International Risk Management Policy. Download by clicking here.
The John Paul II Project, Inc.
This Guide describes the John Paul II Project’s International Risk Management Policy. It is intended to give the reader an understanding of the Policy, what it covers, and how it works. It is also intended as an instructional manual to follow in operating John Paul II Project Programs.
Risks, by definition, are probabilistic, somewhat subjective and based on the experience and knowledge of the person(s) assessing the risk. An identified risk may or may not occur. An unforeseen risk may unexpectedly occur – there is a first time for every situation. Resiliency is also a subjective state converging on an ideal. No system, process or organization can be considered 100.0% resilient or risk-free. The Program, and this Guide, do not ensure that every risk has been identified, or that an identified risk will occur, or that a risk not identified will not occur, or that plans will completely mitigate any risk or be successfully executed during a particular situation. This Program and Guide do ensure that best commercial efforts at The John Paul II Project, Inc are made to mitigate and manage events impacting participants, staff and volunteers.
- The John Paul II Project is a Constituent Member of the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.
- The John Paul II Project is also a proud member of the FORUM on Education Abroad and our policies reflect the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad
The John Paul II Project has established a Risk Management Policy to ensure the safety and resiliency of its participants and staff, in keeping with God’s trust while maintaining good stewardship of His children. All programs and events shall adhere to this Policy.
All Program participants are required to follow all pre-program, during-program and post-program procedures. This includes sharing contact information, carrying proper identification and documentation with them at all times, reading any documentation provided, complying with staff and volunteer instructions and following proper procedures. Failure to follow Risk Management protocols may result in penalties, including dismissal from the Program and request to return home.
All Staff, Volunteers and Faculty shall also follow staff procedures for safely managing programs, including maintaining contact information at the home office, monitoring trip and class destinations and supplying guidance to participants. All Faculty members teaching for the John Paul II Project programs at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow shall be required to familiarize themselves with, and regularly review, these Risk Management policies and procedures.
The following procedures are required for participants prior to their arrival at the John Paul II Project residence:
- Participants must supply an emergency contact from home or other domicile not local to the John Paul II Project, including name, mobile phone, home phone, email and physical address. Participants will specify the language of the emergency contact. This is completed upon application to the program.
- Participants consent to being registered by the John Paul II Project into the US State Department’s STEP Program. This is standard practice for every John Paul II Project program
- Participants are required to confirm they have reviewed and understood the Travel Resiliency document
- Participants are required to follow all John Paul II Project rules and guidance, while at the residence, on trips or other venues, between the time of departure from the US (or other residence location) to their return
The following procedures are required for participants upon arrival at the John Paul II Project residence:
- Participants must participate in the Orientation Week’s Travel Resiliency and Residence Safety session (this includes participation in the fire drills).
- Participants are not required to have a mobile phone that is compatible with local networks but are encouraged to do so, or to purchase a local SIM card for use during their stay at the Project
- Participants are not required to but are encouraged to share the GPS location of their phone with a trusted family member or friend back home, as well as with the John Paul II Project on-site staff
The following procedures are required for participants prior to embarking on a trip:
- Participants must provide contact information, including mobile phone number, home phone, email address and physical address.
- Participants are encouraged to research the trip destinations, not only for religious information but for the local political situation, recent news, and cultural information including etiquette and do’s/don’ts
- Participants are required to carry the John Paul II Project Information Card with them at all times
- Participants will be handed Important Contact Cards (ICCs) for the destinations on the trip. Participants are required to keep these on their persons at all times (not in their luggage).
The following procedures are required for participants during a trip:
- Participants are required to be attentive to and follow directions of John Paul II Project staff.
- Participants are required to keep their ICCs on their person at all times.
- Participants are to remain with the group. Individual ‘off’ time may be granted by John Paul II Project staff at their discretion.
- During any ‘off’ time, participants must travel in groups of at least two. No ‘solo’ off time is permitted
- Participants are encouraged to carry a local map of the destination and/or travel guide (Michelin, Rick Steves, or similar). These guides contain invaluable information on transportation options, local customs and other important facts.
- If a student(s) become separated from the group, they are to attempt to contact the John Paul II Project staff as soon as practical using the contact info on their ICC. If they do not carry local-enabled phones, they are to attempt to borrow one or solicit help from local law enforcement or other responsible official parties (not any local who ‘is happy to help’, as that may be a scam).
The following procedures are required for participants upon completion of their stay at the John Paul II Project:
- Participants will ensure that all paperwork is completed prior to departure.
- Participants will ‘check in’ with John Paul II Project staff upon safe arrival at their destination.
For Staff, Volunteers and Faculty
The following procedures are required for all Staff and Volunteers at the John Paul II Project, as well as all Faculty members at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow teaching students of the John Paul II Project programs:
- The John Paul II Project provides instructions on maintaining safety and security, both in briefings, in documentation, in signage and other means.
- Emergency contact information must be posted at all times in the on-site office and participant’s common area for quick access in the event of an emergency.
- The John Paul II Project staff must maintain and practice an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to prepare for handling such situations as they arise.
- The John Paul II Project maintains a group membership with the US Department of State STEP program. Staff regularly monitor STEP for news and important information.
- The John Paul II Project purchases Travel Insurance for all students in their study abroad programs.
- The John Paul II Project collects emergency information from participants upon acceptance into the program, including emergency contact information, and maintains such information until the student is discharged and safely at their US (or other resident) location.
- All Critical Incidents for study abroad students are to be recorded in the FORUM on Education Abroad’s Critical Incident Database (CID). A Critical Incident is defined as: “Any incident involving students who are participating in off-campus programs that prevent a student from participating for 24 hours or more should be reported. Incidents may be submitted at any time.”
Staff will adhere to the following procedures prior to beginning a trip:
- Staff will meet and discuss Risk Assessment of the political, weather, cultural and other situations for the destination(s) under consideration. Trips may be postponed or cancelled at Staff discretion.
- Staff will ensure that every student review and understand the Travel Resiliency guidance, John Paul II Project policy and other information prior to departure.
- Staff will maintain a roster of participants for each program.
- Staff will distribute John Paul II Project Information Cards, and ICCs in the appropriate language(s), prior to departure. Staff will provide participants with the appropriate information for their ICCs.
Staff will adhere to the following procedures during programs:
- Staff will conduct a morning briefing to apprise participants of the day’s itinerary, important information for the day, potential risks and meeting points, and other items prior to heading out.
- Staff will determine ‘meet points’ at significant points of interest and brief participants on ‘getting lost’ protocols, e.g. “When we go into the cathedral, if you get separated wait at the east entrance”.
- Staff will keep a mobile phone compatible with the trip destination and monitor it continuously. Staff will answer all calls, even from unknown numbers, as this may be a student using a borrowed phone or an official calling on a lost participant’s behalf. Staff will monitor John Paul II Project email as appropriate.
CoronaVirus Pandemic Policies and Procedures
The John Paul II Project continues to maintain the safety and security of all it’s participants, staff, volunteers and key-stakeholders throughout the duration of the “coronavirus pandemic”. We will ensure our mission continues to be carried out with critical analysis of all risk factors and methods of mitigating those risks, in compliance with local and national laws, and in consideration of The Forum on Education Abroad’s Guidelines For Conducting Education Abroad During COVID-19.
- “Participants” includes all students, volunteers, staff and professors, in sum, anyone who is participating in our program.
- Participants are encouraged to limit their travel and potential exposure to COVID-19 prior to arriving in any program.
- Prior to the beginning of programs, staff will review the Risk Management Policies, and engage in mock scenarios to better prepare for dynamic scenarios.
- Participants are encouraged to download the “Re-Open EU” app to help navigate local protocols regarding the pandemic.
- Each student’s travel insurance policy will cover COVID-related costs. Such coverage is mandatory for participation in our program overseas.
- All participants will follow current local and national guidelines to prevent contracting COVID-19. This will, in most cases, include the proper use of face masking, hand sanitizing and social distancing in public spaces.
- Participants will be debriefed as needed by the Program Directors on any updates to these requirements and risks regarding the pandemic.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms, or suspected exposure, participants will be required to be tested and appropriate actions immediately taken to mitigate the potential spread to others.
- In the event of one or more of our participants contracting COVID-19, the following measures will be taken to prevent the spread to other participants:
- Our residence in the JPII Center has a large capacity with many options for quarantining. If the participant is unable to quarantine in their own room, they can be moved to a reserve quarantine room within the building.
- All of the participants’ needs will, of course, be continued to be met and the participant’s condition monitored frequently by staff. This includes but is not limited to meals, hydration, academic, emotional and spiritual support.
- On-site Directors will notify the program Doctor and update him daily on the participants condition, and as symptoms progress to continuously evaluate the best plan of care.
- In the event the program Doctor advises treatment at a medical facility, the on-site director will coordinate with the doctor and arrange transportation.
- Any COVID-19 cases and symptoms will be immediately communicated to the Director of Operations in the US headquarters.
- The participants’ emergency contact on record, as well as the home institution of any students form affiliated schools, will be notified by the Director of Operations in any serious case, and will be updated of any significant events.
- As usual, any incident that prevents a student from participating in the program for 24 hours or more is reported in the Forum on Education Abroad’s Critical Incident Database (https://forumea.org/cid).
- The JP2 Project will maintain close communication with the academic provider (UPJP2) to maintain academic continuity.
For a comprehensive outline of information (such as updates, protocol and support) regarding COVID-19 & Poland, please see the government website: https://pl.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Cancelation and Refund Policy
- In the event the program needs to be cancelled by May 11: full refund.
- In the event the program needs to be cancelled between May 12-June 4, students will be refunded:
- 30% if they continue with online learning to complete any or all of their courses
- 50% if they do not continue with online learning for the completion of their courses
- In the event the program needs to be cancelled between June 4-June 15, students will be refunded:
- 10% if they continue with online learning to complete any or all of their courses
- 20% if they do not continue with online learning for the completion of their courses
- If the program needs to be cancelled between June 15-June26, no refunds will be issued.
- Any expenses incurred due to COVID-19 are the responsibility of the student, not the JP2 Project. These include but are not limited to flights returning back to the USA, testing costs, medical bills, etc.