11 Feb Delivering traveller safety and security
This week, our Director Bob Quick was invited by The Institute of Travel Management (ITM) to speak at a webinar discussing the importance of traveller safety and security. Bob shared insights on ISO 31030 – the new standard for travel risk management, which he helped develop, that covers all aspects of corporate travel, including business accommodation.
Accommodation at the heart of travel risk management
When things go wrong with business travel, poor accommodation selection is often at the root. Travel and risk managers know this all too well. In a study conducted by ITM that surveyed travel manager priorities in 2020, traveller safety sat at the top of the agenda, ahead of budget control, traveller wellbeing, and offering an enhanced travelling experience. The International SOS Travel Risk Outlook from the same year also identified security threats (68 percent) as the most likely cause of modified itineraries, suggesting that accommodation providers need do more to offer peace of mind to potential guests.
Previously, this would mean submitting a request for proposal (RFP), a document that enables a company to identify business travel needs and invite potential solutions from travel management companies. But an RFP tick-box is much like marking your own homework – it simply is not efficient. Risk-based assessments and accreditation schemes, on the other hand, are far more objective. These are independently validated by experts, so travelling employees can feel confident that the accommodation they are staying in has adequate levels of security.
Therefore Bob, together with a leadership team made up of vastly experienced senior police officers, counter terrorism, military and international security experts, decided to pool their world-class expertise into delivering trusted accommodation accreditation. Its accreditation programme, issued by the UK government-approved qualifications body SFJ Awards, tests more than 130 elements of safety and security, and enables corporates to easily align with ISO 31030. The company also last year announced the acquisition of International Serviced Accommodation Accreditation Process (ISAAP), meaning that it can offer a one-stop shop for accreditation across the entire accommodation spectrum.
GSA’s accreditation programmes are designed to be pragmatic and supportive, ensuring an employee’s safety is fully accounted for. By offering this reassurance, companies can reduce the risk of litigation, increase employee confidence and productivity, and, with a renewable 12-month qualification, continually improve.
Risk management is not about finding someone to blame. It is about finding a solution that understands the many and ever-changing concerns of business travellers.
To find out more about ISO 31030, read the BSI Executive Summary available on the GSA website.