Oyster has been actively involved in developing the BS8848 standard, introduced by the British Standards Institution in 2007. Expedition and adventure travel companies wanting to reach this standard have to meet stringent requirements to make sure that their customers are protected as far as possible from health, safety, planning and financial risks.
BS8848 is primarily designed for organisations leading a group of people on an expedition overseas. This means that some of its requirements are not appropriate for the type of projects that we run. However, we very much support the key requirements of the standard, which represent good practice for the industry as a whole, and have made sure that these are reflected in our practices.
These key requirements are described below, to show what customers can expect from Oyster.
When you go on an Oyster project you can be confident that:
- We have carried out a risk assessment to identify any potential risks to health, safety and security, as well as ways in which these can be prevented
- Regular checks are made on any accommodation, transport and equipment provided at the project
- We use reputable local firms for tranporting our participants, in line with local standards
- There will be an Oyster representative locally to help you in any emergency
- Emergency procedures exist for every project
- You will be briefed on how to stay healthy and safe before departure
- There will be access to first aid and medical care nearby
- Our UK and overseas staff are experienced at planning and managing your trip
- You will be given full information about the project, cost, Oyster’s conditions and any risk factors before you decide to book
- We monitor political and security developments carefully and pay close attention to Foreign Office travel advice
- Your money will be protected through our comprehensive insurance policies and our ATOL bond (if we book your flight)
- You will understand your responsibilities when leaving the project for independent trips (known as ‘downtime’).
The Year Out Group has written an excellent guide on BS8848.