Safety has got to be at the heart of what we do, a lot of companies shroud themselves in “marketing talk,” but we are proud to specifically list the ways we keep our trekkers, climbers, runners and cyclists safe.
We are fully compliant with the British Standard for Overseas Adventure Travel, BS 8848. This is a globally accepted standard for adventure travel events. BS8848 provides a rigorous framework for adventure providers to properly manage risks on adventure trips abroad. In order for Choose a Challenge to comply with this standard, we have to prove to be effective in minimizing risks alongside fully implementing all the measures laid out in the Standard.
Complying with BS8848 means we are able to ask almost every question you may have for us, including:
what exactly is involved in the venture and are there any risky activities planned?
where/what is the sleeping accommodation?
who is responsible for individual parts or aspects of the trip?
who is the person or organization (Choose a Challenge) with overall responsibility for all parts of the venture, including those run by third parties?
Does the trip leader and its team members - have sufficient training and experience of similar ventures, activities, and environments?
are there contact details to let you ask previous participants about their experiences?
what level of physical fitness, experience and skill level is needed to take part?
is there any pre-trip training required and what equipment is needed?
are particular vaccinations or anti-malaria precautions recommended?
is there any guidance on coping with environment-related illnesses, for example heatstroke, or altitude sickness?
what evidence do they have of using the safety standard properly?
What does BS8848 specifically ask for?
BS 8848 details good practice for venture providers to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone taking part. It shows organizations how to plan ventures, identify potential risks and manage them effectively. It also requires participants to be given clear information so that they can make informed decisions about risks to their own safety. The standard covers all aspects of the venture – from planning, transport, staff and accommodation, to the activities themselves. In summary, BS 8848 requires:
A single provider – one clearly identified person, or organization, to take overall responsibility for the whole venture. This is Choose a Challenge.
Informed choice – participants to be given clear information about the venture, and potential risks, before they book. We market all our trips as transparently as we are able, hosting on site information meetings and pre departures, providing detailed information packs and clearly highlighting the risks and difficulties involved with adventure travel.
Capable staff – all ventures to be run by competent and experienced people. A large amount of the Choose a Challenge team are former climbers and leaders and have first-hand experience taking on our challenges. However, the often unseen hands at Choose a Challenge, are our back office and in-country teams who are true experts in adventure travel and the destinations in which they live and work in.
Good preparation and planning – policies and procedures put in place to identify and manage risk at every stage of the venture. Choose a Challenge hold full trip specific risk assessments and incident management plans for every destination in which we operate. We review these regularly and in detail with all our local partners.
“What happens if something goes wrong on my trek”?
Despite careful planning, emergencies can and do arise, and it’s often when things go wrong that procedures and plans are tested to their limits. We are proud to share, in advance of your travels how any emergencies will be dealt with. Similarly in advance of any trip we:
ensure that all of our students hold valid and appropriate travel insurance when they travel on one of our trips.
check that all of our students insurance policies cover them appropriately, particularly in relation to medical care, evacuation, repatriation to US and altitude related incidents.
all climbers are aware what would happen in the event of a serious incident or emergency and how would this be dealt with.
all climbers are aware what are the evacuation procedures and arrangements for emergency travel back to the US.
all climbers, next of kin and other relevant stakeholders are aware who should be contacted in the event of illness, accident or emergency, both abroad and in the US.
What else do we offer?
Years of Experience
Alongside following the guidelines laid out in BS8848 we have experience on our side. We organized our first Kilimanjaro climb in 2008. Since then, we have gone on to take almost 12,000 people on a wide variety of challenges all over the world. We carefully select our in-country partners based on their experience, track record, and ability to meet our ethical tourism standards. This experience allows us to pick hotels that are secure and have 24/7 security. This includes bedrooms that are lockable and making sure the surrounding area is safe for all travelers. We have well established connections with all local major hospitals in case any medical checkups are needed. Our guides on the ground are well trained in first aid and have many years of safety training, making them well prepared to guide our participants around their challenge.
We have an emergency line that can be called 24/7, 365 days a year. Your safety is of utmost importance to us. You will be able to speak with an expert that can provide assistance, no matter what the situation.
We ensure that all of our students hold valid and appropriate travel insurance when they travel on one of our trips. We will provide you with all of the information you need to make sure that you have a policy in place which covers you for everything you need!
Trusted Travel Advice
We constantly monitor the travel advice and alerts provided by the State Department and follow the advice that is passed on. You can view the state department's current advice for travel to all our destinations.
Local + International
We have the benefit of using only the best local teams but being supported by an experienced back office staff both in the UK and US. As we work across the world, it’s rare that you won’t find one of the team working at all hours of the day and night.
However safety is only one of the prongs which are set as central to the Choose a Challenge brand.
Our safety record and procedures conjoined with a responsible approach to tourism and environmental policies form an integral part of how we operate. Our challenges visit some of the world’s most amazing and cherished places, and we want to help preserve them as much as possible for future generations while ensuring our work directly benefits the local communities we operate within. While our charity challenges undoubtedly have a positive effect on causes across the world, it’s just as important to us that those positive effects are felt at every end of our supply chain. Ensuring a safe, transparent and ethical environment for all is the way we go about doing this.