Friday 8 February 2019

GUEST BLOG: Is your travel risk management programme really fit for purpose? 7 questions to put it to the test.

Every organisation, regardless of size, has a legal and moral duty of care to protect their employees wherever they may be. Away from their more familiar surroundings, they’re likely to find themselves in environments that can present unforeseen and unfamiliar threats to their health, safety and security. The importance of therefore having a fully integrated travel risk management programme in place cannot be underestimated. So how confident are you in yours?

In order to be effective, a solid TRM programme needs to encompass both proactive and reactive measures and needs to start well before a journey has even been booked. 

Pre-trip - The groundwork for any travel risk management programme needs to be laid well in advance. Having the right policies and procedures in place and ensuring that they’re communicated, understood and adhered to, is vital.

You then need to ensure that you have an accurate real-time picture of the risks that your people may face so travel risk assessments are key - evaluating and documenting the potential hazards in a particular area, identifying the level of risk and suggesting steps to mitigate and control it.

Just as important is how you prepare your employees for travel. Basic travel safety awareness training is crucial, even for seasoned travellers. If travel has been authorised to higher risk destinations, specific pre-trip briefings should also be carried out and, where necessary, additional protection measures taken. 

Active trip - During any trip, you need the ability to not just locate your travellers at any given time but also communicate with them, alert them to any potential risks and be able to provide immediate assistance. They, in turn, need the ability to easily access advice and assistance, if required.

Post-trip - It’s common to assume that once a trip is completed so are all of the required actions, but this isn’t the case. After a trip, it’s important that you have a mechanism in place to gather feedback in order to constantly review your programmes to ensure that they’re truly fit for purpose.

To assess whether your own travel risk management programme is fit for purpose, I’d encourage you to ask the following questions: 

  1. Do we have clearly defined policies and procedures relating to travel (from a health, safety and security perspective) that are not just documented but are communicated and adhered to by all concerned?
  2. Do we have access to reliable real-time health, safety and security information that can be used to support travel decisions and can be easily communicated to travellers before they embark on any trip?
  3. Are all of our travellers provided with the necessary pre-travel training and relevant briefings to empower them as individuals?
  4. Do we have a process for controlling travel to higher-risk regions?
  5. In the event of a safety, security or health incident, are we able to locate and communicate with travellers and advise/support them accordingly?
  6. Do we have a robust incident/crisis management plan for dealing with emergencies? And is this regularly tested?
  7. Do we have total confidence in all parties in our chain, both internal and external?

It’s important to remember that TRM programmes don’t just deal with the major incidents or cover your people in high risk areas. A TRM programme will also help you prepare for and mitigate against far more common occurrences such as travel disruptions, road traffic accidents or medical-related incidents. Although these incidents may not hit the headlines, they can still have a significant impact, not just on the individual traveller but also on the organisation as a whole.

If you’re at all concerned about your travel risk management programme or would just like some general advice, the Anvil team will be on hand at the Business Travel Show, stand B312.

This post was written by Matthew Judge, Group Managing Director, Anvil Group. To learn more about Riskmatics®, Anvil’s award-winning risk management system, visit

Anvil Group is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show on 20-21 February 2019 at Olympia London. Visit them on stand B312.

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