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Safeguarding Work Away


The Study Away Risk Assessment Committee is a sub-committee of The General Board and its Education Committee. Their role is to support departments by making final decisions on high risk applications to study or work away and to ensure that a consistent approach is taken towards high risk across the University. This process has been put into effect to ensure that the responsibility for high risk decisions is not left to one person. To understand the way that travel risk is rated and reasons to refer please see the risk rating table and further detailed information in the Policy and Guidance section for those who authorise work away.

Membership of the Committee

The Committee is comprised of:

  • A Chair, who is also a member of GBEC;
  • A representative from the Legal Services Office;
  • A representative from the Health, Safety & Regulated Facilities Division;
  • A representative from the Office of External Affairs and Communications;
  • A representative from Student Operations.

The Committee aims to ensure that departments feel supported rather than restricted, therefore, this core group of decision makers will call on other relevant persons to help inform decisions on a case by case basis; this might include the head of the relevant school or department/faculty, or the senior tutor, or external expert opinion.

Input may be requested in the form of:

  • A supporting statement from a student’s supervisor and/or head of department including justification for the work;
  • Input into case discussions e.g. discussing the academic merit of the work and/or;
  • Evidence of training.

 High risk study or work away applications should be referred to the Committee with the consent of the Head of Department.

It is important that when making a referral Departments follow the procedure correctly as failure to do so will result in slower decision making.

Referring a decision to the Committee:

  • All referrals should be made by the Head of Department or nominated deputies;
  • Referrals should be made at least 1 month prior to planned departure;
  • Refer applications using the online referral form;
  • All referrals must include a comprehensive risk assessment* and any other documents that the student or department believe would strengthen the application e.g. departmental supporting statement;
  • Departments must advise the student that a referral has been made and that their application is on hold until further notice and;
  • Departments must advise the student that they will not be permitted to travel until a decision has been reached.

Please be advised that it may take up to two weeks for a decision to be reached. This time is to allow for expert travel risk reports to be obtained if necessary and/or for training to be undertaken.

In addition to making decisions on high risk work away the Committee also has the authority to require that a student return from overseas if they are not compliant with the University Policy to Safeguard Students Studying and Working Away. Please contact the Committee via if you require further information on work away disciplinary processes.

*It is not the role of the Committee to complete the risk assessment for the student/department and if an assessment is received that has not been fully completed prior to referral then this will be returned with a request for further information. Therefore, to improve the speed of decision making it is important that only complete risk assessments are submitted to the Committee. The recommended risk assessment to use for high risk proposals is the Elevated Risk Assessment - Students or Elevated Risk Assessment - Staff.

For guidance on building a more robust risk assessment please see here or contact the Safety Office for further support.