Health and safety on our programmes
The safety of participants on our courses and trips is of the highest priority. There are full safety measures in place for all organised activities and, where applicable, partner organisations in Germany are fully aware of UK risk assessment and child protection requirements. The UK group leaders for all courses and trips are qualified, vetted professionals who have been DBS-checked and selected on the basis of their proven experience of leading groups abroad.
Logistics and risk assessments
UK-German Connection (and/or our German partner organisers, where applicable) organises all aspects of travel (see below), transport, accommodation and programme activities. For some courses, accommodation with a host family is arranged, and this is detailed on the relevant programme health & safety pages below. Specific information regarding accommodation and transport is also given to participants, group leaders and parents before the course. Risk assessments are completed for all courses, trips and seminars.UK-German Connection has public liability insurance for £5 million covering all its activity.
Please note that participants are normally required to make their own travel arrangements to seminar venues or departure airports within their own country.
A 24-hour emergency system and solid emergency communication chain between group leaders at location, the UK-German Connection office and schools or parents are put in place before each trip. Everyone in the emergency team carries an emergency pack at all times during seminars and trips, which contain a list of all participants’ special dietary and medical requirements, connecting travel details as well as emergency contact details. Any issues which may arise are first dealt with at location, with regular communication to UK-German Connection, and then communicated to parents and schools. UK-German Connection group leaders are contactable at all times and a contact person in the UK from UK-German Connection is available by telephone at all times during the visit (office telephone numbers and 24-hour emergency number provided to all participants). Before the course, parents and guardians receive an information and emergency details pack which contains further details of these arrangements and a range of emergency contact details.
Where a course/trip is run in conjunction with a German partner organisation, our German partners and group leaders are briefed on all aspects of health & safety rules and expectations. Partner organisations and group leaders are in constant communication with UK-German Connection during the course/trip using the 24-hr emergency system detailed above.
Group leaders support pupils in any cases relating to lost/stolen passports or baggage, medical emergencies or any issues which may arise with the host families. All group leaders are First Aid trained and First Aid kits are carried by a member of the emergency team at all times.
Medical issues and welfare
All participants are required to fill in a health form, including special dietary requirements and medical information, which is used to inform the organisers and group leaders to take best care of the participants during the trip/visit, to ensure their safety and to plan or adapt activities accordingly. It is also used to treat participants in case of an emergency and passed on to any medical staff. Group leaders carry a list of all these details at all times and ensure this remains confidential at all times. It remains the parents’ responsibility to fully disclose all medical information for the safety of their children, to inform UK-German Connection immediately if any changes in the health or medical condition occur prior to departure and to ensure that their children take their medication and an up-to-date EHIC card and passport with them. UK-German Connection reserves the right to send participants back to the UK at their parents’ cost if the information provided proves to be incorrect or incomplete and the children’s safety cannot be guaranteed as a result.
Code of conduct, supervision and parental consent
All students and parents must sign a code of conduct form in advance of the course/trip, which outlines behavioural expectations. Pupils are sent home at their parents’/guardians’ expense if this code of conduct is breeched at any stage.
All applications to take part in UK-German Connection programmes must be countersigned by parents/guardians. They must also provide consent for their children to take part in the course/trip and in all programme activities and provide comments on their permission to take photos of their children during the course/trip.
Some programmes include some limited free and unsupervised time for participants (excluding primary school children). In these cases, pupils are required to remain in groups of at least three at all times. If under the age of eighteen, names are given to group leaders, who also carry pupils’ contact details. Allocated leaders supervise these groups in crowded places.