***Important: If you are travelling or planning to travel in the near future, please see our guidance in relation to Brexit***
Please note: The University changed its Travel Insurance Policy on 1 August 2018 and so previous policy details are now invalid. Please ensure that you have a copy of the new Travel Policy (Student Link) details before you travel.
If you are travelling from your home campus on University business (or mainly on University business) you will need to complete a travel declaration.
The only exception is where staff and students who are travelling within Scotland (if UK-campus-based), within the Emirate of Dubai (if, Dubai-campus-based), or within Putrajaya, Selangor or Kuala Lumpur (if Malaysia-campus-based), and whose trip does not involve an overnight stay, and where no ‘non-standard activities’ are being undertaken (see below), then a travel declaration is not necessary - only when all 3 of these criteria are met. If you are in any doubt, please submit a travel declaration form.
Note that the University uses completed travel declaration forms to identify if there are any staff or students in a particular location in the event e.g. of a security emergency, to identify anyone requiring assistance and to confirm their safety - so it is mandatory that travel declarations are completed and that information provided is accurate.
The travel declaration form should be completed at least 5 working days prior to booking travel. The Assurance Services team is required to check travel prior to booking, as there are certain countries and travel that are prohibited for University business and we need to verify this is not applicable to you before travel is booked. In very extreme cases travel may be denied and if a travel declaration was not completed in advance of booking then it may not be possible to claim back these costs through the University’s insurance.
Note that due to the requirements of our new travel insurance policy, we are required to seek prior authorisation from our insurer, prior to travel, to a small number of higher risk countries where travel is permitted but consent must be given. It is very important that travel declarations are submitted with sufficient time for all checks to be made and consent to be obtained where necessary.
The travel declaration provides the University with details of your trip for safety and security purposes,and confirms that you will be covered by the University’s travel insurance policy. Depending on your destination and the type of activities you plan on undertaking, you may be required to complete a risk assessment to confirm that all risks identified during your trip will be managed to an acceptable level and will allow the University’s insurance policy to cover you. The Travel Declaration form and process will guide you through this.
Before you travel
Personal trips/vacations during University business trips
From time-to-time, students and staff may want to incorporate short personal trips or vacations as part of their overall University business trip. These are known as 'incidental holidays' in insurance terminology. All personal trips and vacations must be declared during the travel declaration process and these may be covered by the University's travel insurance policy, but a number of conditions apply generally and our insurer will make decisions as to coverage on a case-by-case basis. In general terms insurance cover is likely to be granted when the following conditions are all met:
- The personal trip remains in the same country as the business trip;
- The total time of the personal section of the trip is less than one week (7 days);
- The personal portion of the trip is not longer than the business portion in number of days;
- The trip does not involve travel to any areas which are marked by the Foreign Commonwealth Office as advising against all or all but essential travel; and
- The trip does not involce any high risk activities.
You will be advised whether your trip, including any personal trips, is covered when your travel declaration is reviewed and assessed.
Note that participation in any high risk activities undertaken during personal trips e.g. skiing, snowboarding, diving etc. are not covered by the University's travel insurance policy.
If you are taking any personal trips or vacations during your University trip which are not covered by the University's travel insurance policy, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have taken out adequate personal travel insurance cover for the personal elements of your trip.
- Specific risks associated with the activities being undertaken (e.g. fieldwork)
- Safety and security risks (robbery, attack, kidnap)
- Health risks associated with the areas being visited (outbreaks of disease, availability of healthcare)
- Terrorism risk
- Lone working risk
- Communication risk (how reliable are communications e.g. Wi-Fi, mobile networks in the event of an emergency)
- Any difficulties unique to the individual, due to Health conditions, disabilities, etc.
- Accommodation risks
- Travel and transport risks
Please ensure everyone in the travel group completes ‘’Reference Code for Trip (if applicable)’’ box with a reference code that is unique to your group or trip i.e. Trip Organiser initial/date of trip The unique reference code could be used to by Heriot-Watt SafeGuarding Services in the event of an incident abroad to identify all parties that are travelling together.