Hitting the ISO 31030 standard 

The world of business travel has seen a significant uptick in risk and uncertainty over the past few years. While many aspects of corporate life have adapted and evolved, there's still one valuable resource that often goes unnoticed: ISO 31030 standards. This robust milestone for travel risk management (TRM) was published by the International Organisation for Standardisation in 2021. Yet, despite the increasing relevance of travel and travel related risk, many organisations have not fully embraced it. 

Are you one of them? 

What is ISO 31030? 

ISO 31030-2021, released by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), offers businesses a structured framework for managing and mitigating travel-related risks. 

It is not a rigid set of requirements, but rather serves as a flexible guide for the development, implementation, and evaluation of travel risk management policies. ​​Derived from the ISO 31000 risk management standard, ISO 31030 emphasises the following key principles:

Active Communication

Establish clear and effective communication channels for sharing travel risk information. 

Process Execution

Effectively implement and execute TRM processes. 


Continuously monitor and adapt to changing travel risk scenarios. 

Benefits of benchmarking with ISO 31030 

Companies have always had a duty of care to their business travellers. But before ISO 31030, organisations often relied on their better judgment when implementing travel safety policies. This approach led to large gaps in even larger risk management efforts – and when the safety of your travellers is at risk, blindspots are unacceptable. 

By standardising TRM initiatives, you ensure business continuity. ISO helps organisations create and promote a culture where travel-related risks are not only acknowledged, but adequately resourced. 

ISO 31030 also helps establish a reliable, internal framework that can grow and adapt as your company expands or ventures into new, less-familiar territories. 

How to implement the ISO 31030 framework 

While the breadth of ISO 31030 might seem daunting, integrating it into your TRM strategy is manageable as long as you have a process – and you don’t have to pay for ISO 31030 certification to get there.  

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you implement the framework effectively: 

1. Understand your company’s operational context 

Safe travel starts with a strong travel risk management policy. The first step is understanding the internal and external factors influencing your organisation’s travel risk landscape. Identify what those risks are, and what measures are being taken to mitigate them. 

Internal factors tend to be easier to address since your company has more control over them. These include: 

  • Your organisation’s industry, mission, and culture 

  • Scope and frequency of corporate travel 

  • Backgrounds and identities of travelling employees that have the potential to impact their travel experience (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities) 

  • Company policies, strategies, and approval processes for travel 

  • Intellectual property and tangible assets carried by employees during travel 


External factors are a mixed bag, but they can seriously impact your employees' safety. These include: 

  • Location-specific political, socio-economic, and/or cultural conditions 

  • Reliability of infrastructure, including transportation 

  • Availability of local medical resources 

  • Security and quality of accommodation options 

  • Susceptibility to natural disasters 

  • Commercial and immigration regulations affecting business travel 

  • Outbreaks of infectious diseases or viruses 


Understanding these factors will form the basis of your TRM policy. 

2. Assess and protect 

Travel risks vary by location, environment, and circumstance. Conduct a travel risk assessment to ensure each of these risks are identified and accounted for – not just the life-threatening ones. Then, tailor TRM measures to each destination and individual traveller.  


Key considerations for individual travel scenarios: 

  • Regularly review location-specific risk profiles, especially after any significant changes. 

  • Conduct pre-travel health assessments to ensure employees are fit to travel. 

  • Consider the impact of conditions caused or exacerbated by frequent travel (e.g. stress, injury, illness) and support your travellers accordingly. 

  • Invest in a pre-trip authorisation system to streamline the process for you. 

3. Prepare your traveller 

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that appropriate duty of care has been met, even your travellers. It’s their responsibility to cooperate and act in compliance with the organisation's TRM policy and procedures – but it’s your job to make sure they know it and understand it.  

Ready to foster a culture of awareness and compliance? Start by aligning your TRM policy with other pertinent business policies, such as travel procurement, sustainability, and organisational resilience. When there's harmony among policies, it reduces confusion and ensures travellers understand their responsibilities. 

​​Education doesn’t stop at the policy itself. Equip your travellers with essential knowledge and skills through pre-travel security awareness training. This can be delivered through various means, such as online eLearning or classroom-based sessions. Be sure to include location-specific knowledge necessary for navigating unfamiliar environments, dealing with potential risks, and making informed decisions while on the road. The more information they have, the better equipped they are to ensure their health, safety, and security. 

4. Be ready for things to go wrong 

When your employees are travelling, it’s critical that travel managers to stay in touch on an ongoing basis. While they’ll no doubt be sending plenty of emails, real-time communications are a vital component of ISO 31030 travel risk management. 

To address incidents and emergencies effectively, your organisation should rely on comprehensive safety and risk technology equipped with the following key features: 

  • Threat monitoring – If the risk profile changes during business travel, your employees need to know right away. These risks could range from minor inconveniences like road closures and national holidays to dire events such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters.  

  • Traveller tracking – To deliver effective risk intelligence, you need to know exactly where your employees are. Your safety app should use GPS to identify your employee’s location, enabling location-based safety alerts that are both relevant and actionable. 

  • Two-way communication – In any situation, you need to maintain a channel for open communication with your travelling employees. While periodic check-ins are ideal under normal circumstances, an emergency may necessitate immediate contact with your company's crisis management resources. Ensure that your safety app facilitates two-way communication, allowing employees to call for help and connect with the necessary support swiftly. 

5. Always keep improving 

A proactive approach to travel risk management is essential in ensuring the ongoing safety of your travellers.  

Schedule an annual review of your TRM programme to assess its overall performance and effectiveness. This comprehensive assessment will help you identify any systemic issues and ensure that your travel risk management programme remains aligned with your organisation's goals and objectives. Perform additional reviews in response to significant changes or new circumstances. 

Don’t neglect your records! Document how travellers are informed of safety and security risks and how they acknowledge and accept the associated risks. Then, safeguard all relevant documentation associated with your travellers and your TRM initiatives. Proper record-keeping ensures transparency and accountability while facilitating swift responses in case of an incident. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for help 

Navigating ISO 31030 (and TRM in general) may initially seem daunting, but remember that you're never alone on this journey. FCM understands that while the ISO 31030 standard provides a solid foundation, the intricacies of travel risk management can be complex and multifaceted. 

In the face of uncertainties, your travellers should always feel empowered to seek help. We're here to support you every step of the way.  

With nearly 20 years of experience, our experts can enhance your organisation's travel risk management efforts, streamline compliance with ISO 31030, and provide your travellers with the support and resources they need to travel with confidence and peace of mind. 

Leave the risky business to us. 


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