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Providers: YOG Member's Charter

The principal aims of Year Out Group's Code of Practice and Member's Charter are:

A.To reassure potential participants about the standing of their chosen year out provider, the security of their money and the support they will be given when on their year out activity.

B.To set guidelines aimed at ensuring certain standards of quality and professional conduct. This should make placements with Year Out Group members more attractive than those offered by non-members, while enhancing the reputation of the specialist providers.

Adherence to Year Out Group's Member's Charter is a condition of membership and all members are required to sign a declaration of agreement to abide by it.

Year Out Group Member's Charter

1. Adherence to the law

All members must adhere to the terms of current legislation and act within the law. Those operating overseas should be particularly aware of legislation relating to the travel industry.

2. Maintaining the reputation of Year Out Group

Members will not do anything that will bring Year Out Group or its members into disrepute. Members should act towards each other in a manner that they themselves would wish to be treated.

3. Year Out Group's Code of Practice

Year Out Group's Code of Practice is the Group's consumer promise and forms part of this Charter. All members agree to adhere to its terms.

4. Consumer Financial Protection

Evidence of members' adherence to Travel Packgage Regulations where they meet that criteria is to be provided on an annual basis.

Evidence of the members' financial security arrangement is to be provided to the Year Out Group office on an annual basis.

5. Promotional materials

All members' promotional materials, both printed and electronic, should be accurate and clear.

6. Display and use of the Year Out Group logo

The Year Out Group logo must appear on the website and where possible in other promotional material and advertisements. The Year Out Group logo should not be used in any way that is misleading, nor to support any products that do not form part of approved Year Out Group membership.

7. Customer Service

Year Out Group members are to produce Terms and Conditions that are clearly worded and easily understood. Customers should then receive the best possible standards of service. This should be reflected in the speed with which telephones and correspondence are answered, in the courtesy extended to customers, in the swift dispatch of information, in confirming bookings as quickly as possible, in clear invoicing and documentation and in high standards of service from suppliers, host organisations, employees and representatives both in UK and overseas.

8. Customer Complaints and Year Out Group's Independent Dispute Settlement Service.

Year Out Group members must include a complaints procedure in their Terms and Conditions. Any complaints received from customers by members should be responded to with speed and courtesy. Year Out Group has developed an Independent Dispute Settlement Service for use by members should they be unable to resolve a dispute with a customer and should the customer elect to refer the matter to this service. If the parties agree to use the Service, both will be required to abide by the ruling of the arbitrator. Members must comply fully with the conditions of the Group's Independent Dispute Settlement Service. Full details are available from the Year Out Group office.

9. Relations with Staff and Suppliers

Year Out Group members should be committed to an open and ethical policy towards both suppliers and employees, and to maintaining a well-trained and knowledgeable workforce.

10. Public Liability

All Year Out Group members must hold public liability insurance to cover all aspects of the activities, including the operation of road vehicles and boats where relevant with a minimum cover of 2 million (some exceptions do apply, contact [email protected] for more details) Year Out Group members produce the details of their public liability insurance cover as part of their annual application to renew Year Out Group membership.

11. Monitoring Quality Performance

Belief in quality is the core element of Year Out Group. It is important that we all strive to substantiate this consumer promise. In order to assess the quality performance of members the following is required: All members must ask their customers to complete a post placement questionnaire that contains the following questions or their equivalents.

How would you describe your level of satisfaction with

  • The placement?
  • The service?
  • The overall experience?

The preferred grading of answers is as follows: "excellent, good, fair or unsatisfactory".

An analysis of responses to these question(s) is to be submitted by each member to the Year Out Group office together with a copy of the questionnaire as part of the annual membership renewal process.

12. Communications between Year Out Group and the members

In the spirit of cooperation and efficiency, Year Out Group office and Year Out Group members should endeavour to achieve swift and courteous mutual exchange of communications whenever possible. Members should submit all required information, payments or other supporting materials in a timely fashion.

13. Attendance at Year Out Group meetings

All members are encouraged to play an active part in the Group's work and to attend general meetings as frequently as possible, in order for Year Out Group to thrive as a dynamic and interactive organisation.

14. Supporting Year Out Group's aims

Members are required to support the aims of Year Out Group. It is particularly important that when introducing young people to the concept and benefits of a well-structured year out programme, members should outline the range of options available and indicate how to plan their year in order to achieve the best possible results.

15. Travel Advice

A year out is often the first opportunity for a young person to travel independently. Year Out Group is a partner in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's Travel Aware campaign and Year Out Group members are encouraged to seek partnership in their own right.

16. Security and Safety

Members endeavour to ensure that good safety procedures are observed throughout their programmes and adequate checks are made on any third party suppliers. Security is equally important and members adhere to Foreign Office advice relating to their featured destinations. Participants are fully briefed on any known safety and security issues prior to departure.

17. Risk and Crisis Management

Members are required to have risk management registers and crisis management plans and procedures that are kept under constant review. UK based members providing visits, expeditions and adventurous activities overseas are expected to develop their risk management register with knowledge of BS8848:2014. Staff should be trained to deal with any situation that may arise. Overseas members may use their national equivalent where available or BS8848:2014 if not.

18. Ethical Issues

As an Association of individual, independent companies, each with their own distinctive style and field of operation, individual members are encouraged to develop their own ways of fulfilling the details of these responsibilities by:

  • Establishing their own policies, and involving their staff.
  • Informing their clients about Responsible Tourism and, where appropriate,
  • Encouraging them to participate.
  • Working with their suppliers and partners to achieve responsible goals and practices.
  • Publicising good practice to encourage and spread Responsible Tourism.