In September 2017 Far Frontiers Expeditions (FFE) chose not to renew its membership of the Expedition Providers Association (EPA) and therefore does not hold a Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) or EPA accreditation. This was not a decision undertaken lightly or without due consideration.
We understand that the current EVOLVEvisits system is designed with an inherent focus on the EPA and LOtC accreditations so to assist in the process of approving a FFE expedition
we have produced this information booklet
; please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require any further information or supporting documentation.
Q. Why did Far Frontiers not renew its EPA membership?
FFE recognises that for many expedition companies the support network offered by EPA is a valuable and useful resource. However, as one of the largest, independent expedition providers in the UK with an impeccable safety record we felt that the wealth of knowledge, expertise and skill available from parties outside of EPA, such as RGS, the BS 8848 technical committee and ISO advisory committees would have a wider scope of knowledge to benefit FFE and our clients.
Q. Why does FFE not hold a LOtC Badge?
There is no system in place to allow an expedition company to be LOtC accredited without being a member of EPA; therefore, by leaving EPA, FFE had to surrender its LOtC Badge. This is a situation that we are investigating with the hope of encouraging the expedition industry to consider alternative routes to LOtC accreditation.
Q. Why did FFE choose the BS 8848 standard?
EPA as an organisation recognises the value of BS 8848, so much so that it is a requisite of all members, whether full or aspirant, to be BS 8848 self-assessed. EPA was at the forefront of developing the standard and BS 8848 forms the foundation of EPA’s recommendations for safety and expedition planning.
BS 8848 is a British Standard that has been put together through public consultation and the advice of a technical committee. It is a ‘Standard’ not a ‘Code of Practice’; this means that it is a set of absolutes which must be complied with to achieve the standard.
(Download the Consumer Brochure here
Although no longer a member of EPA, FFE still rigorously plans all expeditions in line with BS 8848, therefore following the same processes for ensuring the correct planning and execution of all expeditions.
Q. Does this mean there has been a change to your procedures and processes?
No, FFE has been ‘self-assessed’ BS 8848 whilst a member of EPA. When choosing to leave EPA we made the decision to further show our commitment to BS 8848 and undertake an ‘other party’ assessment of our processes.
Our certificate can be downloaded here
Q. Does this mean FFE isn’t as safe?
Not at all. In the last ten years FFE has undertaken inspections by AALA (Adventure Activity Licencing Authority), AAA (Adventure Activity Associates), Line Management Services and has met the high standard of all of these inspections. We have only improved our policies, procedures and processes during this time and our outstanding safety record is testament to the quality of the service that we provide.
Q. Does this affect the financial security of FFE?
No, FFE are still ATOL bonded, providing financial security for any payments made and FFE fully complies with the Package Tour and Travel Regulations 1992.