Travel Safety and Overseas Work

Staff or students who are planning international travel or are returning from overseas should refer to UK and Scottish Government advice on current restrictions and required actions, and to the University guidance on Covid. Note that the Scottish Government currently advises against any holiday or leisure travel to a country currently on Covid red travel list.

Proposed travel to counties on the Covid green watchlist, amber or red lists will normally require a Trip-specific Travel Risk Assessment, as described below. This should indicate anticipated Covid risk to the traveller, how any required isolation or testing will be carried out and what provision will be in place should the country risk level be changed during the trip.

The University recognises that it owes all staff and students a duty of care and must ensure, as a matter of moral and legal principle, that staff or students who travel, or work, overseas are protected, so far as is reasonably practicable, from risks to their health and safety.

The University has prepared an institutional policy and guidance on the procedures to be followed when travel is planned or being undertaken.

Policy for Business and Study Travel

Please also see the University advice on sustainability and travel.

Students on GoAbroad (study and work programmes)

Students on these programmes do not need to follow the risk assessment process described below. The GoAbroad team will conduct the risk assessment for your time abroad. They will provide this to you after academic progression checks have been completed and they are able to confirm that your opportunity can proceed. If you have a significant underlying medical condition, please get in touch with the GoAbroad so that an appropriate individual risk assessment that takes this into account can be conducted.

Travel risk assessment procedure

Many University of Glasgow staff and students routinely travel within the UK or to carry out work overseas.  This may involve short and longer term field work, attendance at conferences or meetings and a range of other activities. By law, all travel requires some level of risk assessment. The risk assessment procedures below are intended to address this and to comply with the University policies on travel.

Two alternative methods of risk assessment are provided, depending on the nature of the trip.

The Travel Process Flowchart v4.1 helps explain the assessment and approval process.

NOTE: Separate fieldwork risk assessments may be required unless that aspect of the trip can be adequately covered within a Trip-specific Risk Assessment or is of minimal risk. See SEPS "Fieldwork Safety" webpage.

Preliminary risk evaluation
The traveller and line manager/ academic supervisor should evaluate the nature of the travel and associated risks at the planning stage, to decide which of the risk assessment protocols below is most appropriate. Evidence and justification may be requested by line management, Security, SEPS or the University insurers.

The Generic Travel Risk Assessment can be used as the sole risk assessment method for low-risk travel provided there are no additional significant risks associated with the trip beyond those already covered within the document. Significant risk means any factor that introduces an additional non-trivial level of risk in relation to any aspect of the travel.

Much day-to-day routine business travel within the UK and to low-risk international destinations will normally fall within the scope of the Generic Travel Risk Assessment. However, if there are significant additional risks, the Trip-specific Risk Assessment procedure below should be followed. At present, travel to countries on the Covid amber or red lists should be subject to a Trip-specific Risk Assessment.

Low risk travel - Generic Travel Risk Assessment
The Generic Travel Risk Assessment can be used where there is minimal hazard to the health and safety of individuals and exposure only to low-level background risks that are broadly comparable to normal day-to-day life risks encountered within safe areas of the UK. This will typically apply to:

  • Travel to low risk destinations within the UK
  • Travel to destinations beyond the UK where there is no Government FCDO warning against travel in place, (including no Covid amber or red list warnings.) and no foreseeable additional significant risks.

The form is designed as a stand-alone risk assessment and no additional user additions are normally needed. However, there is provision for users to add content where this is considered desirable or informative as a record of the risks considered, provided the overall risk remains low.

Higher risk travel – Trip-specific Travel Risk Assessment

Where travel involves additional significant risks or travel to more hazardous destinations, completion of a Trip-specific Risk Assessment is required. This is a more comprehensive process and will normally apply to:

  • Higher risk travel within the UK
  • Travel to destinations outside the UK where there is a Government FCDO travel warning in place. This includes:
    • FCDO warnings against all travel, or against all but essential travel
    • Covid amber or red list countries
  • Overseas travel where there are significant additional risks, beyond those covered within the Generic Travel Assessment.

The form requires basic trip details, completion of a formal written risk assessment and evaluation of the overall risk level and provides for written authorisation by higher levels of management, where this is required by the University Business and Study Travel Policy. Some of these details are also recorded within the Travel Portal However, they are required on this form too, so that senior managers have sight of the overall travel plan and risk assessment before authorisation. 

Travel Risk, Insurance, Compliance Approval Portal (TRICAP)
All trips outside the UK, and any UK trips involving an overnight stay, or air travel, MUST be registered within the Travel Approval Portal (TRICAP). For some trips where there is higher risk, this will require upload of the risk assessment before the trip is authorised.

(Note: At present the TRICAP portal requires upload of a risk assessment for all trips. IT changes are being made so that upload will not be needed for low risk travel in future but as an interim measure until thsi change is implmented, for low risk trips, users should upload a copy of the Generic Travel Risk Assessment, when requested.)

SEPS can provide advice on risk assessment but do not have any role in management of the Travel Approval Portal nor the approval process within TRICAP.