Travel Outside of Canada

Approval Date: 2015-03-12

Effective Date: 2015-03-12

Review Date: 2019-03-12

Authority:
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

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Principle:

Travel, including international travel, is important to fulfilling the University’s mission. The University recognizes that there are risks associated with all travel, and unique risks when travelling to, and within, international destinations. All members of the university community must appropriately manage risk while planning, and during, Travel Outside of Canada for University-related Activities.

Purpose:

To outline responsibilities and procedures that serve to mitigate the risks associated with travel outside of Canada.

Scope:

All employees, students, and persons affiliated with the University who are participating in University-related activities outside of Canada.

Definitions:

Activity Coordinator The employee or other designated individual, who is traveling with a group that includes students, and is responsible for coordinating the University-related Activities. The Activity Coordinator may also be the Travel Coordinator. This is a functional description not a position title.

Destination(s) – The countries, regions, and/or areas to which, and within which, the Traveler(s) will be traveling.

DFATD – The Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development.

Emergency – an event/threat or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could affect the health, safety, and well-being of individuals; cause damage to infrastructure and/or could impact teaching, research activities, and the reputation of the University.  

Travel Coordinator –The employee, or other designated individual responsible for coordinating administrative aspects of the travel, including bookings, reservations, and completion of necessary documents, etc., for a group of Travelers. The Travel Coordinator may also be the Activity Coordinator. This is a functional description not a position title.

Travel Outside of Canada – Travel from Canada to international destinations, or travel between international destinations. 

Traveler(s) – Employees, students, or other affiliated persons who travel outside of Canada for University- related Activities.

Unit Head - Deans, Department Heads, Division Heads, Heads of Schools, Directors, Executive Directors, University Librarian, University Registrar, and other senior administrators at a comparable level; Associate Vice-Presidents  and Vice-Presidents, as applicable

University - Memorial University of Newfoundland.

University-related Activities - Includes, but is not limited to: recruitment, research, study, meetings, conferences, competitions, humanitarian endeavors, site visits, work terms, internships, practicums, medical electives, projects that support the University’s mission, and activities that are undertaken with respect to the individual’s relationship with the University.

Policy:

The personal safety of Travelers is a priority for the University. The assessment and management of risk and the safety of Travelers are shared responsibilities. The University makes available current information, guidance, and support of travel outside of Canada. Travelers are responsible for availing of the information, guidance, and support while planning, and during, travel outside of Canada for University-related activities.

1.       Risk Assessment

When planning travel outside of Canada, Travelers are required to assess the risks associated with the University-related activities and the specific destination(s).

For the purposes of assessing the risk associated with the University-related Activities, the Traveler/Activity Coordinator completes the appropriate risk assessments provided by their unit.

For the purposes of assessing the risk associated with the specific destination(s), the Traveler/Activity Coordinator refers to the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD) travel advisories. DFATD provides regularly updated travel reports and warnings for most international destinations. For the purposes of this Policy, the DFATD travel advisories are considered to be the official advice concerning travel to specific destinations. See the Procedure for Assessing Risk for Travel Outside of Canada. The DFATD travel advisories are available here: travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

Travelers are required to monitor the DFATD travel advisories for their destination(s) until their departure and while travelling for University-related activities.  While at the destination, if conditions change, to become an Emergency, follow the Procedure for Responding to an Emergency While Travelling Outside Canada.

2.       Review of Planned Travel Outside of Canada

For the purposes of this Policy, destinations that are assigned a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” are considered a high risk destination. Travel to high risk destination(s) requires advance review by the University’s Travel Outside of Canada (TOC) Committee. It is the responsibility of the Traveler/Activity Coordinator to request this review prior to commitment of costs in accordance with the Procedure for Travel to High Risk Areas.

Travelers engaged in Travel Outside of Canada for University-related Activities may partake in additional travel, and to change location from the previously specified destination(s), for University-related activities. Travelling to additional, previously unspecific destinations may require review by the TOC Committee. See the Procedure for a Change of Location While Outside of Canada.

Additional personal travel does not require review by the TOC Committee.

Travel to destination(s) that are assigned a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid All Travel” normally are not supported.  Requests for support of planned travel to such destinations may be made to the Traveler’s   respective Vice-President.

No University resources can be used for travel which is not supported.   In the event the University becomes aware of such travel, the Unit Head, may, at his or her discretion, take any of the following measures:

  • suspend or cancel the University-related Activity or the Traveler’s participation in the University-related Activity;
  • suspend or cancel any funding from sources controlled by the University;
  • subject to applicable laws and University policy:
    • advise third parties of the Traveler’s situation (for example government agencies, or the parents, guardians or next of kin of a student);
    • advise third parties that the Traveler is not travelling under the auspices of the University.

3.       Personal Safety Plan

Travel to destinations outside of Canada presents inherent risks to the safety of individual Traveler(s) and groups. Planning and risk management serve to mitigate some risks. Regardless of planning, unforeseeable events can occur. Travelers should develop a personal safety plan that addresses identified risks and includes appropriate responses for unexpected situations.

Travelers should familiarize themselves with the contact information for the emergency services (e.g. police, fire, ambulance, etc.), Canadian government offices (if available), and University contacts located within their destination(s).

Travelers seeking support of Travel Outside of Canada to destination(s) with a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” are required to complete an additional risk assessment and develop a personal safety plan in accordance with the Procedure for Travel to High Risk Areas.

Travelers must familiarize themselves and comply with the Procedure for Responding to Emergencies while Travelling Outside Canada.

Travelers are not compelled to travel to any destination(s) in which they feel their personal safety may be compromised.  Opting out of such travel must be done prior to any commitment of costs.

If travel to a specific destination(s) is a requirement of a student’s academic program, and the student feels that travel to, or within, that destination(s) may compromise his/her personal safety, the student may request to opt out of the travel. Requests for opting out of travel outside Canada are made in writing to the appropriate Unit Head.

4.       Pre-departure Preparation

Travelers are required to complete a Pre-departure preparation in accordance with the Procedure for Pre-departure Preparation for Travel Outside of Canada.

5.       Student Travel

Students who are traveling outside Canada for University-related Activities are required to complete the Orientation for Students Travelling Outside Canada, provided by the applicable unit.

A group which includes students, that is travelling outside Canada for University-related Activities, must include a designated Activity Coordinator.

The Activity Coordinator(s) is required to complete the Orientation for Students Travelling Outside of Canada.

The Activity Coordinator(s) is responsible for providing adequate preparation for the students, including assisting with the completion of the risk assessment and travel planning, and providing destination-specific information such as culturally sensitive behaviour, personal health and safety, relevant emergency procedures and contacts, etc.

6.       Emergencies

The University’s St. John’s Emergency Management plan guides the University’s response to Emergencies including those experienced by Travelers outside of Canada.  This particular emergency management plan is used, regardless of the originating campus of the Traveler.

Travelers who experience an Emergency while travelling outside Canada should contact the University by telephoning Campus Enforcement and Patrol on the St. John’s campus using 709-864-4100, as soon as possible. This telephone number is used regardless of the originating campus of the Traveler.

Related Documents:

Bon Voyage, But... Essential Information for Canadian Travellers
Enterprise Risk Management Policy
Travel Outside of Canada Committee - Terms of Reference

Procedures:

For inquiries related to this policy:

International Office

Sponsor: Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Category: Operations

Previous Versions:

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