Terms & Conditions

To avoid disappointment or misunderstanding GapArt requires its selected volunteers to be clear about particular terms and conditions that concern the time they spend with GapArt overseas. Please read the following document carefully. Unless specific issues are raised before paying the deposit it will be assumed that you agree and comply with these terms and conditions.

1) Booking arrangements

Return your completed application to us. We will endeavour to interview you within a week of receiving this. If you are selected to be a GapArt volunteer the placement on your chosen project can only be reserved from the time that we receive your deposit. This will be non-refundable. Confirmation of your acceptance must be done in writing. Volunteers must be over the age of 18 to participate in a project. If you are under 18 at the time of booking the letter of acceptance must be signed by a parent or legal guardian, and their relationship to you should be stated. The payment of the deposit will be deemed to be an acceptance by you and your legal guardian of our terms and conditions.

All volunteers regardless of age will need to be cleared by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2) Project cost

The invoice that you receive when you are accepted onto a GapArt project will indicate the total cost for the project in respect of the time period chosen by you. GapArt reserves the right to increase the price of your project to the extent that:

Transportation costs increase – international & local, compulsory taxes are levied or dramatic changes in currency exchange rates alter outside our control or there is an increased cost in maintaining volunteer support on the project.

In this unlikely event, the UK office would always inform you and explain any changes in this regard. From the moment that your invoice is paid in full GapArt will try not to make any additional alterations. From this moment your money is safeguarded by our insurers. GapArt cannot act as bankers to volunteers and will not lend money to volunteers when overseas.

3) Liability for payment and age of volunteers

If you are over 18 you are responsible for the total cost of your project. If you are under 18 at the time of booking the parent or legal guardian who signed the above letter (paragraph 1) is responsible for the payment and compliance with these terms and conditions. If we do not receive any of the staggered payments by the due dates, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled. To avoid this volunteers should keep the UK office informed of any difficulties with payments.

4) Accuracy of information

We take every care to ensure that the accuracy of information we provide is detailed and correct. All information is given in good faith and believed to be correct at the time of being made public. We are committed to advising all volunteers of any changes in either the projects, transport or accommodation as soon as they become known to us. Flights and other modes of transport are particularly outside our control. We consider it important to brief volunteers and hold a pre-departure briefing prior to departure. Important up to date aspects about your project and any logistical changes are explained at this briefing. We place great importance on this. If you do not attend it we will not be responsible for misunderstandings or disappointments that may arise. GapArt seeks to offer all volunteers a rewarding and fulfilling time but it should be recognised that individual experiences and the perception of conditions on your project are subjective and will vary according to expectations of individual volunteers. We urge volunteers to make contact with returned volunteers and to read evaluations which are detailed on our website. We cannot accept responsibility for an individuals’ expectations not being met.

5) Personal changes and amendments

We do our best to cater for any personal circumstances which necessitate an amendment to your booking. However, any costs, including administrative costs, which are incurred as a result of these changes must be met by the volunteer.

6) Cancellation and early departure from project

If you wish to cancel a booking you must do so in writing. Your deposit will not be returned. Any additional money that you might have paid may be refundable if 90 days notice is given and if GapArt can find a person to replace you on the project. The amount of refund will depend on whether or not expenses have already been incurred on your behalf. If the reason for your cancellation is covered by the insurance and you have taken out the policy that we recommend you may be entitled to compensation (less the excess charge and less the deposit). We will reserve your project place for an agreed period of time and you will be expected to volunteer for the whole of this agreed period. If you leave your project early GapArt will not be able to give you a refund unless there are exceptional circumstances.

7) Insurance

It is the responsibility of every volunteer to take out travel insurance. You will not be permitted to participate in any GapArt activities without it. You are responsible for checking that the details such as dates of the policy are accurate and for making sure the policy is in place before you leave the UK. Volunteers with professional qualifications working on projects pertinent to their profession must have their own professional indemnity insurance. GapArt have a good relationship with a specialised insurance broker and can offer volunteers guidance if required.

8) Excursions and free time

Many volunteers travel for a period of time before their project, after completing their project and occasionally for free periods in the midst of their project. The overseas coordinator would expect volunteers to let them know of any travel itineraries but do not accept any responsibility for incidents or accidents during periods of independent travel. During your free time you may participate in excursions and week end activities. GapArt can provide guidance and can help organise these. We may also arrange a trip as part of your familiarisation programme. However we only act as an agent of the actual supplier and not a principal. The UK and overseas office are committed to helping volunteers during their placements but cannot offer them support when they are not engaged in project.

9) Amendment by us

We try to never change your project but reserve the right to do so where, in our opinion, circumstances require it.

The countries in which we operate are not as stable as the UK. Due to their nature our projects cannot be guaranteed. Our country representative makes every effort to monitor and secure the status of all listed projects. The details of an individual’s programme and placement may be subject to change at short notice for reasons outside our control. Volunteers will be informed of these changes as soon as possible. A refund will not be provided if a change is made.

We may be required to change your project by reason of Force Majeure, meaning unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of GapArt. If this happens GapArt will endeavour to make suitable alternative arrangements.

10) Cancellation by GapArt

We expect only to cancel a volunteer’s booking in extreme circumstances . If we do have to cancel it we expect the volunteer(s) concerned to agree to accept an alternative project which will be as similar to the original project as possible, or an alternative departure date. Failing our ability to find another project all money less the deposit will be returned. Your project placement may also be cancelled by GapArt in-country if volunteers behave in a way which the UK or overseas representative of GapArt deem to be improper, illegal or dangerous, and thereby endangering other volunteers, and the good will and reputation of the organisation. If you behave inappropriately, do not perform reasonable duties expected of a volunteer or cannot cope with the demands of the project and or host country you may also be requested to leave the project and return to the UK. You would however be given full and proper warning of this in advance. You would be expected to meet all costs involved in the dismissal and repatriation .

11) Accommodation

During your time overseas you will be staying either with a local, host family, in a volunteer house rented by GapArt for the use of volunteers or in a selected guesthouse. GapArt will endeavour to make sure that this accommodation is suitable and safe and whenever possible provide you with details of it prior to your departure from the UK. Due to local constraints conditions may be rustic, compatible with local standards and not comparable to those found in the UK. Standards of health and safety are unlikely to conform to British standards. The GapArt experience is about volunteering in challenging conditions and not comparable to an overseas tourist holiday. Equally with food, depending on what accommodation arrangements are made for specific volunteers you will be given meals by host families or be expected to buy and cook your own food if living in a volunteer house. Money for this will be given to volunteers on a weekly basis in-country. The amount given is considered adequate to eat healthy and full meals and is comparable to the allowance given to host families.

12) Language, professional and academic expectations

Volunteers sometimes participate in GapArt projects specifically to learn a foreign language, enhance their careers or obtain professional and academic experiences. GapArt will always try to place volunteers accordingly and give them full exposure to relevant activities. When we select projects in consultation with volunteers we will take these requirements into careful consideration and try to place you accordingly. However, GapArt cannot guarantee that these expectations will be met, not least because the nature of your project will depend on your energy, level of commitment and personal relationships that will build up as the project develops. We will not provide compensation if they are not met.

13) International flights

The GapArt charge does not include the cost of flights. International flights are recommended by GapArt through an ATOL and ABTA registered agency and volunteers pay them directly. We are flexible with your departure and return dates but prefer to send you out together as we have found this enhances volunteers’ experiences and espirit de corps. GapArt can offer flight advice and make provisional bookings but you will be responsible for confirming the details. This allows you to return on the date of your choice.

14) Our liability

We will endeavour to ensure that all aspects of your project are safe. Your booking however is accepted on the understanding that you appreciate the possible risks inherent in overseas work and travel. We will not accept responsibility for any injury or illness that you might experience whilst on your project.

A part of your project will utilise transportation such as flights, buses and private vehicles. The relevant transport company’s conditions of carriage will apply directly and do not form part of the contract between you and GapArt. We undertake to use our skill and judgement in the preparation of your project, the choice of providers of services, equipment and accommodation. We do not accept liability for the actions or omissions of third party providers of any services, transport, housing and / or equipment. We do not accept any responsibility if you suffer death or injury from an activity which is not part of your project.

The amount of compensation we will pay you for any default by us will be limited to a reasonable amount having regard to the price of your project. In no event will any claim exceed such price. Any claim must also take into consideration the cost of items such as insurance, administration, accommodation which do not form a direct part of your ‘project’. The cost of such items cannot be refunded in the form of compensation. Compensation will never be paid for items that can be claimed through your travel insurance policy. If you take out your own policy you should check that it provides adequate cover.

15) Your liability to us

Check the details of your project, our terms and conditions and also that we have interpreted your instructions  accurately. The projects listed on our website are run independently of GapArt and are not managed by GapArt. We can therefore only offer guidelines about your role. Prior to departure you should contact previous volunteers and contact the in country project manager to verify your duties. GapArt have good knowledge of the projects but are not liable for the activities and duties that volunteers may be asked to perform. You must be particularly clear about the dates you wish to travel. You must ensure that you notify us in writing of any changes that you wish to make. You must also notify us of any special personal requirements, particularly medical.

Volunteers are personally responsible for any damage or injury they cause to third party possessions or persons, (as they would be as adults wherever they are in the world).

16) Private, hired and public transport

GapArt strongly discourage volunteers from hiring or borrowing cars or motorbikes whilst overseas. We accept no responsibility for accidents that may occur as a result of using such vehicles. If mopeds or motorbikes are used it is compulsory to wear good quality crash helmets even though this may not be a legal requirement in the host country. GapArt do not own or lease vehicles. Travel that may be undertaken in a local vehicle including public transport is done so at your own risk.

17) Complaints

Any serious deficiency in your project should be reported immediately to your project supervisor and as soon as possible to a GapArt Trustee. Failure to do this will extinguish your right to claim compensation. Compensation will only be considered if remedial action is not taken by the supervisor. In the unlikely event of the problem not being resolved while you are on your project, the matter should be taken up with us within 28 days of the end of your project. After that time we regret that we are unable to guarantee any further investigation into the matter. Correspondence regarding a complaint will only be entered into with the volunteer initiating the complaint and with no third party acting on your behalf. There is a procedure for complaints.

18) Health & fitness

You will need to be healthy and fit to undertake a GapArt project. If you are not physically or mentally fit enough to work on your project we reserve the right to remove you from it. If an alternative cannot be provided you may be asked to leave the GapArt programme without compensation. You must inform both GapArt and your travel insurance company in writing of any pre-existing medical condition prior to departure. You may be asked to pay an insurance excess fee to cover the condition or you may be asked to take out a special policy at an extra cost to yourself. GapArt must see a copy of this policy prior to your departure. The GapArt policy does not cover you for pre-existing conditions without special agreement. We offer medical support to volunteers but are not liable for difficulties that may arise as a result of ill health. You may be asked to leave our programme at your own cost if you do not tell us of pre-existing conditions prior to departure from the UK.

19) Passports and visas

You must be in possession of a full, current passport valid for at least six months after the end of your project. You may also need a visa and work permit. Volunteers who extend their project once overseas can only do so if they are granted an appropriate visa. You will be asked to pay an in-country visa extension fee and you must meet this cost. GapArt will provide guidance and documentation to support your visa application in the UK. Our overseas co-ordinator will help you with your visa renewal when abroad. GapArt cannot be held responsible or intervene if a host country refuse a visa application or renewal. Volunteers are independently responsible for making sure their visas are current and valid. GapArt can be of limited assistance if a visa expires. We will not pay for any fines that may be incurred as a result of such an irregularity.

You are responsible for letting GapArt have your name, date of birth and passport number. This information will be used for all bookings. If you provide us with incorrect details you will be liable for the cost of any alterations.

20) Photography and publicity

GapArt staff regularly take pictures of the projects and volunteers. GapArt reserves the right to use images taken during project activities. It is hoped that volunteers will co-operate in this and enjoy being part of the growing image-bank of volunteers who have enjoyed GapArt projects. We also encourage volunteers to write evaluations. Unless a request is made to the contrary we reserve the right to use these on the GapArt website publicity material.

21) Departure from GapArt projects

Many volunteers choose to travel following their time on their designated projects. GapArt cannot be responsible for any aspect of ‘ex-volunteers’ activities or travel once anyone has left their projects. This applies for the whole period between the end of their project and the date you choose to return to the UK. Equally you will need to be responsible for your own visas and legal status after the last day of your project unless you are returning to the UK directly.

Should volunteers travel independently at week ends or breaks from normal project work you must inform your project manager and GapArt co-ordinator of your itinerary. At these times you travel at your own risk. Money will never be given to volunteers for periods of independent travel or time taken away from a project including the costs of food, accommodation & transport . This expense will be met by the volunteer in addition to the total cost of the project.

22) Communication

GapArt will endeavour to keep volunteers informed about any possible changes to their projects. Volunteers must recognise that they have a moral obligation to their project. As such they should keep GapArt informed about any changes that may effect their commitment. GapArt will always communicate directly with a volunteer and not through a parent, legal guardian or any other third party. Volunteers must keep the UK office up to date with any changes of address or changes of contact details. Volunteer information is safeguarded by the Data Protection Act. We reserve the right however to contact next of kin in emergency situations. Many volunteers like to be put in touch with other volunteers. Please inform us if you do not wish your contact details to be circulated to other volunteers.

This document is deemed to be accurate at the time of writing. GapArt reserve the right to periodically up date these terms and conditions. This document supersedes all other GapArt documents such as the brochure and website.