Setting safer standards: what is ISO 31030 and why is it important?

Setting safer standards: what is ISO 31030 and why is it important?

Last week, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) published its new global standard for travel risk management: ISO 31030. This is currently the only globally approved, universally recognised travel risk management standard. But what exactly is ISO 31030 and how will it affect corporations and travel risk managers?


What do you need to know?

The ISO develops international standards for products and services around the world ensuring they are efficient, safe, and secure. The new standard for travel risk management – ISO 31030 – provides guidance for organisations, both large and small, on how they can better protect the safety and security of their traveling employees. The standards are set regardless of the organisations’ sector and irrespective of whether the travel is international or not.

The standard, which builds upon the well-established ISO 31000 risk management standard, helps corporations understand and assess travel-related risk factors, and provides information on how to address and communicate them. This includes anticipating any potential risks, understanding how risks can differ by destination and being prepared for any logistical challenges.


What are the risks?

Some of the biggest risks posed to travelling employees occur in accommodation. No matter the type of accommodation, travelling employees can be faced with unfamiliar situations and environments that have different risk profiles. These include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, epidemics, theft, cybercrime, terrorism, or political and social instability.

In essence – any sort of crime, conflict or emergency that could potentially threaten the safety, security, and health of travellers should be considered and assessed so the risks can be minimised. The mental wellbeing of employees should also be considered during assessment.


Why is ISO 31030 important?

Prioritising the health and safety of employees has become a key focus in the wake of the pandemic, highlighting the importance of being prepared for any type of risk. ISO 31030 is placing new obligations on organisations and employers to protect their travelling employees, setting a benchmark for best practice.

It is crucial for corporations and travel risk managers to meet their duty of care to their employees, primarily, of course, for the safety and confidence of the employees during their travels, but also to reduce the legal and financial risk. Equally, it is important for corporations to be able to demonstrate they are adhering to ISO 31030 and regularly assessing and managing potential risks associated with travel.


How can you ensure compliance?

ISO 31030 has taken four years to come to fruition and covers all aspects of travel. Therefore, taking the time to understand what actions and processes need to be implemented to ensure compliance with the new guidelines is an important first step.

Robust Travel Risk Policy Assessments are essential in complying with duty of care obligations. Assessments should cover all types of risk and consider that risk profiles can change frequently. GSA’s ISO 31030 Readiness Assessment and Audit supports organisations to review and strengthen their policies in line with the new standard, as well as identify any potential risk areas that need addressing.

Choosing the right accommodation for your employees is fundamental in helping to minimise risk. GSA’s independent assessment of programme hotels ensures the venues selected by organisations have sturdy policies and procedures to keep travelling employees safe and secure.

Travel risk management training – based on the new ISO 31030 standard – can also greatly help educate and inform organisations on how they can improve risk management for their travelling employees. That is why GSA has created a foundation training course to help organisations understand the scope of the new ISO 31030 standard and advise on how to become compliant.

For more information on our training courses, including GSA’s bootcamp in collaboration with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), click here.