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By adhering to the international standard of ISO 31030, organizations enhance their ability to identify and respond to potential threats, safeguarding their employees as they travel for business.


Busy airport hub with travelers setting out on business trips.


Business travel plays a crucial role in corporate operations, and in today's world, ensuring the safety and security of employees during their journeys is a top priority. ISO 31030 serves as a practical guidebook for businesses looking to safeguard their personnel, offering internationally recognized methods and best practices. 

ISO 31030 is primarily intended for organizations and professionals engaged in travel risk management, including corporations, risk managers, travel management companies, security consultants, and relevant government agencies. These stakeholders use ISO 31030 as a guide to develop and implement effective measures for ensuring the safety of employees during business travel. 

To excel in this area, it's vital to collaborate with vendors and partners who are well-versed in ISO 31030, ensuring that your business can implement its practical strategies. 

What is ISO 31030?

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent international organization that develops and publishes standards to promote best practices across industries. These globally recognized standards provide guidelines and specifications for organizations to enhance their processes, products, and services. Organizations can choose to adopt ISO standards to improve efficiency, ensure consistency, meet regulatory requirements, and demonstrate their commitment to excellence. 

ISO 31030 is one such internationally recognized standard, released in 2021, that provides guidance on travel risk management processes. Travel risk management is a systematic approach to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks associated with business travel. It involves analyzing factors such as health and safety concerns, political instability, natural disasters, and cybersecurity threats. The objective is to minimize those risks and ensure the well-being of employees throughout their travels. 

Good travel risk management helps companies fulfill their legal, moral, and ethical responsibilities to protect their employees. This is also known as their “duty of care.” 

By adhering to ISO 31030, businesses can enhance their ability to identify and respond to potential threats, thereby safeguarding their employees as they travel the globe. From the corporate sector to non-profit groups to educational institutions, any organization that conducts international or domestic travel can consider implementing ISO 31030 as part of their overall risk management strategy. 

How ISO 31030 reduces travel risk

By following the guidelines laid out by ISO 31030, and/or by ensuring your vendors and partners do, you reduce travel risks and security concerns for employees across your organization. But how does this work? What are the actual, applied ways in which you can reduce travel risk for your employees?  

ISO 31030 and travel risk management in general cover these areas:

  • Risk identification: Conduct research, consult travel advisories, and consult with experts to gain insights and document potential risks (such as political instability or infrastructure quality). Use this research to inform decision-making and develop mitigation strategies.  
  • Crisis management planning: Develop a comprehensive crisis management plan that outlines the steps to be taken in case of emergencies such as natural disasters, political unrest, or disease outbreaks. Ensure employees are aware of the plan and have access to emergency contact information. 
  • Travel assistance: Provide employees with access to a reliable travel assistance program and on-the-ground providers that offer 24/7 support, including medical assistance, emergency evacuations, and travel security advice. 
  • Communication and check-ins: Establish regular communication channels with employees during their travels. Encourage them to check in with designated contacts and provide updates on their whereabouts. This allows for timely intervention in case of emergencies. 
  • Technology and tracking: Utilize travel management tools and technology that allow you to track employee travel itineraries, communicate important information, and provide real-time assistance if needed 
Keep in mind that where you or your team will travel to may dictate how much planning is necessary. For example, visits to more dangerous countries necessitate more diligent research, planning, and adherence.


ISO 31030 in practice: Event security


How does all of this come together in a real-world setting? Consider a practical application of ISO 31030 when planning for a corporate conference taking place in a foreign country.  

In adherence to ISO 31030, the event planning team works with the company’s security team and duty of care provider, who conduct a comprehensive risk assessment for the event location. They consider factors such as political stability, crime rates, health risks, and transportation challenges. Based on the assessment, they identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them, providing a full report to the event planning team. 

Guided by ISO 31030, the teams create a tailored travel policy for the event. This policy covers safe transportation options, recommended accommodations in secure areas, and protocols for navigating the host city. It also prioritizes personal safety, emphasizing situational awareness and avoiding high-risk areas. 

To ensure attendee safety, the event team integrates emergency preparedness measures into their plans. The security team and duty of care provider establish communication channels and protocols to keep attendees informed during the event. In alignment with ISO 31030, they collaborate with local authorities, medical services, and emergency responders to develop a coordinated response plan for potential emergencies.  

Comprehensive pre-event training is provided for attendees. This training covers important safety information, emergency procedures, and cultural sensitivities relevant to the event location. This education empowers the team to make informed decisions and minimize potential risks. 

Throughout the event, the team remains vigilant and monitors potential security concerns. They continuously assess the environment, receive real-time updates from their duty of care provider, and adapt their plans accordingly. Open communication provides them with necessary guidance and support during their stay. 

By integrating travel risk management principles into their event planning, this company demonstrates their commitment to ensuring attendee safety. Partnering with a duty of care provider enables them to proactively identify and address travel-related risks, implement effective risk mitigation strategies, and provide a secure environment for all participants. 

How to Start Utilizing ISO 31030 

Getting started with ISO 31030 typically involves a structured approach that may include the following steps: 

  1. Understand the standard: Begin by obtaining a copy of ISO 31030 and thoroughly reviewing its contents. ISO standards are typically available for purchase from national standards bodies or ISO's official website. Reading the standard is essential to grasp its requirements and recommendations.
  2. Training and education: Consider enrolling in training programs or courses related to ISO 31030. Various organizations and institutions offer workshops, seminars, and online courses that cover ISO standards and their practical application. Provide subsequent training and awareness programs for employees involved in travel risk management.
  3. Consultation: If your organization is serious about implementing ISO 31030, you may want to consider hiring consultants or experts in travel risk management and ISO standards. They can help you navigate the complexities of the standard, conduct a risk assessment, and develop tailored strategies for your organization.
  4. Policy development: Develop or update your organization's travel risk management policies and procedures in line with ISO 31030. This may involve creating a travel policy that addresses risk mitigation, safety measures, communication protocols, and more.
  5. Implementation: Put your travel risk management policies and procedures into practice. This includes integrating risk mitigation strategies, monitoring travel-related risks, and continuously improving your approach.

It's important to note that ISO standards are typically comprehensive and can be complex to implement. Therefore, it's often beneficial to seek guidance from experts or organizations that specialize in travel risk management and ISO standards compliance.

Enlisting a duty of care provider for your travel risk management needs

When employees and leaders for a business are on the move, certain companies will want to handle all the details of TRM internally. Others will look to third-party vendors—duty of care and security providers—with unimpeachable credentials to handle this responsibility. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether an employer should handle travel risk management in-house or outsource it to a third-party vendor. The decision will depend on various factors, including the size of the organization, the frequency of business travel, and the company's resources. 

That said, enlisting a duty of care provider such as Global Guardian can be a strategic and effective approach to enhance your travel risk management efforts. These providers specialize in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees during their travels, aligning closely with the principles outlined in ISO 31030.  

Providers like Global Guardian have expertise in risk assessment, travel policies that can be tailored to your organization’s unique needs, real-time monitoring and support, and 24/7 emergency response coordination. Their specialized knowledge and resources can significantly enhance your organization's ability to manage travel-related risks and create a secure environment for all participants. 

Standing by to Support

The Global Guardian team is standing by to support your security requirements. To learn more about our Duty of Care membership and travel security capabilities, complete the form below or call us at + 1 (703) 566-9463.

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