Safety is at the heart of everything we do. Our expeditions are challenging, so to minimise the risks we focus on preventing accidents. But accidents can still occasionally happen. Our Safety Management Systems are robust, practical, effective and most importantly, tried and tested over 26 years of expedition experience in often remote and challenging environments.
Raleigh's Extensive Experience
Raleigh International has always endeavoured to be at the forefront of safety and development of systems and procedures for overseas expeditions. Because of our experience running expeditions we represented the Year Out Group in setting up a new British Standard (the BS 8848) for the safe management of overseas ventures. This British Standard provides a rigorous standard for organising and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities outside the United Kingdom.
In 2009 Raleigh was one of the first expedition providers to be externally accredited as compliant with the standard. We are now annually audited to ensure we continue to comply. We must also show that we are a 'learning organisation' that adapts quickly and effectively to new challenges, new practices and lessons learned, from one expedition to the next.
BS8848: A parents' guide to adventurous activities abroad for young people explains why this is important.
Expert Country Advice
We are well established with permanent teams in each country. This means that we are able to consult with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regularly and that we have good relationships with the British Authorities, Government ministries and agents in each country who will give us early warning of any potential problems. Local medical services, emergency services and the military are also on hand to help if needed.
Experienced In-country staff and volunteer management team
We have dedicated, full time staff employed in each country who plan and run the expeditions. They are all highly experienced, committed and resourceful expedition mangers who have been selected and trained by us to ensure they uphold our high standards whilst providing the experience of a life time to all those that go overseas with us.
Every expedition has a dedicated Field Base support team of volunteer managers who undertake essential support roles. There is a minimum of two project managers with each project group; all of whom will be first aid qualified. Amongst these will be a number of qualified doctors and nurses working in volunteer manager roles. Where possible we recruit volunteer managers who have technical or recognised national governing body qualifications to run adventurous activities, such as trekking.
Before each expedition we also provide preparation training in the UK for all Raleigh participants. Details of dates and venues will be sent to the individual once they have signed up for a specific expedition.
Once in-country volunteer managers and venturers undertake health and safety training so that they are prepared to deploy onto their projects. This includes further first aid, safety briefings, risk assessment, casualty evacuation planning, training in the correct and safe use of tools, camping equipment and safety equipment, including communications equipment.
Child Protection and Safeguarding
Raleigh is committed to ensuring the health, safety, welfare and development of all young people with whom it works regardless of gender, age, stage of development, disability, sexual orientation, religion, culture or ethnicity. All participants who take part in activities organised by us should enjoy taking part in these without fear of harm. We guide all staff and volunteers to show respect for and understanding of young people's rights and their safety and welfare and by so doing, conduct themselves in a way that reflects our principles.
Risk assessment and casualty evacuation
Before every expedition we carry out a full risk assessment of the whole expedition and each project site. Our volunteers also do their own risk assessment when they arrive, which encourages a vigilant attitude towards safety within the group. As well as this we have comprehensive emergency and evacuation plans in place for every project site, and our volunteer managers visit and assess the local medical facilities. If any individual has to return home we also have services in place to assist this.
We provide all the required safety equipment for the individual project's needs, such as buoyancy aids, helmets, protective goggles, GPS receivers and communications equipment.
On every expedition we have a three tier network of communications so that field base and the project groups can regularly communicate with each other. At Head Office in London we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in case of emergencies at home or abroad.
We provide comprehensive medical and personal accident insurance cover for all volunteers, offering the highest level of medical care and a repatriation service home, should this be necessary.