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Code of Practice

Year Out Group is an association of independent[1] registered organisations of various sizes, at least one of whose principal activities is the provision of high quality structured programmes in the UK or overseas for young people taking time out between school or college and higher education or employment, or between higher education and a job.† This Code applies equally to those gap year activities provided by many members for older participants.

Membership. Year Out Group sets specific membership criteria including finance, safety, security and quality that must be satisfied before organisations are allowed to join.† All members are required to adhere to this Code of Practice and operational guidelines appropriate to their activities.† Members provide annual confirmation that they continue to meet these criteria.

Financial Security. Members are required to comply with all statutory financial regulations applicable to their individual status as companies and charities and to have systems in place to protect money paid by customers for any placement arranged under the Year Out Group logo.

Accurate Literature and Websites. All members do their utmost to ensure that all their websites, brochures, terms and conditions and other publications, print or electronic, clearly describe the year out placements and services offered.

Professional Support and Welfare. Members maintain high standards of personal service and individual support by thorough briefing of participants and training of staff. Courses, programmes, expeditions and placements are vetted and monitored by member organisations and security and safety procedures are in place. Where students are placed overseas, in-country support is provided.

Standards. Members are committed to continuous improvement of their Year Out Activities, have systems in place for participants to evaluate their programmes and welcome suggestions for improving performance and standards.

Ethical Considerations. Members are committed to ensure that relationships with the beneficiaries of their activities and programmes are conducted responsibly and with sensitivity regarding social, environmental and local issues.† In this respect members seek to:

  • Protect the Environment - its flora, fauna and landscapes.
  • Respect local cultures - traditions, religions and built heritage.
  • Benefit local communities - both economically and socially.
  • Conserve natural resources - from office to destination.
  • Minimise pollution - through noise, waste disposal and congestion.

Customer Relations. All members endeavour to deal swiftly and fairly with any issues their customers may raise.† All members have a complaints procedure in place that forms part of their Terms and Conditions.

Revised:† January 2012



[1] A number of members that were independent on joining Year Out Group are now subsidiaries of a Public Liability Company (PLC).† This is annotated on the member's entry of Year Out Group's website, http://www.yearoutgroup.org/organisations.htm.