14 Oct Using ISO 31030 to Tackle Travel Risk Management
Hosted by Justin Morris from Traxo, we participated in a webinar to provide travel risk managers and travel managers with an update on ISO 31030 and to showcase the work done by corporate travel managers to address the challenges set by this new global standard. We were joined at the event by Benjamin Fischer from MagLaw, Laetitia Piroddi from PwC and Mukesh Sharma from FLSmidth.
To understand the level of knowledge attendees had on the standard, the webinar started with a poll. When asked the question “are you familiar with the ISO 31030 standard?”, 44 percent said they were unaware while 39 percent stated they knew about the standard but were keen to learn more. Only 16 percent felt they were very familiar with the standard.
Five key takeaways from our panel of experts
- An ever-changing standard in an ever-changing environment
The ISO 31030 standard was only published a year ago and more than 80 countries were active in its development. It was introduced due to the increased travel anxiety brought by the pandemic, increased travel threats that employees can face, and an increase in litigation globally. Hence, it is still evolving to meet the needs of today’s industry but marks an important moment for travel risk management (TRM).
- Corporations must be proactive instead of reactive
The standard equips organisations end to end, so they can adopt a proactive approach to TRM. GSA’s Director Robert Quick says the standard encourages corporates to integrate department activities such as HR, security, procurement, IT, legal, which contributes to safe travel.
Mukesh Sharma, Crisis and Security Manager at FLSmidth, commented that companies must ensure they are doing due diligence before agreeing to any decision to fulfil their duty of care. The proactive risk assessment strategy he has adopted at FLSmidth includes a thorough internal audit, followed by annual audits conducted by a third-party organisation. This strategy has enabled the company to overcome scenarios where their employees were exposed to potential threats when on business trips.
Laetitia Piroddi, Head of Travel Risk and Security Operations at PwC, has a similar proactive approach where her team first conducted a gap analysis before calling on GSA’s external and objective advise. Here we conducted our vigorous readiness assessment and audit which concluded with an analysis and recommendations on how to improve.
- Increased litigation for corporations
Although ISO 31030 is a guidance standard, it can still hold legal repercussions. A legal body or regulator can explore whether companies are using best practice if their employees’ safety is being compromised. Benjamin Fischer, Partner at MagLaw, advised companies to adhere to the standard because if they do not, they may be perceived to have ignored an important industry standard.
Benjamin explained that, outside of a company fulfilling its duty of care, it is important for companies to have procedures in place so a third-party can see that they are trying to do the right thing in a world where risks are heightened, and more focus is put on the employer.
- Outsource where it matters
Both PwC and FLSmidth outsourced TRM to expert third parties. Travelling to places deemed high risk can limit business growth opportunities, so investing in best practice pays dividends to the business. Laetitia highlighted the assistance third-party organisations provide in ensuring employee safety is accounted for.
- A fine line between privacy and duty of care
Digital tracking has a part to play in monitoring the safety of employees while on business trips, especially when travelling to high-risk countries. The ISO 31030 standard takes this into consideration, but companies have a responsibility to do this as transparently as possible. Robert advised that companies ask employees to fill in consent forms before they travel and inform them why monitoring is in their own interest. Benjamin added that effective travel risk management should include policies to protect employee data and ensure their privacy is still met.