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Memorial University of Newfoundland

  Memorial University of Newfoundland

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)

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 — 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 Activity — Any activity that is directly related to or arises out of the operations of the University at any location.

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:

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


Procedure for Assessing Risk for Travel Outside of Canada

Approval Date: 2015-03-12

Responsible Unit: Internationalization Office

When planning travel outside of Canada, Travelers are required to assess the risks associated with the specific destination(s) to which they are travelling.

Travelers are also required to monitor the DFATD travel advisories for their destination(s) until their departure and while travelling for University-related activities.

When assessing the risk of travel outside of Canada, the Traveler/Activity Coordinator will:

1. Determine the DFATD travel advisories for their destination(s). The DFATD travel advisories are available here: travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

2. Refer to the Travel Outside of Canada for University-related Activities table included in this procedure

Travel Outside of Canada for University-related Activities

 

DFATD Travel Advisory
For Destination

TOC Committee
Review Required

Exercise Normal Security Precautions

No

Exercise a High Degree of Caution

No

Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Yes

Avoid All Travel

Not Applicable

3. Contact the Travel Outside of Canada (TOC) Committee, no later than eight weeks before departure, if the specific destination has a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid Non-Essential Travel”. See the Procedure for Travel to High Risk Areas.


Procedure for Change of Location while Outside of Canada

Approval Date: 2015-03-12

Responsible Unit: Internationalization Office

Travelers engaged in travel outside of Canada for University-related activities are permitted to partake in additional travel, and to change location from the previously specified destination(s) for University-related activities. Pre-departure support of travel to the original destination(s) does not include travel to other, previously unspecified, destinations.

When changing location to a previously unspecified destination(s), the Traveler/Activity Coordinator will:

1. Determine the DFATD travel advisories for the new destination(s). The DFATD travel advisories are available here: travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

2. Refer to the Travel Outside of Canada for University-related Activities table included in this procedure.

Travel Outside of Canada for University-related Activities

 

DFATD Travel Advisory
For Destination

TOC Committee
Review Required

Exercise Normal Security Precautions

No

Exercise a High Degree of Caution

No

Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Yes

Avoid All Travel

Not Applicable

3. Contact the Travel Outside of Canada (TOC) Committee if the specific destination has a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid Non-Essential Travel”, in accordance with the Procedure for Travel to High Risk Areas.


Procedure for Pre-departure Preparation for Travel Outside of Canada

Approval Date: 2015-03-12

Responsible Unit: Internationalization Office

Pre-departure preparation serves to mitigate some risks and better prepare the Traveler for unforeseen and emergent situations. The University makes available current information, guidance, and support of Travel Outside of Canada. Travelers should avail of this information and support while planning, and during, their travel.

 A.      In preparation for travel outside of Canada, Travelers are asked to:

  1. Register their travel. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are advised to register with the Government of Canada Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD) prior to travelling outside of Canada. The DFATD travel registration is available here: travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration.

    Travelers who hold citizenship in other countries are advised to register their travel with the foreign office of their country of citizenship.

  2. Ensure they have the appropriate travel documents (i.e. visa, entry documents, etc.) for their destination(s).

  3. Ensure they have appropriate travel insurance coverage, including coverage for personal property.  Loss of personal property is not covered by the University’s insurance policies. Some Travelers, depending on the specific destination(s), may be required to obtain travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

  4. Familiarize themselves with the health risks and preventive measures associated with their specific destination(s).

  5. Ensure they have an appropriate pre-departure health assessment, which includes appropriate vaccinations, necessary medication, etc. for their travel and destination(s).

  6. Ensure they have adequate travel health insurance coverage.

B.      In addition to the steps in section A, Travelers, who are students, and Activity Coordinators, will:

  1. Complete the Orientation for Students Travelling Outside of Canada provided by the relevant unit.  The Orientation provides basic information for travel outside Canada, as well as specific information on travel, safety, and cultural customs for the specific destination(s).

 


Procedure for Responding to an Emergency While Travelling Outside Canada

Approval Date: 2015-03-12

Responsible Unit: Internationalization Office

The University’s Emergency Management plan guides the University’s response to Emergencies including those experienced by Travelers outside of Canada. This procedure is not intended to guide the role of a first responder. In the event of an Emergency, as defined in the Travel Outside of Canada policy, Travelers should:

1. Act to protect their own safety and in the case of Activity Coordinators, the safety of other members of the group.

2. Contact the appropriate local emergency services (i.e. medical, police, and fire) immediately

3. Contact local/regional University supports, if available.

4. Contact Campus Enforcement and Patrol at the St. John’s campus, as soon as possible, using 709-864-4100. This is a single point of emergency contact, regardless of the Traveler’s originating University campus.

5. Follow any instructions given by the University.

Upon receiving a call from a Traveler/Activity Coordinator Campus Enforcement and Patrol will:

1. Collect relevant information from the Traveler/Activity Coordinator including:

a. Name of individual reporting the event
b. Contact information of individual reporting the event
c. Nature of the event
d. Location of the event (e.g. country, region, city, town, etc.)
e. Date and time of the event
f. Status of response by local authorities
g. Names of individuals involved
h. Contact information of individuals involved
i. Current safety, security, and health status of the individuals involved
j. Memorial University program and the name of the administrative head
k. Names of other individuals who have been notified

2. Conduct an initial assessment to determine the emergency level and based on that assessment, invoke the University-wide Emergency Activation Flowchart, if appropriate, or refer the matter to the relevant Unit Head.

3. Where applicable provide specific instructions to the caller.

After the Emergency is resolved, the TOC Committee will meet at least once to discuss and document lessons learned from the event and the University’s and TOC Committee’s decisions, action(s) taken, relevant response(s), and final outcomes.


Procedure for Travel to High Risk Areas

Approval Date: 2015-03-12

Responsible Unit: Internationalization Office

Destinations assigned a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” are deemed high risk. Travel to high risk destinations, for University-related activities, requires additional risk assessment and a personal Traveler safety plan. The Travel Outside of Canada (TOC) Committee guides Travelers in the completion of the additional risk assessment and the personal Traveler safety plan.

A. When requesting review of travel outside of Canada to destination(s) with a DFATD travel advisory of “Avoid Non-Essential Travel”, the Traveler/Activity Coordinator will: 

  1. Complete the Risk Assessment and Personal Safety Plan found here: Visit http://mun.ca/international/employees/travel_outside_canada_policy.php
  2. Forward the completed Risk Assessment and Personal Safety Plan to the International Office, preferably via email.
  3. Should the travel advisory change closer to departure, contact the TOC Committee immediately, through the International Office through international@mun.ca .             

B. Upon receiving the Risk Assessment and Personal Safety Plan, the Chair of the TOC Committee, or delegate, will:

  1. Provide the Traveler/Activity Coordinator with a prompt and written response.
  2. Activate a TOC Committee meeting.
  3. Provide a copy of the TOC Committee’s written response to the Traveler, Activity Coordinator and Traveler/Activity Coordinator’s Unit Head.