Where a trip overseas is being considered, the traveller or lead traveller of a group must assess the associated risks involved and submit this information in line with local protocols when requesting authorisation to travel.

For example, authorisation to travel may involve submitting a Example Business Trip Approval form to your Head of Department or line manager, or an equivalent process. As part of this process, inform the approving manager that the trip is low risk or submit a completed overseas travel risk assessment form for medium or high/extreme risk.


Key Stages

  • Assess the associated risks by checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Control RisksTravel Health Pro information. Previous knowledge, travel agent advice and contacts in the place being visited can also provide important information. Download the login details for the Control Risks website.
  • Evaluate the risk as low, medium or high/extreme risk – see the Guide - Travel Risk and Approval for further information.
  • Submit this information in line with local protocols when requesting authorisation (or equivalent process) to travel (e.g. inform approving manager (low risk) or submit risk assessment (medium or high/extreme risk).
  • Following approval, the travel approver (eg. Head of Department) must email the approved overseas travel risk assessment form to in addition to any local reporting protocols.
  • Familiarise yourself with the requirements to attend a Travel Clinic.
  • Familiarise yourself with the University Travel Insurance arrangements in place.
  • For every overseas trip, the traveller or lead traveller of a group must email a current copy of the Emergency Details Form‌‌ to to ensure up-to-date records of all travellers are held in a central area with 24/7 access in case of emergency. Submit the form as soon as possible after trip approval and at the latest, one week prior to travel.
  • Track any changes in the level of risk up until the time of travel. Travel alerts can be set up from the FCO website, Control RisksTravelHealthPro and Key Travel.

Where the level of risk increases significantly (eg. FCO advice changes from ‘advise against all but essential’ travel to ‘advise against all’ travel), the risk assessment must be updated and resubmitted to the travel approver and travel if approved.


Where the traveller is going to the same country/area on more than one occasion within the same year and there is no change in the level of risk (e.g. political situation, health, work activity, FCO guidance), one overseas travel risk assessment form can be used to cover multiple trips.

Where travel involves a student placement or fieldwork, a more detailed assessment needs to be carried out. If this is required, please email for further advice. 

An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed for the overseas travel process. A copy can be found on the Equality and Diversity website

Risk Assessment

Travel overseas may expose staff and students to a number of health and safety hazards that arise from either the country, the travel itself or the work being undertaken. This can stem from, for example, political instability, internal security issues within the country, local customs, transport infrastructure, health risks and unfamiliarity with the location. However, most risks involved with work and travel overseas can be avoided or reduced to a level that is as low as practicable by putting appropriate measures in place.

An assessment of the risk must be undertaken for all overseas travel by checking the relevant information (eg. FCO, control risks etc) and an overseas travel risk assessment form completed for all medium and high/extreme risk. Further details can be found in the pre-approval section of this webpage.

The travel hazard checklist (under development) can be used to assist the traveller or lead traveller of a group when completing the overseas travel risk assessment.

The traveller or lead traveller of a group should liaise with other relevant members of staff or departments where required (eg. member of staff booking travel/accommodation, insurance etc) to ensure adequate arrangements are in place.

Where travel and accommodation is being booked by a member of staff other than the traveller or lead traveller

The work, or related activity, may be controlled by other employers in the country visited through co-operative ventures. These will be subject to the health and safety regulations of the country in question and individual employers may have produced their own health and safety codes of practice to which UK staff and students are required to adhere. Where possible, any such codes of practice should be obtained in advance so that proper assessments and all necessary preparations can be made.

In some cases, the Head of Department may release a member of staff to undertake work organised by other Schools or Departments of the University or other employers. In these cases the responsibility for assessing the risks must rest with the main/lead organiser of the trip. The traveller concerned should ensure that full and appropriate assessments have been made and that they are provided with all essential information by the main/lead travel organiser(s).

Risk assessments should be reviewed upon arrival in case they need modification in light of the particular circumstances and the local conditions found at the time.