About Year Out GroupBecause not all gap year providers are the same
Year Out Group (YOG) is an association of approved gap year providing organisations most of which are registered in the UK. At least one of the principal activities of each of these organisations is the provision of well-structured gap year programmes in the UK or overseas.
These are generally aimed at young adults taking time out between school or college (or during holidays) and higher education or employment, or between higher education and a job. Many have opportunities for families, the retired and those on career breaks. Such programmes are educational in a broad sense and include, for instance, courses, instructor training and cultural exchanges, expeditions, volunteer work, structured work placements.
Aims of Year Out Group
Promotion. To promote the concept and benefits of a well-structured year out
To provide accurate, impartial information about structured year out opportunities.
To continue the development of a quality framework appropriate to year out activities and programmes.
To facilitate co-operation amongst members in the exchange of information and in pursuit of benefits, not least in the identification of good practice.
To provide a collective voice to lobby for members’ interests and those of young people wishing to take a year out.
To represent each sector and size of organisation equally and impartially.
Adherence to YOG Member’s Charter is a condition of membership
- Adherence to the law
- Maintaining the reputation of Year Out Group
- Follow the Code of Practice
- Consumer financial protection
- Promotional materials
- Display Year Out Group logo
- Customer service
- Customer complaints
- Independent Dispute Settlement Service.
- Public liability
- Monitoring quality performance
- Good communications
- Travel advice
- Security and safety
- Risk and crisis management
- Ethical issues
Code of Practice
Specific membership criteria including finance, safety, security & quality
as well as
- Financial Security.
- Accurate Literature and Websites.
- Professional Support and Welfare.
- Customer Relations.
- Ethical Considerations:
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.
and they must
- Follow Operating Guidelines
- Confirm their annual accounts
- Have risk management policies & procedures in place in line with BS8848
- Have a crisis management policy & plan, with trained staff
- Have public liability insurance of at least £2million (exemptions exist).
Benefits of membership for providers
Industry Leading Network – Members tell us that their main reasons for joining the Year Out Group are to benefit from being associated with like-minded operators who place high importance on the quality of the experience their clients receive. This is exemplified through adherence to the standards, continuing improvement and a focus on positive outcomes for the client and project/programme/organisation supported through their work overseas and in the UK.
Representation and Peer Support – Members also value the support given to them by the network, including advice and training and representation of issues in the media, at conferences and in industry networks. Access to an arbitration service in case of dispute and support in times of crisis are similarly valued.
Marketing and Promotion – Members also measure the return on their membership in terms of the marketing exposure the Year Out Group can offer through the provision of an advice and listings website, social media presence, an annual promotional booklet to schools, universities and careers services and speaking events.
How we approve members
Authenticity – We check that every UK company is filing their accounts with Companies House. We ask for copies of accounts for companies based overseas and annual trading information.
Declaration – Each year we ask our members to confirm their insurance matters and protection for customers in the event of financial failure and sign to the effect that they continue to adhere to our code of practice and charter.
Scrutiny – All companies will have submitted examples of risk assessments and crisis management plans on application and a senior staff member has been interviewed so we can satisfy ourself that they have sufficient knowledge and experience to deliver on their offer.
Although we aim to improve practice where needed, we reserve the right to cancel membership for those organisations who fail to meet our standards.
Note*. Some members based overseas or not meeting the definition of a ‘package travel operator’ may not require financial failure cover or public liability insurance of £2million. If in doubt get in touch with them and you can also email: [email protected]
Stefan is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Year Out Group, supporting member organisations, membership enquiries and liaising with stakeholders through social media, the press, conference and meetings.
His primary aim is to raise the profile of the Year Out Group and you can contact him with general enquiries including speaking at events, potential collaborations or to feedback on organisations listed on the website.
Our Executive Commitee are drawn from our member organisations and guide the work of the CEO. They are also Directors of Year Out Group.
The Year Out Group is a not for profit company limited by guarantee and registered in England & Wales as company number 4159554.
Copyright: The content and images of this website are the international coyright of the Year Out Group and are not to be reproduced or partly reproduced by any other organisation or individual. © 2002.
Feedback on Year Out Group member programmes in 2017>
- Excellent 67%
- Good 24%
- Fair 6%
- Poor 3%
Press, providers, teachers & advisors