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Procedure: Travel to high risk destinations


To set out the approval process for travel to high risk destinations by staff and students of the University.



  1. The University recognises that some travel to high risk countries may be necessary and supports the undertaking of such travel where an assessment of the risks is undertaken and appropriate risk management strategies are implemented.

Travel advice

  1. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides four levels of travel advice which are to be used to determine whether a proposed travel destination is considered high risk:

Risk Category

DFAT Warning

University Requirements

Level 1

Exercise normal safety precautions

Delegates must ensure that staff and students take due note of DFAT warning and prepare an appropriate risk management strategy.

Level 2

Exercise a high degree of caution

Level 3

Reconsider your need to travel

Delegates must assess risk before approving.

Level 4

Do not travel

Only in exceptional circumstances will staff and students be permitted to travel to, or remain in, these countries for work or study, with the approval of the Director, HR, where appropriate risk management strategies are in place.

Decision to travel

  1. Students and staff members must carefully consider the need to travel overseas when DFAT has advised against such travel, that is, where a DFAT Level 3 or 4 warning applies to the country to which travel is intended.
  2. No student or staff member can be compelled to travel to a country which DFAT has advised Australians should not to visit.
  3. Staff and students who are foreign nationals should also consider safety warnings issued by their own government before deciding to apply to travel overseas.
  4. Where a decision not to travel may affect/be affected by particular research grants advice should be sought from Research Services Division if necessary.
  5. The availability and cost of appropriate travel insurance should also be considered before any decision is made to travel.


  1. Overseas travel to high risk destinations is subject to prior approval by the appropriate delegate using the travel eForm as follows:

Levels 1 and 2

  1. The delegation for approval to travel covered by levels 1 and 2 travel advisories resides with the relevant delegate for staff members and students.

Levels 3 and 4

  1. Given the risks of travel to countries covered by the Level 3 and 4 travel advisories, delegation resides with:
  • the Director, Human Resources, for staff and students and
  • the Registrar, Division of Student Administration for formal student exchange participants.


  1. The assessment against the DFAT levels for any overseas travel must be checked immediately prior to departure to ensure the latest advice is used. Should this cause a destination being assessed as Level 3 or 4, approval of the relevant delegate must be sought prior to travel.

Risk reduction strategies

  1. In determining whether overseas travel should be approved, the delegate will consider:
  1. Whether the travel is essential to the research or study being undertaken by a staff member or student, including factors such as: the timing of the proposed travel vis a vis the research or study timetable, including the impact that not travelling may affect/be affected by particular research grants or a student's ability to complete his/her course; alternative options available for completion of the research or study; in the case of students, whether the student will be at a disadvantage academically if he/she were to undertake alternative study options; and the level of support from the staff members or student's supervisor.
  2. Whether the student or staff member proposing to travel has particular expertise, local networks and support, and language facility to substantially reduce risks that would apply to other travellers and
  3. Documented viable risk-reduction strategies for travel to DFAT Level 3 and 4 countries must address the points covered in 1 and 2 above and the steps taken to implement such strategies. Such risk management strategies will include University emergency contact details, arrangements for regular reporting to the University and preparation of an evacuation plan. Please complete the travel eForm.
  1. Any staff member or student intending to travel overseas should advise the University of any pre-existing medical condition which may be relevant to their travel.
  2. Risk reduction strategies must be developed for all travel to countries where there is a DFAT travel advisory warning, with greater detail required where the advisory is at Level 3 or 4.
  3. While travelling, staff members and students should regularly check travel advice relating to countries in which they are travelling or intending to travel and ensure implementation of their risk-reduction strategies.
  4. Staff and students approved to travel to countries covered by Levels 3 and 4 must register with the Australian High Commission/Embassy/Consulate in the country or countries in which they are travelling.


  1. Where approval has been given for travel overseas by the appropriate delegate, staff members will be covered by Workers Compensation, notwithstanding DFAT advice. However, should staff members travel overseas without prior approval they may be excluded from Workers Compensation coverage by Comcare.
  2. Students and staff members should be aware that there is no cover for travel insurance claims resulting from war, civil war, invasion, act of foreign enemy, rebellion, revolution, insurrection or military or usurped power in Australia or the traveller's country of residence. Furthermore, cover is excluded in certain countries. For full details of general exclusions please see the University’s Travel Insurance Policy.
  3. The University may be able to buy additional insurance cover for travel to countries covered by general exclusion. A quote for the additional insurance can be sought from the ANU Insurance Office, through the Finance Manager of each College/Service Division.
  4. The additional insurance costs would ordinarily be paid by the relevant budget centre by:
  • making provision for the cost in research/grant applications or
  • budgeting as part of the budget process for visits likely to occur.
  1. Where the local area cannot fund the cost of the additional travel insurance, a case for central funding can be made as part of the travel approval process. Any submission for central payment of the cost should be attached to the Level 3/4 approval request. The submission should detail:
  • why local area funding is not available and
  • whether travel is recommended, regardless of whether central funding for the buy-out of the war/civil unrest inclusions is made available.
  1. The delegate will determine the funding source as part of the approval process.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Travel to high risk destinations
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000677
Version 12
Purpose To set out the approval process for travel to high risk destinations by staff and students of the University.
Audience Staff, Students
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Travel & Transport
Effective Date 8 Feb 2011
Review Date 1 Apr 2019
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division