Travel Policy Questions and Answers

  1. Who does the Off-Campus Activity and Travel Policy apply to?

    The policy applies to all University staff and students when participating in off-campus activities or travel.

  2. Are the requirements of the policy the same for everyone?

    No. The only mandatory requirements of the policy apply when students are involved. The policy contains no mandatory requirements for faculty, staff or PDFs when they are not travelling with students.

    When students are involved, a basic risk assessment is required. Based on the category of student, where they are going and what they will be doing, there are specific requirements that must be fulfilled.

  3. I take students to the same location each summer to conduct similar research. Do I have to go through this risk assessment every time?

    Not necessarily. Recurring off-campus activities and travel with a person of authority such as a faculty or staff member as the leader do not have to have a new risk assessment prior to each recurrence unless there has been a change to the category of student travelling, the type of activity being performed, the location or the risks associated with any of these.  If there has been a change of this nature the leader will follow the full risk assessment process outlined above.  Even if there was not a change of this nature, the actions identified in the existing risk assessment must still be performed prior to each recurrence.

    Recurring off-campus activities and travel without a person of authority such as a faculty or staff member as the leader (eg: extra-curricular trips planned by registered Student Groups) must have a full risk assessment performed as outlined above prior to each recurrence.

  4. There are different requirements for faculty/staff/postdoctoral fellows and students. How does the policy apply if you fit into both categories?

    For the purposes of this policy, if your status as a staff member is related to your status as a student (eg: summer student, undergrad research assistant) then you would be considered a student for the purposes of this policy.

    If your status as a staff member is not related to your status as a student (eg: administration staff obtaining a degree), then you would be considered staff when travelling in your capacity as staff and a student when travelling in your capacity as a student.

  5. Will this policy create more work for those involved in off-campus activities and travel?

    We don’t think so. Most of the tasks required in the policy are currently being done. The policy helps bring a consistent approach to this activity.

  6. My faculty/department/unit already has requirements and processes around travel. Will there be duplication? Can I continue to use what my faculty/department/unit has in place?

    Duplication is not helpful. If there are processes in place to meet the requirements of the policy, you can rely on those.

  7. The policy requires that someone complete a risk assessment and perform certain actions when students are involved. Does this create a risk for that person, particularly in terms of liability?

    No. Any steps taken to mitigate risk are an improvement over not following any kind of assessment. That said, not everyone is an expert in risk assessment and management. If you are unsure about whether you have adequately completed the risk assessment and risk management actions please contact the Office of Insurance & Risk Assessment for advice and assistance.

  8. Where can I get help with meeting the requirements of the policy and procedure?

    There is a variety of University offices and resources available to help you:

    Office of Insurance & Risk Assessment 
    University of Alberta International (UAI) 
    Field Research Office (FRO) 
    Student Group Services

  9. Can faculty, staff and post-doctoral fellows be prevented from travelling or called back from travel?

    No. The appropriate chair, dean or vice-president may recommend cancelling an activity, however, if the risk appears to be unacceptable.

    The appropriate vice-president may also recommend return from an area that is rendered unsafe by such things as natural disaster or violence.

  10. Can students be prevented from travelling or called back from travel?

    Yes. If an appropriate chair, dean or vice president believes the risks are too high and cannot be reasonably managed, they can cancel the off-campus activity and travel.

    The appropriate vice-president may also require that a student return from an area that is rendered unsafe by such things as natural disaster or violence. In that event, the University will help the student leave the unsafe area. Should a student refuse, it will be considered “personal travel” and the University will no longer be able to provide assistance.

  11. The policy refers to informing the appropriate faculty/department/unit of travel plans. Is there a central registration system, or is it specific to each area?

    The University has a central, secure, web based system to capture this important information. The system is called UGo. You can access UGo through the Protective Services Off-Campus Emergency Support page, or you can access it directly at www.ugo.ualberta.ca
    The University encourages all travellers to register using UGo so assistance can be rendered more quickly in the event of an emergency. 

  12. The policy refers to providing emergency contact information. How will this kind of personal information be protected?

    Personal information is protected under the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Emergency contact information is collected under the authority of Section 33(c) of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.The policy applies to all University staff and students when participating in off-campus activities or travel.

    Emergency contact information is collected for use only in the case of an emergency to contact the designated individual. Appropriate University officials, and, in the case of student travel, the leader of the off-campus activity and travel, will have access to this information. Unless it is needed, the information will be kept in a secure location.

  13. The policy talks about emergency health insurance and personal travel insurance. What are these?

    Faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and students are all provided with some level of emergency health travel coverage through their respective benefits plans. There may be exceptions and limitations so it is important to review and understand the specific coverage before travelling.

    Personal travel insurance, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, theft and lost luggage is not provided through these benefits plans, but is recommended in the Off-Campus Activity and Travel Policy.