Search
Close this search box.

Code of practice

Involvement and inclusion

The GA Annual Conference is intended to be a safe space designed to encourage the sharing of professional knowledge and ideas. We take our attendees’ welfare and safety seriously and support delegates of all backgrounds, needs and interests to feel safe and get fully involved in Conference. This code of practice exists in addition to a number of policies – including equal opportunities, inclusion and safeguarding – and terms and conditions which can all be found on the GA website.

Behaviour

  • We expect everyone who attends Conference to behave professionally and to treat everyone equally and respectfully. These recommendations on behaviour extend equally to all attendees: delegates, presenters, visitors, exhibitors and staff.
  • While you may not agree with everything that you hear, we ask delegates to listen to others’ views and to engage constructively with them.
  • We encourage delegates to tweet about the Conference using #GAConf24 and engage in discussion on the GA Conference website, but expect that delegates will behave professionally in the online space as they do in the physical space. Our online spaces are monitored by GA staff to remove offensive and discriminatory content.
  • Discrimination, harassment, bullying and patronising behaviours have no place within the GA. Any allegation or complaint will be treated seriously and investigated thoroughly. The GA has a duty of care to all involved and will ensure that any investigation is carried out fairly, confidentially and professionally.

Ways you can help us:

  • Ensure that you behave in a professional way, treating everyone equally and with dignity and respect.
  • Be an active bystander and support fellow attendees. Read this outline from the University of Cambridge, or watch this short clip from the University of East Anglia to find out what this means.
  • If you have any concerns about behaviour, experience disrespectful or discriminatory speech or actions, please talk in confidence to someone at the GA Registration desk who will deal with the situation discreetly.

Accessibility

The Universities we choose for our conferences all have level or ramped access available and lifts to all floors. Braille lift controls, induction loops in lecture theatres and mini-com facilities at key locations are all provided to help you access the building.

  • The University of Manchester has partnered with AccessAble to produce a number of access guides which signpost accessible routes around City Campus. Specific guidance for University Place can be found here.
  • We designate a Retreat Space at each of the venues we visit for Conference. This is to allow delegates to step away from the conference to rest and reflect and is separate from social spaces. We also provide quiet space for those feeling unwell or wishing to breastfeed in private.
  • Though the World Health Organisation has declared Covid-19 to no longer be a global health emergency, we appreciate that any number of our attendees may wish or need to wear a mask for the duration of the conference, and support them to do so.

Ways you can help us:

  • Please get in touch with staff at the GA Registration desk if you need any help or support. We will advise you and direct you to the appropriate space.
  • Be sensitive to other delegates’ needs. Not all access needs are visible. 

Religious observance

The dates of the GA Conference often coincide with both Ramadan and Holy Week.

  • We work with our venues to ensure there are allocated prayer spaces available for all faiths. 

Ways you can help us:

  • If you are leading a session, please be sensitive to the fact that some people may need to leave the room during your session to pray.
  • During break periods be conscious of the fact that some attendees may be fasting.

Supporting new attendees

We appreciate that arriving at Conference as a new attendee, whether you are a delegate or presenter, can be daunting. To support you on your first visit to our conference, we have put activities in place specifically for new attendees.

  • When you arrive at the conference head straight for the GA welcome desk, where a host of friendly staff will guide you to where you need to be and make recommendations for any requirements you may have.
  • We have arranged a number of face-to-face and online social events throughout Conference so that delegates have the opportunity to meet new people and network. These need to be booked separately, so make sure you have done this well in advance of arriving.
  • You can pick up an ‘I’m new to #GAConf’ sticker at our welcome desk and identify other delegates visiting for the first time by their badges. 

Ways you can help us:

  • Write your X (formerly Twitter) handle on your badge along with your name. People might not know you in real life, but may recognise you from social media.
  • Make an effort to talk to people that you haven’t spoken to before – particularly if they are sporting an ‘I’m new to #GAConf’ sticker!’

Sustainability

Whilst Conference is an important opportunity for professional development, it’s also important that it doesn’t negatively impact on the local environment and is as carbon neutral and sustainable as possible.

Reducing paper usage

  • In 2017, we stopped sending out printed delegate packs in the post instead transitioning to using email for all Conference communications. This reduces paper waste and hopefully makes the booking process easier for our delegates.
  • We have stopped providing printed tickets for evening events. When you book for an evening event, your name is added to the list and all you need to do is provide your name at the door.
  • We no longer produce and send out a printed programme of Conference sessions prior to the event. 
  • We use previous delegate figures to predict the number of Conference Handbooks needed. These are printed on responsibly sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Any leftover Handbooks are recycled. 
  • You can view the programme online on the GA website from December. If you’re happy to do this rather than having a physical Handbook, just say so at the registration desk.

Ways you can help us:

  • Think about whether you need to print any emails from the GA. You should receive a final delegate confirmation a week or so before the Conference. Please consider whether you need to print this email or whether you can view it on a device.
  • View the Conference programme on the GA website on your personal device.
  • If you are a speaker, aim to minimise the number of handouts and printed materials you give to delegates during a session
  • Put any paper rubbish in the recycling bins at the venue.

Conference lanyards and badges

  • All our Conference lanyards are made from recycled plastic and are recyclable. We reuse lanyards each year which means we only order a small number of new ones.

Ways you can help us:

  • Take care of your lanyard and badge and return them to staff at the end of the Conference.
  • Bring your own lanyard if you wish.

Refreshments and lunch

We recognise that people are increasingly considering the environment in their food choices.

  • No red meat will be served at the Conference this year but choices for those wishing to eat meat, vegetarian and vegan options are available at lunch alongside halal, non-dairy and gluten-free options.
  • Milk is no longer provided in sachets, instead fresh milk is provided at our refreshment stations in the exhibition areas.
  • The cups provided at refreshment stations are reusable or compostable.
  • Instead of providing bottles of water and disposable cups in session rooms, water fountains are available in the corridors close to sessions.

Ways you can help us:

  • Please let us know in advance if you have a dietary requirement or would like a vegan meal. Vegetarians are always catered for at GA events but please let us know your preference so we can avoid food waste.
  • Put any rubbish in the correct recycling bin or give it back to the catering staff.
  • Bring your own travel mug and water bottle to Conference.

Travelling to Conference

The Conference is an important professional development opportunity and we encourage as many people from across the country (and the world) to come as possible, however the impact of travel is significant.

  • We encourage delegates to use public transport to get to Conference where possible. Further details about how to get to the venue using public transport can be found on the Conference pages of our website.

Ways you can help us:

  • Use public transport or car share where possible.
  • Find a travel buddy in your area using the GAConf hashtag on social media.

Giving back

The community of geographers and teachers that attend Conference is what makes it so special and it’s important to welcome new people to the community as much as possible. This spreads the message of the GA’s charitable work and helps us towards our goal of furthering geographical knowledge and understanding through education.
  • We give back by ensuring all student members can attend the Conference free of charge.
  • We also provide grants through the GA Initiatives Fund to support geography teachers overseas and in socially or economically deprived areas to attend the Conference.
Ways you can help us:
  • Donate to the GA’s Initiatives Fund.
  • Continue to attend Conference and spread the word about Conference and the GA as much as possible whether that be in person or online.
  • Make sure your membership is up to date. Our members support us in supporting others.

Further ways you can help us

  • Please give feedback on the sustainability measures described in this code of practice in the Conference feedback form circulated after the event. This is the best way to let us know your suggestions so we can collate them and feedback to the venue and adjust our practices for future conferences.

Official 2024 Conference sponsors

Become a member

GA membership provides specialist support and expert advice for geography teaching

Geography Quality Marks

Register for the 2025 Quality Mark before 31 July and receive a 20% discount off your fee

Geographical model making competition

Encourage your pupils to get involved and explore their creativity and geographical knowledge by creating a 3D model. Entries close 31 July 2024