Travel in sport is riddled with risk, whether it be a local competition, an inter-provincial or territorial event, or a trip outside of Canada. These risks include, but are not limited to, the logistics of travel (transport, accommodations, waivers, border documentation, accessibility), medical considerations (allergies, conditions, first aid, access to care) and on-site environmental risks (climate and extreme weather, local violence, cultural practices, language barriers). These risks are also amplified when travelling abroad to lesser known locations and/or when variables like team size and equipment increase.
Sport organizations have a fundamental obligation and responsibility to protect the health and well-being of the organization and its participants while traveling, and they therefore must prepare for additional travel risks accordingly. We recommend that sport organizations prepare for travel risks via a documented travel risk management framework.
What is a Travel Risk Management Framework?
A travel risk management framework provides an organization with a better way to handle the ‘what if’ scenarios and the myriad of risks that can occur during team travel. A framework speaks not only to the general responsibilities of travelling stakeholders and required travel consent forms, but also the risks associated with travelling (locally and abroad) and the protocols that an organization should follow in order to foster a safer environment and higher standard of care for all types of team travel. The framework is represented within SLSG’s Travel Risk Management Policy Suite.
What is in the Policy Suite?
The Travel Risk Management Policy Suite provides a toolkit to outline the framework for travel and establish a high standard of care for the organization. It provides the organization with a clear pathway for mitigating all types of team travel risks, both nationally as well as internationally. The Suite contains four documents, which consist of the following:
- A Process Guide on how to use the Policy Suite, adapt it to an organization’s needs, and the key travel risks that must be addressed by the organization;
- A Travel Risk Management Policy that provides the overarching framework to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for any travelling individual or team representing the organization;
- A Team Member Handbook to inform team members (athletes, coaches, supporting personnel, parents, etc.) of their responsibilities while travelling (national and international); and
- A Team Manager Manual for effectively managing team travel and achieving high organizational standards.
The Suite includes specific protocols in the areas of emergency planning, incident management, vehicle transportation, insurance, and travel risk assessment. These protocols include medical preparedness and response, bad/extreme weather, local violent activities, travel first aid, crisis communications, and equipment guidelines.
How We Can Help
Contact us to discuss a customized Travel Risk Management Policy Suite for your organization. We provide the initial comprehensive Suite package, and then work with you to ‘sportify’ and meet the needs of your organization. The outcome is a documented framework for mitigating team travel risks, that meets both universal risks as well as risks that are uniquely inherent to your sport.
This Policy Suite is also intended to align with and compliment any existing organizational policies, not conflict with them. It is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that the appropriate policies will be referenced and integrated into this Policy Suite.