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UK and International Residential Field Course planning information

All the information on this page is generic to all field trips. There may some subtle differences for different colleges but in this instance where something is unclear please email for clarification.

It is the responsibility of Field Course Leader to liaise with the Field Trip Support Manager to agree on draft schedule for bookings and responsibilities at the start of the planning process. To do this please email

Please find the most up-to-date risk assessment templates for UK and International trips.

It is the responsibility of the Field Course Leader to draft the Risk Assessment for the trip. This form has to be signed off by the university Safety Team or Head of Department depending on which College you belong to. For clarification on this please email

Ideally the Risk Assessment should be live on ELE prior to the collection of the student compliance information as students need to sign to say they have read the Risk Assessment in completing this form.

Once the Risk Assessment is signed off by the relevant person it should be passed to Field Trip Support Manager so that it can be used to complete the Critical Incident Plan for the trip. 

The Critical Incident Plan (CIP) is drafted by the Field Trip Support Manager. This document is then shared with key personnel in the university and on the Penryn Campus approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the departure of the field course. Penryn Campus security and the staff member who is on call during your trip will have access to all information whilst you are away.

For the academic year 2017-18 we have started to try and collect all compliance information from students at the start of term. In the next academic year we hope to make this a compulsory part of online registration ensuring that we capture all students’ details.

The compliance form contains all personal, dietary and emergency information for all students on your field course. By filling in this form all students agree to share this information with all staff on a field course (NB: for our purposes ‘staff’ is anyone attending a trip in the capacity of responsible adult, so this term will include PhD students or Post-Docs).

We also use this online form to collect the same information for staff working on a field course so if you have not done so before you will need to complete the compliance form yourself.

We will also collate, at your request, any further information you require from students. EG. We can collate their flights details and arrival times should you require it if they are not travelling as one group. You need to request this information from us in advance to as this is not standard practice.

For international field courses (UK courses do not need specific insurance forms completing), Staff are responsible for filling in their own online insurance application.

The Field Trip Support Manager will arrange all student travel insurance on your behalf prior to the departure of the trip. If you require confirmation of this please email

It is the responsibility of Field Course Leader to liaise with the Field Trip Support Manager to agree what needs booking centrally and what they prefer to book or arrange themselves. Please email to arrange a meeting with the Field Trip Support Manager.

Any cash advance that is required for a field course needs to be arranged by staff travelling on the field course themselves. Suggest 6 week lead time to avoid last minute panic. Advance Request form can be found here.

Should the students on your trip need cash for subsistence whilst they are away, the simplest way to arrange this is to pay them in £ into their bank accounts prior the start of the trip. If you want this arranged for the students on your trip please email 2 months in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

It is advisable to have a minimum of two staff members on any field course with a university purchasing card. You have to apply for a card by emailing SID ( and this process can take quite a time so we suggest applying for a card a minimum of 3 months in advance. Remember to ask for a large enough limit to cover emergencies whilst overseas and large single transaction limit (ie. £10,000 limit with single purchase of £3,000).

It is the responsibility of the Field Course Leader to arrange any additional kit that might be needed for the trip. This can be organised with your technical or Lab team. You will need to notify with the estimated number of excess bags to add to any booked flights.

This remains the responsibility of the Field Course Leader, however, should you like the Field Trip Support Manager to check or update any documents relevant to the trip please do contact them at at to agree and arrange this.

It is advisable to keep this page up-to-date, with clear and concise information, and ensure that students are notified when changes are made to the organisation e.g. a date or time change. Please also ensure that in advance of the fieldtrip selection, that you clearly communicate what students are expected to pay for and when, so that there are no surprise ‘hidden costs.’

The Field trip support team will produce a folder of hard copy information to take on your trip. This will be delivered to you by hand circa. 1-2 weeks prior to trip departing so that you have chance to read through it and sign off that you are happy with its contents. As a minimum this will contain:

Insurance details

ICE details for all on the trip

CIP including RA

Passport copies

Booking confirmation details and flight tickets where applicable

Photos of students in groups or A-Z however you request them

We can also include anything additional you might require –please notify us in writing of what you might need to

NB: the compliance information is only sent electronically unless you specifically request it in paper. It is a huge document. Should you require the information on student welfare in paper copy then please discuss with us how you would like to receive this.

Meetings with students who have identified physical or mental health issues will be arranged as far in advance of the trip as possible. These meetings will take place with the student and one of the Education Support Managers, face to face where possible. If the Field Course Leader wishes to join these meetings that is also welcomed. Should timetables prevent Field Course Leaders attending these meetings in person the Education Support Manager will arrange a meeting at a later date to discuss and update on all student welfare issues in advance of the trip departure.

Where possible it is our duty as a university to provide reasonable adjustments to ensure field courses are suitable for students with disabilities. Equality legislation requires institutions to be 'anticipatory' in their duty towards disabled students, and to make 'reasonable adjustments' to ensure that a disabled student is not placed at a substantial disadvantage in relation to their peers. You may therefore be required to make reasonable adjustments to enable students with a range of disabilities to access field trips. If you feel that your field course is not suitable for a student with a physical or psychological disability, and there is no reasonable alternative, please contact Catriona Taylor the Education Business Partner on the Penryn Campus to discuss this in more detail.

The University of Leeds have also produced this guide - Being Inclusive on field trips - ©2016, University of Leeds

This work is made available for reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike Licence 4.0. The complete set of Being Inclusive In... guides is available at

Field Course first aid training is organised by the People Development team. They will continue to use locally based trainers In Safe Hands, and notifications about upcoming courses can be found on the people development web pages or in the University Weekly Bulletin. For further information please contact