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Travel Risk Management (TRM)

Why is TRM important?

People travelling on business, whether international or domestic, can be faced with unfamiliar situations that have different risk profiles to those of their normal location. Natural disasters, disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, terrorist attacks, civil conflict, crime and cyber threats can threaten the safety, security and health of travellers.

Travel risk management (TRM) requires organizations to anticipate and assess the potential for events, develop treatments and communicate anticipated risk exposures to their travellers as part of their “duty of care” to their employees.

What is ISO 31030?

When it comes to risk management, travel is a largely unregulated domain. The release of the first guidance for the travel industry in September 2021 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), creates a framework to guide organisations in managing travel risks. It has significant implications for company travel managers, TMCs and anyone involved in planning, delivering or taking business trips.

ISO developed a global standard for Travel Risk Management (TRM), ISO 31030. The guidelines are built on the well-established ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard and set out best practices for managing the risks associated with corporate travel.

The primary objective of ISO 31030 is to “promote a culture where travel-related risk is taken seriously, resourced adequately and managed effectively.” It provides a structured approach to the development, implementation, evaluation and review of:

  • policy;

  • programme development;

  • threat and hazard identification;

  • opportunities and strengths;

  • risk assessment;

  • prevention and mitigation strategies.

The standard is designed to reduce organisational biases by creating a singular policy under one owner that is risk-based. Examples of how this can benefit an organisation:

  • Reduce legal and financial vulnerability for travel to high-risk locations

  • Improve employee confidence in travel-related health, safety and security arrangements

  • Demonstrate the organisation’s ability to control its travel-related risks effectively and efficiently

Why was ISO 31030 created?

ISO31030 was developed to address increased levels of anxiety about travel risk. At the time of inception, there was a growing perception that travel risk had increased, due to increased media reporting and a general feeling that risk was intensifying. These feelings were heightened by the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.

How should I approach ISO 31030?

ISO31030 is not absolute^ and should be used as a way of identifying opportunities to improve an organisation’s current travel risk management strategy. An organisation can work with their TMC to develop a plan to address this. ISO 31030 should be part of a wider project to integrate TRM travel risk management with wider risk management systems such as HR, IT and legal etc.

^ Subject to change with or without notice.

Travel Risk Management Companies

In addition to the platform’s Duty of Care and Traveller Tracking features available, engaging a Travel Risk Management (TRM) company to provide an organisation’s in-depth Prevent, Monitor and Respond approach may be considered.

The following is a selection of TRM companies, though others do exist.

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