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Travelling on University Work Overseas

Safety Policy Arrangement 44-2009 (rev 2013)


Policy Statement

The University of Dundee acknowledges the risks to staff, and to students under their duty of care, when travelling and working overseas.  These risks arise primarily from work practices and procedures, health issues and personal security.  The University manages these risks by ensuring a Working Overseas Risk Assessment is completed before the work starts, and that all reasonable measures are implemented to minimise risk.  In exceptional circumstances the risks may be unacceptable and in these cases staff may not travel overseas, or may have to return home.


The Overseas Travel Policy at outlines the arrangements for work related travel.

For low risk work overseas for a short period in North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or a European Union country when travel is by a scheduled air-line to a recognised public airport (e.g. attending a Conference, recruiting activities, meeting a collaborator) then fulfilling the requirements of the following generic working overseas risk assessment is sufficient:

The travelling member of staff must:

For work outwith these countries, or for working overseas for more than a month, or for higher risk work (e.g. working in a laboratory, in a clinical environment or field work) then a more detailed and specific risk assessment is required as detailed below:

The travelling member of staff must:

Where staff are working abroad by taking students on an organised event they must also:

Where staff are travelling abroad with students on an event organised by students they must exercise their professional judgement to:

All staff must take reasonable care of themselves and others when working in an unfamiliar environment overseas and should act as ambassadors for the University.  They should notify their line manager of injuries or ill health as soon as possible, and report any H&S concerns upon their return so that risk assessments can be reviewed and updated if necessary.

Specific and detailed risk assessments must be kept for 5 years after the work overseas has finished.  Outline risk assessments can be found in Guidance below.

Contact Safety Services for advice on risk assessments, and Human Resources for advice on employment and contractual issues on working overseas. Further information can be found on the CIPD web site.

Guidance Note on Specific Working Overseas Risk Assessments

Staff working overseas must carry out a risk assessment for the risks that arise from travelling or working overseas, as well as activity specific risks as detailed in Policy above.  An outline risk assessment for working overseas is given in Appendix 1, and for taking students on an organised event overseas in Appendix 2.  Further information about activity specific risks is available in the University’s Safety Policy Arrangement- Fieldwork. 

Appendix 3 lists other risks that should be considered in the working overseas risk assessment, and Appendix 4 gives checklists that may be helpful in completing the risk assessment.

To support the University’s policy on Working Overseas a Staff Travel Handbook and a Student Travel Handbook giving detailed advice on common problems that can arise when travelling abroad are available at