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 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.
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.