8 out of 10 buyers reviewed traveller risk strategy in the last 12 months

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More than three quarters (79%) of travel buyers have reviewed their traveller risk strategy in the last 12 months to ensure they provide greater duty of care. The new research results are from a survey commissioned by the Business Travel Show, which quizzed 178 European buyers about their risk management policies.

In the last 12 months, fewer buyers say they see duty of care as part of their role (83% compared to 91%), yet more organisations have a traveller risk strategy in place 77% vs 70%). Only 8% do not have a strategy in place, down from 17% in 2016.

One fifth of buyers who responded have reviewed their strategies with specialist risk management companies (21%) or their TMC (20%) in the last year; 37% carried out an internal review and 1% even undertook scenario training.

Robert Walker, global travel risk specialist at International SOS said: “Travel risk comes in many forms, and preparedness can often make the difference between successful management of an incident, whether it’s security or medical. A little awareness training, coupled with prudent planning and access to specialist support in place can minimise the potential impact to both individuals and the business.

“While a lot of corporate travel managers have travel risk mitigation on their agenda, fewer have traditionally prioritised scenario training; however, we are currently seeing a lot of interest in training, and we invest in new and improved training modules all the time, from cyber and information security awareness for travellers to how to respond to the threat from an active shooter. This helps employees to start to understand how they might identify and avoid, or respond to, particular risk situations, and also helps organisations to fulfil their duty of care responsibilities.”

Commenting on the low number of companies undertaking scenario training, Matthew Harding, former British Army officer and chairman of Drum Cussac Group commented: “Many organisations recognise that preparing people for crisis through briefing, training and practise drills can have a significantly positive impact on the outcome of risky situations and, for travellers going to really challenging environments, there is no substitute for proper face to face, scenario-based training.

“Organisations should not underestimate the huge benefits to be gained from also putting management teams (not just travellers) through scenario-based training to help them deal with challenging or crisis situations. There are few better ways to iron out procedural or infrastructure difficulties than role play exercise, and it can be at best embarrassing and at worst disastrous to discover shortfalls during a live incident.”

Believing the uptake is low because of the perceived time commitment required for such activities, Drum Cussac has pioneered a range of bite-sized solutions including modular e-learning, breakfast briefings and activity or location based alerting/preparation, all of which will be showcased at the Business Travel Show. Matthew is also hosting a panel session at the show alongside PwC’s Global Head of Travel Risk Philip Stewart: ‘Safety and security – a best practice guide for beginners’.

“While road traffic incidents and health events remain the most prevalent threats to business travellers, we cannot ignore the changing world security situation surrounding civil unrest and extremist terrorism, particularly the evolution of lone-wolf terrorist attacks. The continuous march towards a global economy means that more business people than ever before are travelling or working remotely and there is significant pressure on organisations to ensure the safety and security of their staff and assets as they go about their business,” added Matthew Harding.

“Our session will look at the fundamentals of travel risk management and providing learning entry points for organisations irrespective of the maturity of their security model. We will examine the building blocks of sound preparation, robust protection, effective response and efficient recovery from disruptive events.”

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson