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Overseas travel: important update for University staff

Overseas travel requests update

Colleagues are advised to read the following changes to the arrangements for approving all overseas travel. 

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintain a Foreign Travel Advice directory that provides advice on whether travel is recommended to specific countries. If you need to travel to a country or an area flagged as a risk, all travel requests must be approved by your Head of School, Head of Function, or Pro Vice-Chancellor in the case of the VC’s office. 

This is a change from our current practice, which has previously required all requests to go to the Vice-Chancellor.

If you propose to travel to a country or an area of a country where the FCO advise against all travel (such as Syria), this must also be approved by the Vice-Chancellor, or in his absence the delegated Responsible Officer (Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor). 

In both scenarios, the request to approve travel must be accompanied by a risk assessment and a business case that sets out the benefits to the University that justifies the risks involved, and explains how risks will be mitigated. 

The University’s Safety Code of Practice is being amended to reflect these changes, and will be published on the Health and Safety Services webpages in October.  

The online risk management form on the Business Travel page will be amended so that travel notifications will be redirected to the correct managers. 

Completion of the form is mandatory for all travel overseas. It ensures that the University has a record of where travellers are– should an incident occur overseas, the information passed on is used to check that people are safe.  

If the form is not completed, incurred expenses will not be reimbursed unless a prior agreement for exceptional circumstances has been put in place. 

Overseas travel must be booked through a University travel provider in accordance with our Procurement policy.

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