Liz Gray - Travel and Risk Management Training and Consultancy

Liz Gray - Travel and Risk Management Training and Consultancy

Providing travel safety training and consultancy to schools, universities and organisations.

Operating as usual

What is Coronavirus? A Learning Opportunity 02/03/2020

In the face of so much media coverage it's hard to keep a perspective on COVID-19, let alone offer advice to those looking at whether to cancel trips and programmes overseas. Is this actually about risk management, or more about the perception that "we have to be seen to be doing something"? What's clear is that we still need to weigh up the benefits of travel, the real risks it poses (think vehicle travel, water safety, maintaining personal hygiene, losing your passport!) against what we perceive to be the biggest risk. Here's an excellent article that puts it very eloquently:

What is Coronavirus? A Learning Opportunity As the founder of a student travel company, I’ve had numerous conversations this week with school leaders on whether to cancel global…


Yes - CORE Risk Conference is back for 2020! Another great weekend (with pre/post courses) for schools, universities and organisations that are serious about activity and travel safety, and serious about building relationships with the best in our sector!

It's Never Too Early to Teach Kids Risk Management 18/01/2020

I never had kids of my own, but have been responsible for thousands of other people's children on adventurous trips. There have been plenty of situations that I know have left them with lifelong stories to tell, and while we've all earned bruises and scars, together we've shared a depth of experience that have bonded us for life. Allowing children to take risks, balancing those against the benefits they will reap, and learn about how to do this in a fun way is so crucial to their development!

It's Never Too Early to Teach Kids Risk Management Extreme athlete Will Gadd on why kids should develop competence over confidence

Eight Myths about Harassment while Travelling: What to Do if you Experience It, and What to Do if you See Someone Else being Harassed | beTravelwise 07/01/2020

Being a desk-jockey this month, but off on some travels in February. I have some great stories of derring-do to tell on my Travel Risk Training courses, all taken from all the wild stuff that's happened in my 25+ years on expeditions all over the world. Fortunately, I rarely experienced harassment but this can happen anywhere - even on your commute to work. My worst experience of crime happened in the UK in broad just never know. So take some time to read this excellent article....maybe on the train to work....

Eight Myths about Harassment while Travelling: What to Do if you Experience It, and What to Do if you See Someone Else being Harassed | beTravelwise Dr Sophie Harwood, our Women Traveller Advisor, was recently harassed during a daytime train journey across Germany, which prompted her to investigate instances of women being harassed during travel from which she discovered that there are several why, when, who by and how myths. This article debunk...


Great day at my part-time job, running incident management training. One of the team turned up with these in preparation.....if you don't know lemon-spotting, you don't know risk! (disclaimer: other drinks, cakes and fruit are available at all good retailers....😜)


It's been six weeks since our first CORE Risk Conference and it's starting to sink in what a great thing we've started! Working on 2020 dates now - in the meantime here are some nice words from one of our lovely 2019 delegates :-)

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains 18/11/2019

I've always found the outdoors (in all weathers - the more dramatic the better!) such good therapy. Whatever mood I'm in at the start of the walk...I'm always happy by the end of it!

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains While it may seem obvious that a good hike through a forest or up a mountain can cleanse your mind, body, and soul, science is now discovering that hiking can actually change your brain… for the better! Hiking in Nature Can Stop Negative, Obsessive Thoughts Aside from the almost instant feeling of...


Sometimes travel risk management training is a hard sell. But I managed to persuade a lovely participant on a travel safety course last week...
"I did have quite a bit of H&S training in my last job, but I must say you do make it a lot more fun!! I like your enabling approach a lot" 😊👊 Boom!

Timeline photos 31/10/2019

Spookily good resources from the FCO!

If you’re about to head off 🎃 for a bewitching break abroad, don't get a scare 👻 be

💀Check out: for our travel tricks and treats and avoid those 🧟‍♀

The Pedagogical Value of Risk in Study Abroad - Part 1 Students Are Not Trained to Manage Risk — Lodestone International 23/10/2019

Excellent article from Lodestone in the you give your students risk management training?

The Pedagogical Value of Risk in Study Abroad - Part 1 Students Are Not Trained to Manage Risk — Lodestone International by Bill Frederick The majority of university-sponsored study abroad programs offer, provide and in many cases require some formal pre-departure orientation that is in part concerned with conveying concerns about health, safety and security. Additionally, many of them, as well as most program provi

Photos from Liz Gray - Travel and Risk Management Training and Consultancy's post 11/10/2019

One week on and finally time to reflect on our inaugural Core Risk Conference last weekend. Simply put - it went way beyond anything we were expecting! A fantastic range of delegates from a diverse range of sectors; our wonderful speakers who took us from psychology in NASA, through risk behaviours, incidents on youth expeditions, international standards and guidelines, water safety, risk assessments, medical issues, incident management and sunrise yoga. Requests for 2020 before we'd even finished, and lovely feedback since. Very proud of our team!


One week to go until our first Core Risk Conference in the mountains of Snowdonia Plas y Brenin. Can't wait to meet everyone coming from across the UK, USA, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland and Singapore! Sharing experience, advice, skills, travel risk management knowledge, fresh mountain air and a pint by the fireside! Fantastic speakers and lovely sponsors providing support all the way Keela Outdoors Base Camp Food Cotswold Outdoor Cicerone Press Nomad


One month to go, and latest speaker announcement today! If you are a teacher, organise trips overseas, not sure where to start with risk assessment or just don't know what you don't know then you can't afford to miss this!

Speaker Announcement

We are delighted that Katie Beck, International Medical Lead at Raleigh International, will be speaking at the Conference on the Subject of Safeguarding - with an expedition/ fieldwork/ outdoor context in keeping with the Conference theme.

Stellar line up of expedition/ outdoor/education/fieldwork/remote area operations and exploration risk experts speaking at this event 4-6 October 2019 at Plas Y Brenin.

Book now:

Girl Guides of Canada. 22/08/2019

Really thrilled to be working in partnership with Louise Melville FRGS as consultants to Girl Guides of Canada's safety program. We are totally aligned to their ethos of empowering each girl to "be everything she wants to be" and we are really excited to be at the centre of facilitating ways they can dare to be even more adventurous and push boundaries!

Girl Guides of Canada. Girl Guides of Canada official website. Girls 5-17 can join and women can volunteer to enjoy camping, travel, educational activities & community service.


Great meeting at the FCO today, talking travel safety awareness. Aligns beautifully with our programme for the Core Risk Conference - being risk aware, not risk averse!

Great meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to discuss areas of common interest and how our work can assist some of their specific initiatives in targeting key groups.

More speaker/ conference session news to follow soon ...

Respect the Water – float to live advice from the RNLI 19/07/2019

With the weather hotting up here in the UK in the next week, it's going to be tempting to jump into the nearest river, lake or the sea to cool off. So take a moment to check out the RNLI's Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign, highlighting the risks of cold water shock. When you fall into water below 15°C (which it might well be!), you instinctively gasp for air, increasing your chance of inhaling water. Instead, relax and float for around 90 seconds to minimise this risk. Check out their website:

Respect the Water – float to live advice from the RNLI If you fall into cold water you need to fight your instincts and . Find out more on the ’s website.

C:ORE Risk Conference. Conference: Outdoors, Overseas, Remote Area Fieldwork, Expedition, Exploration, Education. The C:ORE Risk, Duty of Care Conference. Programme update: 80 days out. 17/07/2019

The detailed programme is out for the CORE Risk Conference in October! Fantastic expert speakers, a couple more to be confirmed and schools and organisations coming from Europe, Canada and the USA. Spaces available particularly for schools sending trips overseas!

C:ORE Risk Conference. Conference: Outdoors, Overseas, Remote Area Fieldwork, Expedition, Exploration, Education. The C:ORE Risk, Duty of Care Conference. Programme update: 80 days out. C:ORE Risk Conference. Conference: Outdoors, Overseas, Remote Area Fieldwork, Expedition, Exploration, Education. 4-6 October 2019, Plas Y Brenin, Snowdonia, UK. - first peek at the programme, with more to follow very shortly... Dear Delegates and interested parties, After gathering a hand picked gr...


Last training session before the summer's exciting projects start. Broke into a smile when my session was described as the highlight of the day (a big ask when you're talking about risk management!), and even lovelier when some of the staff had asked "is the lemon lady coming back?" If you know about lemons, you'll know why I was charmed. If you don't know about lemons, why not ask me to drop by and tell you ;-)


Planning for the CORE Risk Conference is gathering even more pace this week - delighted to announce that the Major Incident Manager from Earthwatch Head Office in Boston, USA will be joining us at the conference in October, and further we can announce that our friends from eTravelSafety are on board too! If you're involved with fieldwork or school travel overseas can you afford to miss out on this? A whole weekend of networking, workshops and expert advice in the mountains of Snowdonia!

We are delighted to announce that our friends at cutting edge Duty of Care technology solutions provider: eTravelSafety, will be joining us in October at Plas Y Brenin, to take part in this unique Conference looking at Core (fundamental) Risks for those operating in the Outdoor, Remote Area Operations, Fieldwork, Expedition, Exploration and Education sectors.

eTravelSafety are a forward thinking organisation offering cutting edge electronic solutions to support Travel Risk Managers and organisations sending staff overseas.

eTravelSafety will attend the conference, demonstrating Duty of Care solutions and engaging in some of our workshops.

The conference has exceptional speakers with genuine expertise and is solution focused. We identify the problems and obligations - and furnish solutions.

2.5 days during which delegates can ask questions, network, attend lectures, practical sessions and small group sessions on legal obligations, protecting your organisation, vehicle safety, accommodation safety, water safety, critical incident decision making, leadership, coroners inquests, emergency planning, medical aspects - what actually tends to happen - what the statistics say, psychological aspects of remote area working, sessions from long-standing experts in the field and more ...

All for a cost that is less than the hourly rate of some of the speakers ...

Timeline photos 19/04/2019

Travelling abroad this ? ✈️ 🐰 🐣 Check out our egg-cellent travel checklist. Make sure you're prepared . You can sign up for email alerts, guidance and tips here

History-making all-female spacewalk canceled because of lack of spacesuits 26/03/2019

If you're going to do an activity when you're travelling, make sure you ask the Activity Provider what equipment they're providing....if they don't provide the right kit, are you going to be able to trust them with the other important safety stuff...? 😉👩‍🚀🦸‍♀️

History-making all-female spacewalk canceled because of lack of spacesuits NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were scheduled to carry out the spacewalk.

Photos from Core Risk Conference's post 24/03/2019

Seven days left to get the best early-bird rates for this outstanding collection of speakers, and delegates coming from around the UK and also overseas! Come and join us in the mountains for expert advice, discussion, workshops, networking and a drink by the fireside!


The latest Professional Mountaineer Magazine has articles by two of our C:ORE Risk Conference speakers. Matthew Davies FRGS on Safety and Organisational Protection measures for the Adventure Travel, Education, Expedition and Remote Area Operations sectors and Dr Samantha McElligott on Leadership.

Early bird delegate tickets finish on 2 April 2019, so only a couple of weeks left to make the most of the best value opportunity you have to join the schools, adventure travel companies and outdoor leaders who've signed up so far!

Home I Core Risk Conference 2019, 01/03/2019

Do you know what Duty of Care actually is ? What steps have you taken to bench mark your practices against ‘good practice’? What CPD are you undertaking ? What safety standards are you complying with ? What would you do if the Health and Safety Executive appeared at your door and sought to take away documents or interview you? Do you know what level of first aid is appropriate for your adventures ? What is ISO:31000, what is BS:8848? What post incident trauma support should you be offering to staff and participants ? How do you test your emergency, disaster and crisis response systems ? How do we implement a Travel Risk Management system ? How do we protect our business or organisation legally ?

For these - and more answers:

Limited early bird tickets available, and so far booked by schools, education associations, travel companies and expedition providers! Prices increase on 2 April 2019.

Post course discounts for delegates with selected training and education providers.

Home I Core Risk Conference 2019, Home I Core Risk Conference 2019, delivering risk management, emergency planning, legal, insurance, case studies, University Fieldwork Safety, Expedition Safety, Outdoor activity Safety, companies, explorers, mineral exploration, remote area operators, TV companies operating in remote areas

Home I Core Risk Conference 2019, 04/02/2019

Excellent travel risk management conference in October for schools, universities, expedition companies and anyone operating trips in wilderness areas! Book early for best rates, and please share to any teacher/university/expedition contacts!

Home I Core Risk Conference 2019, Home I Core Risk Conference 2019, delivering risk management, emergency planning, legal, insurance, case studies, University Fieldwork Safety, Expedition Safety, Outdoor activity Safety, companies, explorers, mineral exploration, remote area operators, TV companies operating in remote areas

Photos from Liz Gray - Travel and Risk Management Training and Consultancy's post 08/01/2019

The views from this week's office windows have made it extremely hard to focus on work. Some excellent meetings with colleagues today and prospects for some very exciting projects this year!

Should I stay or should I go? 06/01/2019

This week I was asked for my thoughts on taking a family on holiday to Morocco in light of the tragic tourist attack that took place there in December. If you've ever considered the same question when planning a holiday (or think about this stuff while standing on a packed Tube train in London!), here's my latest blog post

Should I stay or should I go? Earlier this week I was asked for my thoughts, or perhaps reassurance on taking a young family on holiday to Morocco in the spring. In light of the utterly tragic events that took place there in December, you wouldn't be...


When travel risk assessment goes rogue....Happy Christmas one and all!

Please be advised that all persons planning to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way are required to undergo a Risk Assessment addressing the safety of open sleighs. This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers. Seat belts and roll cages are another point.

Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered.

Benches, stools and orthopedic chairs are now available for collection by any shepherds planning or required to watch their flocks at night.

While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation shelter, all facility users are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks. The angel of the Lord is additionally reminded that prior to shining his/her glory all around s/he must confirm that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory.

Following last year’s well publicised case, everyone is advised that EC legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr. R Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.

While it is acknowledged that gift-bearing is commonly practised in various parts of the world, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines and all gifts must be registered. It is particularly noted that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded under provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act & Money Laundering Regulations. Further, caution is advised regarding other common gifts, such as aromatic resins that may initiate allergic reactions.

Finally, in the recent case of the infant found tucked up in a manger without a crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly.


Something I've been working on with colleagues over the past few months...a really exciting venture! Announcing the C:ORE Risk Conference 2019.

4-6 October 2019, Plas Y Brenin, North Wales. The start of something big in the remote area /education/ adventure travel/ travel risk management sectors for the U.K. and beyond...

Keep an eye on the website and sign up for the inaugural event. One of those ‘we have been coming since the first one’ moments. Tickets on sale from 1 February 2019.

Announcing the inaugural Duty of Care, Remote Area Operations and Fieldwork Conference (and Safety Awards) for the UK, 4-6 October 2019 at the National Mountain Centre, Plas Y Brenin.
C:ORE Risk Conference 2019
Conference: Outdoor, Remote, Education, Expedition, Exploration.

Who is it for? Universities conducting fieldwork or sending teams overseas, companies operating in the field, outdoor activity providers, instructors, teachers, lecturers, Operations staff, schools, mineral exploration sector, youth expeditions, safety officers and remote area medics overseeing remote area filming - National Governing Bodies and anyone responsible for safety in Off Site activities.

Show your organisation’s commitment to field safety and be there from the start - the 2019 Conference. One of those ‘we were there from the first one’ moments.

What is it? The first conference in what will be an annual event. The event will include sector related safety awards for relevant sectors, governing bodies, individuals and initiatives.

What will it cover? The planned activities include legal duties and obligations, travel risk management, safety standards, leader selection, sessions on key hazards, communications, crisis planning, crisis response and more. The event is a relaxed forum for learning, sharing ideas and good practice.

Bookings go live 1 February 2019 and updates will be provided between now and 1 February 2019.

At the end of the Conference, delegates will be able to shape the 2020 Conference and future events - highlighting what they want to see.

2.5 days CPD involving lectures, practical sessions, discussion groups and more.

Also follow us on twitter.

How to avoid being jailed abroad 01/12/2018

Some good advice here: travel planning doesn't stop at "where shall we eat dinner tonight". Always important to research the culture, laws and social expectations of any destination you're visiting!

How to avoid being jailed abroad After the cases of two Britons held abroad for alleged spying, Newsbeat's been looking at unusual rules which could see you on the wrong side of the law.

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college?

Practical training for people with itchy feet

I was very lucky to grow up in the countryside, and spent many a happy day outdoors building camps, climbing trees and coming home scratched, covered in mud and eager for more the following day. Screens didn’t really factor much in my childhood, but the pages of adventure books fed me delicious tales of mountain climbers, heroic explorers trekking to Antarctica and the North Pole, families living romantic lives aboard sailing boats.

I never imagined that this rather romantic Swallows and Amazons childhood would ever lead into a career, but after spending several years as a professional illustrator I found myself volunteering as an Expedition Artist for Raleigh International. What was going to be a 3-month trip to Belize turned into five incredible years volunteering on multiple expeditions to Uganda, Zimbabwe, Belize and Chile. On my return, I found a job with youth expedition company World Challenge and managed multiple school expeditions to Peru and Malaysia. I qualified as an outdoor instructor, Mountain Leader and Wilderness First Responder, and over the years worked for Wilderness Expertise, and most latterly - as International Service Projects Manager for Round Square. I have travelled with groups of students, teachers and friends all over the world, hiking across African plains, climbing mountains and working on community projects. The last 24 years have been an utter privilege.

The world is a different place now, with more guidance and regulation. Some of this no doubt for the best; some of it seemingly over the top with the unfortunate side-effect of scaring the wits out of anyone taking young people outdoors.

I now provide training for teachers, students, schools, universities and organisations on practical, simple risk management (being risk-aware, not risk-averse!); travel safety; incident management; student leadership; training teachers and university supervisors on how to plan and manage trips and fieldwork expeditions. I am very experienced in using and auditing BS8848 (British Standard for expeditions, fieldwork and trips overseas) and can offer mentoring on how to use the Standard. My training and consultancy is practical, simple, effective and dare I say - fun!