FCM’s Travel Risk Assessment Checklist 


Your guide to corporate travel risk assessment 

Business travel (and business in general) has gone through a messy transformation over the past two years. How are travel risk management programmes keeping up? 

Between the pandemic and better cloud access, remote work software and digital natives moving into the workforce – the game has changed forever. As a result, more businesses are shifting their approach from travel risk management to people-centric risk management, keeping employees safe, no matter where they are.   

Here’s how you can follow suit. 

What is a travel risk assessment? 

From missed flights and food poisoning, to natural disasters and disease outbreaks – business travel poses risks to both the traveller(s) and your business itself. Pre-travel risk assessments help organisations of all sizes meet their duty of care (DOC) obligations, protect their staff, and ensure business continuity should something go wrong during any phase of the trip.   

That being said, it can’t predict every probable outcome. However, a well-designed corporate travel risk assessment can help businesses prepare for the worst and keep your employees safe while they’re out of office.  

When do I need to carry out a risk assessment? 

While risk assessments are not compulsory for domestic travel, they are strongly encouraged for any substantial or complicated business trip. 

New Destinations

As long as travel advice and the employee’s individual risk factors stay the same, it’s not necessary to do a brand-new assessment for repeated trips to the same destination. However, they should always be conducted for any new or unfamiliar regions.

International Travel

Every international trip should involve a risk assessment. The details will depend on where your employees are headed, how long they are staying, and the nature of their work. Common factors to consider in an international travel risk assessment: local laws/customs, crime rates, and accessibility of transportation & accommodation.

Last Minute Trips

Ideally, a risk assessment for business travel should be conducted up to 5 weeks in advance for full, in-depth insights…but not every travel need that arises will allow you that cushion. While you may not be able to complete a comprehensive assessment for a last-minute trip, it’s well-worth doing a quick risk rundown on major factors.

How to complete a travel risk assessment in 5 simple steps 

Done well, a travel risk assessment template helps you cover your corporate obligations and gives your employees peace of mind while they’re travelling. When everyone involved knows the potential risks and the mitigation plan, there’s no confusion if and when something goes wrong.  

1. Identify environmental risks 

Environmental risks are any threats associated with your destination that can impact your employees and/or their travel plans. People often focus on the potential for major events like natural disasters or terrorist attacks, but it’s far more likely that your team will run into minor disruptions, like car accidents or pick-pocketing. Make sure you cross the following off your travel risk assessment checklist:

Illness and injury 

  • Increased risk of illness or disease (Ex: malaria in some countries) 

  • Vaccinations or medication required before travel   

  • Healthcare availability at the destination: how do travellers get treatment for injuries or illness?   

Natural disasters and adverse weather 

  • Does the destination have a high number of natural disasters or extreme weather?   

  • Some weather events are more common at certain times of the year (Ex: bushfires in Australia during summer, tornado season in parts of the US)   



  • Travel restrictions in the area    

  • Rules around foreign licenses for hire cars   

  • Which side of the road must you drive on?   

  • Any increased travel risks (Ex: poor quality roads, dangerous local traffic, extreme weather) 

Crime and civil unrest 

  • What’s the political situation at your destination? Could it change quickly?   

  • Does your country’s embassy recommend travel to the destination?   

  • Crime rates  

Third-party contractors and providers    

  • Reliability and safety of third-party contractors (Ex: will hired drivers show up on time and drive safely?)   

  • Accommodation security 


Internet access and cybersecurity   

  • Availability and reliability of internet access, particularly if employees will be visiting remote areas   

  • Cybersecurity and the risk of security breaches while working remotely   

2. Consider risks to the individual 

Individual risks, on the other hand, are those directly related to the travellers themselves. Get employees to fill in a risk assessment form well before they travel, so you can most accurately assess their individual risk levels. While you don’t want to intrude on your employees’ privacy, it is important to be aware of any threats that could come up during travel, including:   


  • Does the employee feel healthy enough to travel?   

  • Do they have health conditions or disabilities that could require accommodation during the trip (Ex: a chronic health condition that requires frequent breaks or mobility issues that necessitate a car service or taxi rather than a ride-sharing service)?   



  • How are gender roles enforced in society? (Ex: Certain behaviours or customs that are considered normal for women in most Western societies are not tolerated or may even be considered illegal in others) 

  • Female corporate travellers are at higher risk of sexual assault and theft of personal belongings 

  • Are same-sex relationships criminalised at this destination? 

  • Other factors to consider: race, religion, and ethnicity 


  • Does the travelling employee have a driver’s license?  

  • Will they be able to drive a hire car after an overnight flight?  

  • Other personal limitations and preferences  


Food and water safety 

  • Allergies could make it difficult to find suitable food in certain countries, requiring a plan in case of a reaction (Ex: person with a peanut allergy travelling in South East Asia)  

  • Is the tap water potable? 

3. Evaluate the risks and create a mitigation plan 

Now that you know the risks, you need to determine if travel is worth the risk. And if so, what’s the plan for mitigating said risk? This is where a risk assessment matrix may be of use. 

Business travel risk assessment example:  

When managing risk you’re looking at two main factors: probability and severity. 

At one end of scale is something very severe, like a violent political revolution. Even if this only falls under low likelihood, its potential impact is too dangerous to take a chance on since neither traveller nor travel manager can mitigate the risk effectively. However, at the other end of the spectrum, you have something like the stomach flu. This is always a probable risk, but one that can easily be treated with minimal effort. 

4. Communicate with your travellers 

Your travellers need to go on business trips willingly and with eyes wide open. 

Prior to any travel, your employees should be fully aware and conversant with the environment they will be visiting as well as the risks associated with it. This information can be as basic as maps for the areas they will be visiting, to advice on actions to take during a mugging. 

But communication doesn’t stop at a pre-trip brief – it’s an ongoing conversation throughout the entire travel management process. Ensure your travellers know how to access support teams and other important resources that could assist them during a crisis. It also might be worth investing in real-time alerts so you and your travellers don’t get blindsided by sudden changes.

5. Review and update as needed 

The only perfect travel risk management policy is a dynamic one.  

What has consistently worked well in the past may not necessarily yield the same results tomorrow. After each journey, take time to reflect on the experience: identify what worked seamlessly, and pinpoint areas that could be improved. Could incidents have been prevented? Could responses be more efficient? By asking these questions, you lay the foundation for proactive preparation. 

And in the ever-changing landscape of business travel, adaptability is the key to ensuring your policies remain as effective as possible. 

No risky business here 

With the FCM Platform, you can empower your travel risk management with cutting-edge safety and risk features that simplify the assessment process. Our platform is designed to provide real-time insights, dynamic policy adjustments, and a comprehensive view of potential travel risks – all in one place.  

We work with leading third-party risk management providers, like Crisis24 and SHERPA, to alleviate the burden of managing risks on a grand scale, especially for multinational corporations. Together, we work tirelessly to ensure your travellers feel secure and supported, no matter where their business takes them. 

Plus, our dedicated staff are available around the clock to provide support in any and every situation. 

Want business travel that’s safe, informed, and efficient? Let’s talk. 

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