Statement of Company Safety Policy

Statement of Company Safety Policy - Staff and Customers

Voyager School Travel is a trading name of Class Tours Ltd. Class Tours Ltd recognises its legal & moral responsibility to ensure that the highest possible standards of health & safety apply to all contracted accommodation and related activities in all resorts under its control.

All those responsible for the contracting and operation of the holiday product overseas have a clear duty of care to carry out their duties in such a way to ensure that standards of health & safety are regularly monitored and improved where appropriate. These duties should be carried out in accordance with procedures set out in Voyager’s various operation manuals.

The Directors of Voyager have ultimate responsibility for ensuring compliance with the company safety policy: thereafter the responsibility for health & safety is delegated through the business via the Overseas Resort Structure - Area Managers to Resort Managers and their teams for regular auditing, monitoring and escalation of risk assessment; and to those empowered with purchase responsibilities and for contract related auditing and ultimate compliance of suppliers with Voyager improvement directives. Where the overseas staffing or purchasing structure does not reflect the above, the operations department will make the necessary arrangements for implementation and management of these policies and procedures.

Voyager holds Public, Products and Tour Operators insurance. This policy is reviewed and renewed on a yearly basis and has limits of liability of £10 million for any one occurrence and in the aggregate for Product Liability.

Statement of Company Safety Objectives

All properties must be in possession of a current and valid Fire Certificate or equivalent documentation where issued by the appropriate licensing authority. Properties should also have documentary evidence that all fire-fighting equipment, fire alarms, extinguishers and/or hoses, emergency lighting systems are in good working order and that they have been regularly serviced, tested and maintained.

All properties should be in possession of a valid Electrical Certificate or other recognised document stating that the electrical installation conforms to international and local wiring standards, and is in good safe working order.

All properties to be in possession of valid indemnity, public liability and building fire insurance.

All properties contracted should conform to Voyager Codes of Practice for, fire safety, pool safety, balcony safety, food hygiene safety and gas safety and feature appropriate warning notices prior to occupation by Voyager customers.

All activities featuring in the Ski, Sports & Activity programmes should have an appropriate operating licence, suitable levels of Public Liability Insurance and conform to Voyager Codes of Practice. Furthermore, compliance with the standards set out by the appropriate National Governing Body or Licensing Authority will be required as the appropriate minimum safety standard.

In addition, the following requirements have also been adopted

All preferred operators contracted should conform to Voyager standards as set out in the Coach Evaluation Code of Practice, which forms part of the CoachSafe programme. CoachSafe has been developed in association with independent expert Transportation Consultants, Fleet Interventions Ltd.

All air, rail and sea transportation provided as part of a tour should comply with regulations set down by the appropriate Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Civil Aviation Authority or equivalent regulatory body. Use of public transport by parties or individuals during a tour is outside of the control of Voyager. However, steps should be taken to ensure that this is appropriate for requirements.

Arrangements and Monitoring Procedures

An appropriate overseas co-ordinator structure, to support the UK based Operations Department function, is to be maintained.
Appropriate resources will be maintained in order to deal with risk control and procedural documentation. The company will keep all necessary records of risk assessments and action taken to deal with recognised health & safety risks.

Procedure for contracting transportation providers

Coach Operators are to be provided with the Voyager standards as set out in the Coach Evaluation Code of Practice documentation, which forms part of the CoachSafe programme. Contracts are to be subject to compliance with the requirements set out in this documentation and operators are to be audited against these requirements by qualified Voyager personnel Ad hoc, specially requested and/or operators of replacement vehicles should adhere to all local and international regulations and hold all necessary required licences as a minimum requirement. Where possible they should meet the standards laid down in the CoachSafe programme.

All air, rail and sea transportation should comply with regulations set down by the appropriate MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency), Civil Aviation Authority or equivalent regulatory body. Documentary evidence of compliance will be required at the time of contracting these services and the contract will be dependent on the provider maintaining compliance.

Procedure for contracting Activity providers

Activity suppliers are to be provided with the appropriate Codes of Practice, contracts are to be subject to compliance with the requirements set out in this documentation and provision of appropriate operating licenses and suitable levels of Public Liability Insurance. Suppliers are to be audited against these requirements by qualified Voyager personnel.

Compliance with the standards set out by the appropriate National Governing Body or Licensing Authority will be adopted as the appropriate minimum safety standard

Health & Safety Management

Health & Safety Audits

All Health & Safety Audits are to be undertaken using agreed paperwork, as developed in association with independent consultants, based on Voyager Codes of Practice. Documentation is to be completed only by persons who have been trained in accordance with the requirements laid down by the consultants. Health & Safety Audits will be completed on all properties used for the accommodation of Voyager customers, in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Operations Department:

All properties will be subject to a further full audit 24 months from the date of completion of the previous audit, unless the property has been visited by either an expert consultant in the meantime.

Ad Hoc & Late Notification Properties

Prior to occupation by Voyager customers a satisfactory Supplier Audit must be received and processed by the Operations Department. This document must confirm compliance with all local and national Health & Safety regulations.

Coach Operators

Coach Operators are to be provided with the Voyager standards as set out in the Coach Evaluation Code of Practice, CoachSafe documentation. Operators will be audited, using the CoachSafe audit on an annual basis. Failure to maintain the required standards may result in removal from the list of approved operators. Coach Operators may also be subject to additional ad-hoc inspections at any time.

Activity Providers

Activity Providers are to be provided with the appropriate Code of practice and will be audited against these requirements on an annual basis. Failure to maintain the required standards may result in removal from the list of approved suppliers. Providers may also be subject to additional ad-hoc inspections at any time.

All Activity Service Providers operating within Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales and their territorial waters) are bound by and operate under 'The Activity Centres (Young Persons' Safety) Act 1995 and are required to be licensed through the ALAA for certain activities. Voyager will ensure that where this legislation applies all service providers are properly licensed and that they meet the criteria for 'Technically Competent' staff as defined in th Qualification matrix included within the Act.

For all activity providers failing outside the scope of these regulations, Voyager will endeavour to ensure the highest standard of facilities are provided and as a minimum meet the local standards required within the country of operation. Suppliers may also be subject to additional ad-hoc inspections at any time.

Where "Activity Service Providers' are not able to meet the requirements of customers who have 'Special Needs', Voyager will endeavour to identify the lack of facilities in advance of the booking. (The customer/client is obligated to bring to the attention of Voyager any special requirements at the time of the initial booking.)

Validation and Quality Control

Operations will undertake ad-hoc visits to properties in order to carry out more in depth inspections and provide more detailed advice relating to improvements required to reach Voyager Standards. During these visits all documentation completed by resort-based staff will be validated against their findings in order to ensure accuracy and consistency is maintained throughout the programme.
Operations will also, when appropriate, utilise the services of third party expert consultants to undertake inspections and provide advice regarding remedial action. During these visits all documentation completed by resort-based staff will be validated against their findings in order to ensure accuracy and consistency is maintained throughout the programme.

The Voyager 24 hour Duty Officer provides emergency support to party leaders and overseas offices. This resource includes full emergency procedure and protocol documentation for all Voyager products, access to Senior Directors and/or Senior Managers and/or Independent Expert Consultants 24 hrs a day.
An accident monitoring procedure is in place to ensure that Operations react to any reported accidents/incidents occurring during a tour. Accident/incident investigation is to be undertaken in accordance with industry best practice.
Accident/incident statistics are to be maintained and reviewed.

Regular reviews of systems and procedures, employed in the management of health & safety, will be undertaken by appointed persons including company directors. The review process is to take into consideration accident and incident figures in order that any revisions required as a result of incidents can be agreed and incorporated into the relevant documentation. Updates are to be issued and revisions included in future training. Further to this an independent evaluation of practices and procedures will be undertaken on a regular basis, with accident/incident/illness figures made available.

Preview Visits for School Groups

We are conscious of the need to visit your chosen resort before leading your group there in order to plan your programme and to complete any necessary risk assessment of your accommodation and itinerary. If you wish to make an advance visit to your chosen destination we can assist with the cost. Please contact our office for details.

Code Of Conduct for School Groups

The party leader and accompanying staff are responsible for the members of their group and at all times remain in loco parentis. Voyager employees are unable to take any responsibility for students and students' actions as by law only qualified teachers are allowed to act in loco parentis.

At least one member of staff must accompany the group members on all programmed activities including evening activities run by Voyager employees.
In the case of activity sessions or lessons run by qualified instructors (such as ski lessons) a member of staff need not be with the group if this is agreed with the instructor beforehand, and if this is permitted by the relevant education authority or board of governors. In this case the instructor should be advised how a member of staff can be contacted in case of difficulty, and a member of staff must be present at the start and finish of the activity to liaise with the instructor.

The party leader and staff are responsible for maintaining discipline amongst the group in any activity, including those led by a qualified instructor or by a Voyager employee. If the instructor is concerned about the behaviour of any party member he or she may make a decision, in conjunction with a member of staff, to withdraw that member from the activity.

If a member of staff is concerned about the safety or behaviour of a member of the group, they should if necessary withdraw the member from the activity, informing the instructor where applicable.

Voyager employees, even those who have been subject to enhanced CRB checks, can at no time be left alone with a minor. The party leader and staff should liaise with the coach drivers (where applicable) and must heed their advice regarding driver's hours regulations.

The party leader is responsible for ensuring that all members of the party have a valid passport and visa if necessary.

The party leader should provide Voyager with an emergency contact number in the UK (often the school head) who can be reached in case of delay or accident. In addition the party leader should have emergency contact details for the parents/carers/guardians of all members of the party, including partners and/or next of kin for staff.

All members of the group must obey the rules and/or guidelines of the accommodation where they are staying and must respect the needs of other guests. Any damage to hotel property is the responsibility of the group members and must be settled in resort, unless a written guarantee of payment is received from the school head or deputy head. If payment cannot be made or guaranteed it may be necessary to involve the local police to resolve the issue.

All members of the group must respect the regulations in force at any excursion location (such as museums, churches, nature reserves) and during all activities.

All members of the group should be adequately clothed, particularly participants in our Ski and Adventure programmes.

Login to the ITLA area of our website. You need to register for access, if you have not done so already, you can register here.

Accredited to ATOL, ABTA, STF and Council for Learning Outside the Classroom