As part of a response to update its current global risk management guide, the International Organization for Standardization is responding to growing travel risks faced by organizations and their travelers, and further reinforced by the needs stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ISO 31030 Standardized Guide is expected to be published and available for distribution by end of 2021. It will become the new global benchmark for travel risk management to help organizations make the right decisions to support their employees within a framework of good practice guidance developed by a truly global community of experts.
The Guide is intended to standardize a global risk management travel approach, boosting internal assurance about the safety of travel, as well as improving employee’s confidence in travel. By utilizing the Guide to identify opportunities to improve your company’s risk management strategy, you will be demonstrating to your travelers that your organization is taking all necessary steps to mitigate travel risk.
According to sources, the Guide will be organized into 4 sections:
- Travel Risk Assessment
- Travel Risk Management
- Communication and Consultation
- Program Monitoring and Review
The standard is general enough to be applicable to any organization undertaking business travel, regardless of the size or nature of activities. ISO 31030 covers employees, providers and accompanying persons, and within these categories, distinctions are being made on the risk profile. Minors traveling without guardians will be covered in a dedicated annex. However, due to legal framework, students traveling as part of their studies or for an internship are not included. This Guide will not cover leisure travel or tourism.
The objective of the Guide is to promote a culture where travel-related risk is taken seriously, resourced adequately, and managed effectively. This should ensure that the benefits to the organization and relevant stakeholders are recognized and realized.
It will also provide Risk Managers with information to develop a streamlined, integrated and effective process as they work to meet the Duty of Care for traveling employees, and ensure preferred suppliers meet appropriate standards. Although not a legal standard, it is likely to become the benchmark for standards of travel risk management. Such benefits include:
- Protecting personnel, data, intellectual property and assets
- Reducing legal and financial exposure
- Enabling business in high risk locations
- Enhancing an organization’s reputation and credibility – leading to a positive effect on competitiveness, staff turnover and talent acquisition
- Improving worker confidence in travel-related health, safety and security arrangements
- Contributing to business continuity capability and organizational resilience
- Demonstrating the organization’s ability to control its travel-related risks effectively and efficiently – it can also help in lowering its insurance premiums
- Providing assurance to business partners – banks and investors will be more willing to finance its business
- Enabling the organization to meet customers’ expectations in terms of the security and stability of their supply chain
- Increasing general productivity
- Contributing to meeting sustainable development goals by strengthening the social dimension of sustainability
As we await the publication of the Guide, it is recommended that corporations begin to put in place the framework which will allow you to easily adopt the standards that align with your organization’s culture and approach to risk management.
- Defining ownership. Travel risk can sit across functions and ownership varies between organizations. Defining where it sits in your organization is a good place to start.
- Integrating risk management activities with wider organizational risk management capabilities. The security, risk management, HR, occupational health, health and safety, procurement and other departments, together with your TMC partner, can all add value to travel risk management.
- Recognizing the risk. As a corporation, part of your Duty of Care to travelers includes doing everything reasonable in your power to keep them safe and secure. In fact, more and more companies have faced litigation for failing to meet their duty of care as expectations rise. If you haven’t fully examined and planned for travel risks, you need to start today.
- Assessing the risks that travel creates. This will look vastly different based on your company’s sector, scale, travel patterns and risk appetite. Regardless, it is important that every organization has their eyes wide open on what could happen to their travelers during the normal course of travel and as a result of specific security incidents. Be sure to continually reassess as new threats evolve and new opportunities arise.
Once the new ISO 31030 Standardized Guide is published, Travel Incorporated will provide our clients with a summary of key aspects, along with the entire Guide for your information and consideration.