IS0 Plans Travel Risk Management Guidance Standard for 2021 Launch
- Date: Tuesday 20th August 2019
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Health and safety specialists and representative bodies are to be invited to comment on the first draft of a new guidance standard on travel risk management from the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO), due to be published in its final form in 2021.
The first draft of ISO 31030: Managing travel risks – guidance for organisations, which has been led by a national committee of UK experts convened by the British Standards Institution (BSI) supported by an international working group, is due to be published for consultation on 16 September.
The new standard will not be a certifiable standard with fixed requirements that can be audited, in the manner of ISO 45001, although BSI has indicated to Health and Safety at Work that future reviews could convert it into a certifiable standard if there proves to be demand for one. It is aimed at organisations sending “travellers” overseas, a definition that also includes students.
BSI lead programme manager David Adamson said: “The market has said that it is an important area, a lot of people are travelling worldwide and organisations with responsibility for them need to exercise their duty of care on health, safety and security. The guidance ensures they have a programme to do that, to make sure the individual is looked after.
“It will be guidance telling the individuals responsible for travel risk how to establish and implement a management framework. It will be based on ISO 31000: Risk Management, which is popular worldwide, and uses its terminology, processes and principles as applied to travel risk.”
He added that it also drew on some principles in ISO 45001, and on the existing 2016 PAS [Publicly Available Specification] 3001 standard, sponsored by travel risk management specialist International SOS.
Organisations on the BSI national committee, RM/1/2 Travel risk management, include the British Computer Society, the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers in Industry and Commerce, and the International SOS Foundation.
The international committee, known as Working Group 7 under ISO Technical Committee 262 on risk management, has representation from countries including Argentina and Japan.
Adamson said that terrorist threats are only a relatively small part of the risk spectrum for organisations, with the guidance also addressing natural disasters and “human empowered disturbances”, such as social or political instability overseas.
Organisations adopting the guidance would be encouraged to take a risk-based approach, recognising that some countries might be generally stable, but have a different profile during an election period, for example.
The travel risk management framework would be “contextual” to industries and sectors, recognising, for instance, that oil and gas companies operate under constraints that do not apply in the financial services sector. It would also cover processes to communicate and “check in” with staff.
Following ISO 31000 principles, travel risk assessments follow a three step “identify, analyse and evaluate” approach. Outcomes might be a decision to change accommodation or transport plans, to buy more insurance, or to postpone the trip.
David Fatscher, BSI’s head of sector for sustainability, stresses that the text is at a stage where input from additional experts is welcome, particularly if they represent wider constituencies or organisations. “We are looking to get more people involved,” he said. Comments can be submitted via the national BSI committee, where Adamson is secretary.