Fieldwork, overseas travel and off site activities

Overseas Travel 

Travel and fieldwork are critical to the success of the School, from research to student recruitment, from attending conferences to work with alumni. 

The School Management Committee has agreed an Overseas Travel Policy, which contains the following statement on the limits of the School's acceptance of travel risk: 

 

'LSE treats the safety, security, health and well-being of anyone travelling on School business with the utmost importance. The School will not approve any overseas travel where a high residual risk can be forseen of:

(a) a traveller, or any of their interlocutors, suffering serious physical or psychological harm; or

(b) the School's finances, reputation or ability to attract new talent suffering serious damage.

LSE does not consider any of its overseas activities critical enough to warrent tolerating a greater level of residual risk, regardless of how important the need to travel may be in the opinion of the traveller, their manager or supervisor.' 

 

The School Management Committee expects all travellers to complete travel risk training appropriate to the risks of either the area being visited or the activity being undertaken.    

Most travel will take place without incident, but conditions can change rapidly, with little or no warning. We therefore ask all those travelling on School business to complete this notification to travel form

If there are no concerns arising from this information, the Health and Safety Team will issue the travel insurance cover note. Written risk assessments are not normally required for travel where the risks are no greater than the traveller would experience in their day-to-day life, such as travel to other established academic institutions in the UK, Western Europe or North America. 

 

How to tell us about an Upcoming Trip or Fieldwork

Most travel will take place without incident, but conditions can change rapidly, with little or no warning. We therefore ask all those travelling on School business to complete this notification to travel form

If there are no concerns arising from this information, the Health and Safety Team will issue the travel insurance cover note. Written risk assessments are not normally required for travel where the risks are no greater than the traveller would experience in their day-to-day life, such as travel to other established academic institutions in the UK, Western Europe or North America.

Travel Risk Assessment Form 

Please click here for the Travel Risk Assessment Form

LSE Travel Insurance - General Information 

The LSE has a Group Personal Accident and Business Travel Insurance policy. This provides insurance cover while LSE staff or students are travelling on School business. Please click here to see full details of the travel insurance cover. 

LSE Travel Insurance - Medical Cover 

LSE's travel insurance provides cover for medical emergencies (e.g. falling ill while travelling, or an accident). 

Travel insurance does not cover the cost of routine medical care, such as ongoing treatment for a condition known at the start of the trip (for example diabetes), replenishment of current medication, or regular check-ups. It does cover emergency complications with pre-existing conditions. In case of doubt before travel, travellers should contact the Health and Safety Team. While travelling, contact the Medical Assistance providers (details on the insurance cover note). 

LSE's travel insurance does not provide full medical cover, such as is required when working or studying in the USA. Travellers must make their own arrangements for such cover. The School cannot advise on the suitability of any insurance products to meet US requirements.

LSE Travel Insurance - Non-work (leisure) days during travel 

The insurers have provided guidance on the circumstances when the insurance policy may cover leisure days added to a trip (in the same loaction or en-route). The travel insurance policy does not cover private holidays take in a different location during an extended trip. If in doubt, contact the Health and Safety Team who will check with the insurers. 

Where an extended trip is interrupted (e.g. by a private holiday, return home or to the LSE), the traveller should notify the Health and Safety Team.   

LSE Travel Insurance - Sanctioned Areas 

A number of countries, organisations and individuals are subject to sanctions or embargos. Sanctioned areas include, but are not limited to, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Russia, Ukraine (Crimea and Sebastopol region). There may be restrictions on how the insurers can assist while you are in one of these areas. If you are planning on travelling to any of the listed areas, your trip will have to go through the insurer's screening process to ensure the School and the insurer remain compliant with the imposed sanctions. Travellers are expected to carry out their own checks prior to committing to travel. Our insurers have provided guidance on this

Sanctions screening takes approximately 3 weeks, so please ensure that you give the Health and Safety team enough notice to process your application for insurance. 

Further information on sanctions can be found on the Gov.uk web page.  

LSE Travel Insurance - Travel lasting over 12 months 

Any fieldwork, sabbatical leave or other trip where a member of staff or student remains outside the United Kingdom or home country continuously for over 12 months is regarded by the insurers as a Secondment. This means that exclusions will apply to the cover provided. Please see page 27 of the Policy Schedule for details of exclusions.  

LSE Travel Insurance - Driving Overseas 

The travel insurance has restrictions on hiring vehicles overseas. Please refer to Section B8 on page 25 of the Policy for details. If you wish to hire a vehicle for more than 60 days or purchase a vehicle please contact Health.And.Safety@lse.ac.uk as soon as possible. You may incur an additional premium to secure insurance.  

Travel to Higher Risk Destinations 

Anyone planning to travel to a country or area classed as Extreme or High Risk by the insurers or Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or with poor infrastructure, civil/political unrest, or where there is a high threat of kidnapping, should attend training as appropriate. Contact Health and Safety to discuss options for training.  

Where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a warning against non-essential travel, or the School's insurer classes the country as a high or extreme threat destination, staff and students will be required to complete a Risk Identification Form and an Overseas Travel Risk Assessment. The completed risk assessments should be authorised by the Head of Department or Service (or equivalent). 

You can check the risk profile and find country advice by registering on the insurer's travel assistance websites provided by Drum Cussac and Healix

For travel security information provided by Drum Cussac please click here to register. You will be required to enter your full LSE email address: you will be sent an email with a verification link to complete the registration process. 

Travel Reports, health information, and country-specific travel tips are also available via the Healix Travel Oracle Mobile app

The insurers need to review the risk assessments to the following locations before they will agree to insure the trips: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan), Mexico, Nigeria (including Niger Delta), Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. In order for the insurers to consider the application, and for any additional safety measures to be put in place before the start of the trip, staff must send the completed form to Health and Safety at least 3 weeks before they are due to travel. The insurers may charge additional premiums for trips to these countries - this should be factored into your planning and budget. The Health and Safety Team  can obtain a quote for you. 

Useful Links (External) 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides travel advice for every country, including information on the political situation, security, medical, cultural and other matters. This is a useful reference point when planning a trip abroad. You can sign up for their email Travel Advice for the country or countries you are planning to visit, and you will then receive an email every time the FCO advice changes. 

NHS - Healthcare abroad - Travellers should check the medical advice for the country and areas to which they will travel. This must be done in sufficient time so the appropriate vaccination regime can be completed before the trip.

Code of practice for Social Researchers - The Social Research Association has produced a Code of Practice for the safety of social researchers. It focuses on staying safe when interviewing or observing people in private settings, and is also relevant to working in unfamiliar situations generally.