Introducing ISO 31030 the Travel Risk Management Standard

A new standard for travel risk management, ISO 31030, is the first of its kind. 

Launched in September 2021, it is specifically a guidance standard for organisations to use as a benchmark when reviewing their processes.

Travel industry expert Bex Deadman tells us more.

ISO 31030 is for Everyone, the People’s Standard.

IS 31030 is intended for any organisation (large or small) who sends people away, be it domestically or internationally.  If your team “moves” for your business, it’s aimed at you.

Implementing ISO 31030

ISO 31030 is one of the most accessible standards I have ever read which was extremely important to its creators, as the landscape that it represents is as varied as the people that use those services.  

It follows ISO 31000 in its approach to risk and therefore can be applied according to the organisation’s own appetite. 

It’s up to the organisation to decide the risks.  Considering the country being visited is part of it but it’s more inclusive than that. 

I like to think of Travel Risk Management as an umbrella term which gives organisations a practical way of tackling subjects such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion, employee wellbeing with an output that is primarily aimed at keeping their workforce safe.

Eventually risks can be identified for each traveller’s itinerary.  This should be part of the overall strategy and output, but it’s about taking a step back and looking at your travel program holistically.  It’s about asking yourself some fundamental questions about why you travel as an organisation before you get to the how, who and where.  

For many organisations it couldn’t come at a better time as they are trying to work out what post-covid travel programs look like and how best to manage them in the future considering all of the important issues that face businesses of today.

ISO 31030 Works Together with other Standards

Most ISO standards these days are designed to compliment each other.  There is a general fear of standards by some corporations and sometimes a feeling of having to comply with something.  That isn’t really the case at all, they are all aimed to offer people and businesses alike some form of benchmark as to what best practice is.

ISO 31030 Adoption in the Travel Industry

There has been a lot of interest by the travel industry but a lot of uncertainty too.  The travel industry is fairly ungoverned as far as standards are concerned and although everyone agrees it is important, the jury is out as to what happens next.

Corporate travel bookers have really taken on board the purpose of the standard, I would fully expect to begin seeing it in tenders in the future.  

There is work happening right now with travel industry experts to look at a certification around travel risk that will allow travel service providers, hotels, taxis, TMCs etc. to align with ISO31030, eventually making this part of the role of the travel manager easier to manage.

The Benefits of ISO 31030

There are many benefits, but for me it’s an opportunity to take control of what has up until recently been seen as a cost to manage.  It’s an opportunity to take ownership of what is quite a grey area, most organisations are aware of the pitfalls and some are already making great strides on their Travel Risk Management journey, this standard gives them an opportunity to gauge where they are, what is working and what needs to be done.  And aside from the obvious benefits of keeping your workforce safe and informed, it has commercial benefits too such as reduction in insurance premiums and so on.

Getting started with ISO 31030

In the first instance, buy the standard.  

The next stage is to get together a group of like-minded individuals across your organisation to discuss the relevance of it and the benefits you feel it could bring across different departments.  

Next I’d be looking at reviewing and perhaps a gap analysis across the standard.  But of course this can all take time and hours which is why we’re offering a service to help clients do this.  

It’s very tempting to jump right into an RFP right now, but what are you measuring against? We’d recommend taking the time now to do a 360 review and decide what you want the future to look like.  

We’ve built a short introduction package for the standard that can be delivered by us over a period of weeks, leaving our clients with a clearer understanding of the steps they need to take to revolutionise their travel programs.   

What is perhaps most exciting for me is the opportunity that looking at travel programmes from this perspective gives.  Right now travel suppliers and corporate departments are working in silos, this standard helps companies get out of that mindset and in turn this could create new roles in the future for both sides, which after the last couple of years is most welcome.

Contact us to get started with ISO 31030!