The end of September saw the launch of the new International Standard for Travel Risk Management (TRM), ISO31030, which is designed to act as a framework of good practice.
According to the International Standards Organisation (ISO), it gives ‘guidance to organisations on how to manage the risk(s) to the organisation and its travellers as a result of undertaking travel’. But what does this mean in reality to those responsible for the management of travel risk?
Bringing order to risk management
Essentially, the standard provides a structured approach to the whole area of travel risk management. ISO3130 will allow companies to take an effective approach to the risks faced when travelling, and can be used as guidance to ensure they are on track in protecting their staff and identifying new threats as they emerge.
It’s certainly a comprehensive document and it provides guidance on policy, programme
development, threat and hazard identification, risk assessment, as well as prevention and mitigation strategies, which could be daunting to those new to the world of travel risk management. However, this doesn’t need to be the case.
With over two decades experience of working in travel risk, I have learned that the best policies are those that are neither complicated, onerous or expensive. What is needed is a practical approach, which is easily communicated to all those involved in reducing risk
A standard is not a legal device
For those concerned about their legal obligations, it’s important to note that the standard is not a legal document and therefore there’s no requirement, in law, to comply with it. In fact, there is no process to gain compliance, which organisations should be aware of. This standard, if used correctly, will enhance travel safety, but it shouldn’t be used as a stick to force companies into engaging the services of expensive consultants to attain compliance.
There is no compliance requirement, despite there being a lot of talk of using ‘accredited partners’ to protect yourself from litigation. This is a scaremongering tactic for the purpose of profiteering. Many companies will have adequate in-house resources to work through the standard and ensure it’s the right fit for their operating model and, where they need advice, there are plenty of free online training sessions available where they can ask questions and receive guidance from genuine travel risk management experts.
There’s little doubt that ISO31030 will provide a robust framework to help keep travellers safe, as well as enhancing existing travel risk management procedures. Given the current climate, it couldn’t have been published at a better time, and rather than inhibit the ability to travel, the new standard will actually enhance it. At a time when traveller confidence
has been so badly shaken, I can say with absolute certainty that safety sells. This standard provides the springboard to a new safer era of corporate travel.