With over 40 years experience of organising tours you can be assured that there is no question we have not already been asked, we are happy to answer any queries you may have. Below is a list of some of our most frequently asked questions, if you can not find the answer to your safety query below, then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading a Tour... what do I need to do to comply with safety?
Before organising any adventure, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the requirements and criteria within the Girl Guiding Manual or the Scout Associations Policy, Organisation and Rules, as applicable. Information is available on what is expected from group leaders leading a tour; in addition we are happy to assist you in ensuring that you have all of the necessary information.
Our aim at Venture Abroad is to work together with our group leaders to ensure our groups safety and peace of mind.
What safety support does VA have in place for clients choosing to tour with them?
At Venture Abroad we are proud of our continual commitment to safety. Clients who tour with us can be assured that we have the following support services and systems in place:
- Safety Management System
- Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge
- Member of the School Travel Forum
- ATOL/ABTA protected
- Risk Assessments
- Activity Based
- 24 hour emergency contact system
- Hotel Audits
- Coach Audits
- Crisis Management System
What is Venture Abroad Responsible for?
Safety is everyone's responsibility - Our commitment to you is highlighted in our Safety Management System.
Risk Assessments and Pre-Tour Forms
Do you provide risk assessments?
All groups are expected to complete Risk Assessments for tours. At Venture Abroad we provide our groups with a generic risk assessment, activity based risk assessments and generic campsite risk assessments to assist in the completion of your own.
Remember that safety is everyone's responsibility, at Venture Abroad we encourage and support the completion of Risk Assessments by our Group Leaders. We supply Risk Assessments to all of our groups to assist them in completing their own.
Group Leaders are advised that whilst almost any activity carries some inherent risk, particularly where children and young persons are involved it is important to be realistic and not to let it detract from the purpose of your tour.
What should be included in my risk assessment?
A risk assessment is simply an examination of possible risks involved within activity/surroundings. Everyone should take responsibility for their own safety and that of those around them by ensuring that they are behaving appropriately and that they highlight any potential risks should they encounter them.
- Identify the potential hazards
- Decide on precautions to alleviate potential hazard
- Record your findings and implement the precautions
What do your generic risk assessments include?
Our risk assessments include information on:
- General "Out and About"
- Camp fire precautions
Do you provide risk assessments for Accommodation Centres?
Venture Abroad have individual audits which are completed on every accommodation centre which we use, these are available for you to see, and areas covered by our audits include:
- Fire Safety
- Means of Escape
- General Safety
All accommodation is audited to standards set by the School Travel Forum, which considers the safety requirements of students and youth groups the criteria is based on information and guidance from relevant authorities. Whilst local laws and standards have to be taken into consideration as they may differ from country to country our standards do not. We are happy to provide copies of our accommodation audits should you wish to see them, please feel free to request a copy.
Is all of your accommodation audited in advance?
Yes, all of our accommodation is audited prior to our groups staying there. The criterion of these audits is governed by the School Travel Forum (STF). We therefore have specific standards to attain and following the criteria set within these standards we have to classify our hotels.
It is important to remember that each country is governed by their own standards and laws and these may differ from UK law. However, we require our accommodation to meet our standards as a minimum. We work with the hotels and agents to endeavour to ensure that our standards are met.
Are all of your UK coaches audited?
All of our UK coach companies are audited by our in house Transport Manager. Copies of which can be made available to you.
Are all of your foreign coaches audited?
It is important to remember that each country is governed by their own standards and laws and these may differ from UK law. We request that a confirmation is completed by the coach company which includes confirming the following:
- They will comply with all national, local and other laws, rules and codes of practice, and that all services contracted shall be performed with all due skill, care & diligence
- The vehicle is fully insured for the duration of the tour
Are all of the coaches you provide fitted with seatbelts?
All UK coaches are fitted with seatbelts by law.
Unlike within the UK it is not currently law in foreign countries for coaches to be fitted with seatbelts, wherever possible we will request that foreign coaches are supplied to us with seatbelts however we cannot guarantee this.
Do you CRB check your drivers?
As part of our coach audits we request that all UK coach drivers are CRB checked by their employer prior to driving on one of our tours. We can request confirmation of your specific driver’s compliance if deemed necessary.
Do you CRB check your Couriers?
All Venture Abroad staff accompanying any of our groups on tour have been subject to a CRB check, again we are happy to confirm individuals as required.
Do you CRB check foreign drivers and foreign tour couriers?
At present CRB checks are not valid for non UK residents and therefore we cannot legally insist that these checks are carried out. Where possible we can ask our agents for local equivalents, for further clarification please speak to your Tour Coordinator.
What happens if our flight operators/transport providers cease to trade whilst we are on tour?
By booking your tour with us you are fully covered in the event that you are unable to return home should your transport provider fail to operate i.e. it goes into liquidation. As your operator it is our responsibility to ensure that alternative arrangements are made to repatriate you and your group to the UK.
Venture Abroad is a member of ABTA and is fully ATOL protected.
What support is there if my group is involved in an emergency whilst on Tour?
As part of our commitment to ensure our clients have continued support and a high level of service we offer a 24 hour emergency phone line available to all Group Leaders during their tour (details of which will be in your final documents). A fully trained member of our staff will assist you, should you encounter any issues during your tour.
What support do you have in place in the event of a Crisis situation?
In the unlikely event that your group is involved in a crisis situation during your tour, you can be assured that Venture Abroad have a Crisis Management System in place which is fully supported by ABTA, ATOL and FOGG (our insurance). Details of our Crisis Management procedures can be made available to you on request.