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Culture of Safety

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Global Works has one of the best safety records in the student travel industry. Our safety record reflects our commitment to safety and careful attention to each detail in the planning of our programs. Some very important reasons that we maintain these high standards are:


  • We hire mature, qualified, and experience Trip Leaders. They’re inspirational! With so many returning staff (about 65% each year), we feel our staff leadership is one of our greatest strengths. The majority of our staff also works as professional educators and the average age of our staff is 29. Global Works continues to hire skilled, knowledgeable, fun-loving women and men who organize and lead trips according to high standards of quality, safety and, of course, fun. They are leaders chosen for: experience working with students, flexibility, good judgment, organization, language skills, a sense of humor, and responsibility.  With at least two adult staff on each summer program, we are able to achieve a sensitive awareness to the needs of our participants and communities. Most of our programs have an additional on-site country director to serve as logistical backup for our groups while working closely with the Global Works home base in Boulder, Colorado. Each of our staff leaders must be certified in First Aid and CPR and many are also certified Wildnerness First Responders.
  • Our leaders attend annual mandatory staff training. Each leader attends our staff training in late spring. Our staff training provides an opportunity for leaders to share program ideas and educational techniques, learn safety protocols and guidelines, and gain a deeper understanding of the Global Works family and service oriented approach to designing our programs. Leaders are versed on our 75 page Staff Manual and are dedicated to the mission of Global Works.
  • The most important part of any Global Works program is the safety and well-being of each participant. Global Works is proactive about safety and the safety and well-being of each participant is paramount in everything we do on our programs. Leaders know where students are at all times and appropriately supervise each activity. On a daily basis, staff reviews safety protocols when they brief the group on the upcoming activities, culture expectations, and procedures.  Global Works students are not permitted to travel alone in a public setting and they always know how to get in contact with their leaders. First aid kits are on all programs and leaders have emergency medical contact numbers and evacuation plan for each location. Global Works upholds stringent policies regarding safety on the worksite, bedtimes, water and food, and all adventure and water activities.
  • Individual and group “weather checks” are held through the program between students and staff. These meetings allow students to share medical issues and concerns, social, or emotional issues. These meetings provide an opportunity for leaders to stay aware of the health and safety of individuals as well as the dynamic of the group. Staff communicates on a regular basis with each other, parents, and the home office
  • Everybody in the Global Works organization is responsible for upholding the Global Works Risk Management policies. Risk Management takes place before, during, and after each and every program.  It starts with communication prior to the program when participants speak to Home Office staff and their Trip Leaders. It permeates throughout the program through our contracts, agreements, scouting, and supervision. Finally, after the trip, we reflect, discuss, document, and evolve.
  • Safety begins with choice of location. Global Works chooses the program destination and locations within each country that we travel to based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to: state department warnings (or lack thereof!), health risks, safe drinking water, and healthy food. We travel to low-risk areas of the world. We are always within reach of medical care and have an Emergency Action Plan detailing evacuation plans for each location. Each location is visited and scouted prior to the trip by directors and trip leaders to ensure a positive, safe, and healthy experience for our participants. All details- from transportation and accommodations to activities and service projects are planned prior to the participants stepping foot in the country.
  • Effective communications begins pre-trip and lasts throughout the program. Leaders, participants, and home office staff communicate frequently and consistently prior to the trip and throughout the course of the program. On a regular basis, leaders present expectations to the participants clearly. They inform participants of the rules and about all activities. his starts with pre-trip phone calls and literature found on your Login page and continues during the “weather checks” throughout the program. Global Works has a dedicated emergency phone number and parents can reach a director via this line 24/7 during the program.


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This experience is indescribable, I had the time of my life, I learned so much and met new great people!

Winona W., Costa Rica Participant

Never have I gone on a trip so amazing, ate such great food, discovered more about myself and other people.

Susan Lin, Nicaragua Participant