Pacific Discovery was voted one of the Top Gap Year Providers in 2021 for Safety!

What is Pacific Discovery’s safety record?

With our 20 years of operation and more than 100,000 student days in the field, we have an excellent safety record. Why is our safety record so good? Read all about our risk management processes here.

We have had our safety management systems assessed and accredited by the Gap Year Association, the Year Out Group (UK) and OutdoorsMark (New Zealand). Assessors have commented that our systems are among the best they have observed.

We even got voted as one of the Top Gap Year Providers for Safety by students on Go Overseas! Safety is something we pride ourselves on at Pacific Discovery, so it feels amazing to be recognized for the efforts we go through.

We have undergone and maintain comprehensive safety and programming accreditations with:

  • Gap Year Association (USA)
  • Year Out Group (UK)
  • OutdoorsMark (NZ)


We strive to set the bar for ‘best practice’ in the gap year and experiential education fields and ensure that all of our programs are held to the highest possible standards. This means that your son or daughter is assured to have a quality experience with us.

Learn More About Our Accreditations



We are members of:

  • Forum On Education Abroad - advancing best practice in the education abroad field
  • NAFSA - the National Association for International Educators 
  • IEE - the Institute of International Education 
  • Generation Study Abroad – the US government initiative to increase the opportunities for US students to study abroad 
  • Gap Year Association 
  • The Year Out Group 
  • Everyday Ambassadors - A network of people and organizations committed to community centered international education and exchange


We maintain:

  • An independently audited safety management system and sustainability policy.
  • Comprehensive public liability insurance.
  • Experienced and well-educated Program Instructors who hold relevant tertiary qualifications, Wilderness First Responder (WFR) first aid qualification, and are trained in our leadership, experiential education, facilitation, risk assessment and safety management systems.
  • A database of alumni who have travelled with us, and alumni families, and university and gap year advisors, who are happy to be contacted to discuss their (or their son or daughter's) experience with Pacific Discovery.
  • Program payments are held in a bank trust account till disbursement, meaning that in the event of financial default of Pacific Discovery, student program payments would be protected from creditors.

Did You Know?

  • Annually we run a number of customized programs for high school and university groups. Contact us if you are interested in an educational program for your students.
  • Our Directors speak at conferences and are on the ethics and standards committees for the Gap Year Association (GYA).
  • National Geographic nominated Pacific Discovery among the ‘top 100 travel companies on earth' in 2008 and again in 2009.