says: “BS 8848 is a ground-breaking tool to benchmark safety management systems and builds on a wide range of existing good practice from universities, schools, expeditions and other providers. It helps to ensure that foreseeable risks are minimised and that participants can make informed choices about the risks they want to take. Anyone planning or participating in an overseas venture should be aware of its requirements.”
The revised standard has changed significantly and, among other things, it now:
- Places greater emphasis on planning and risk assessment
- Provides participants with increased information about their responsibilities
- Includes competence assessment criteria for the leaders of ventures with participants under 18 years old and unaccompanied by their parent or guardian
- Is more applicable to individual placements and lone workers
The new standard is available to purchase and you can contact your local public or university library to view a copy. The Society provides a wide range of advice and support for individuals and teams planning fieldwork and expeditions and can arrange bespoke compliance workshops on request.