It is a known fact that businesses still have a long way to go regarding travel risk management (TRM) policies - they don't consider it a top priority.


On the contrary, it is the financial, legal and moral imperative of a company to institute such protocols that guarantee the safety of their employees when they embark on corporate endeavours.

To help a Chief Procurement Officer answer the question, "what does an efficient travel risk management template look like?", the following steps should be considered.

1. Build and engage the right team members

The first step is to get the right parties involved in the development of your TRM policy - this, of course, is a process that is challenging and requires thoughtful deliberation.

Phase 1

Here the CPO leverages the goodwill that he/she has established over time. They need to reach out to executives from other departments (i.e. human resources, travel, legal, finance, security, medical, etc.)                                                             Also, it is imperative that C-suite or upper-level managers are brought on board. The reason being that your TRM plan is bound to fail if you don't have their support.                                                                                                                     Before things take off, make sure someone assumes the leadership mantle and shepherds the project along. 

Phase 2:

Once all the key internal stakeholders are assembled, it is time to look outside the organisation. Some external stakeholders you should consider are travel security specialists, travel management companies, etc.
This way your business leverages specialised professional services, intelligence, technologies and independent assessments to help you build a comprehensive travel risk profile.

2. Accumulate the correct information

Your team should conduct extensive research (by going through historical travel facts and data) to construct an accurate picture so that you can outline the travel risks.

Your legal, financial and HR teams should be heavily involved at this stage; they can provide additional information and context.Pay close attention to information such as countries and cities visited, and work with both your (internal and external) security team to understand the individual risk associated with those destinations. 

3. Examine and outline your risks

Once you've developed individual risk profiles for all the travel destinations, it is time to analyse the information you have.

Collectively as a team, take a tactical approach: try understanding what threats your business travelers (and company as a whole) are exposed to at all stages of a corporate trip (pre-trip, during-trip and post-trip).

4. Mitigate those risks

Once those risks have been identified, your team can now formulate a concrete plan to reduce them by:

transferring the risk to a third party (i.e. insurance), or

terminating the activity entirely (if there’s no practical solution in sight).

5. Incorporate the appropriate instruments and procedures

Put in place organisational tools and processes to execute your travel risk management plan. Examples of such policies include:

  • maintaining updated traveler profiles and travel insurance
  • creating security tip-sheets for your travellers
  • developing employee training programs

6. Communicate! Communicate!! Communicate!!!

Establish a clear two-way line of communication between the upper-level management and the travellers. Feedback from these front-line employees is crucial to strengthening the program.

7. Review the TRM program

Post-mortems should be frequently conducted as a way to keep the initiative relevant and timely.

Good luck with building you TRM initiative!

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