World Challenge is continuing to lead from the front within the student expeditions arena by investing £500,000 in its state-of-the-art global Operations Centre.
Led by Operational Support Manager Simon Drayton, who spent 23 years in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and was heavily involved in extensive 999 control room command, the Operations Centre provides 24-hour support to all expedition teams as well as global cover for domestic pre-departure training.
Since joining the company in August 2014, Simon has played a major part in developing and enhancing the infrastructure and processes of the Operations Centre.
World Challenge, a member of the TUI AG group of companies, the world’s number one integrated tourism business, now has five dedicated full-time operational support staff at its headquarters in High Wycombe, boasts a comprehensive insurance policy, has audited in-country suppliers and is supported by partners International SOS, who provide leading assistance in medical and security advice.
Investments have also come in the form of hardware with the entire operational support PC systems having been replaced with the latest technology, as well as all emergency back-up systems so that in the event of any power outage, the Operations Centre can continue to deliver both on and offsite.
New incident management, global information tracking and telephone software have also been installed whilst new modernised communications equipment has been purchased.
“The investment we’ve made in personnel and industry-leading technology for our Operations Centre highlights our commitment to the safety and support of our teams in the field,” said Global Operations Director Stuart Morris.
“Over the past 28 years we’ve developed the expertise, resources, and technology to ensure we effectively manage risk, and crucially, respond appropriately if anything does happen.”
World Challenge was one of only 29 organisations to be awarded an International Safety Award with Distinction by the British Safety Council earlier this year and also won the education sector award.
The company’s policies and procedures reflect industry good-practice and comply with The British Standard for organising and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities outside of the UK (BS8848). World Challenge also holds a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge for overseas expeditions.
In 2014 World Challenge worked with around 500 schools globally (across 25 countries) and engaged with approximately 15,000 students and 1,200 teachers.
It has regional global offices in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, North America and South Africa to enable them to give a localised and personal service to schools, while drawing on worldwide resources and working to exacting safety standards.