A recent report from International SOS and Control Risks estimates that the demand for travel security advice has increased by 800 percent in the past decade. Considering the age of globalization that we live in, this isn’t surprising, but it also speaks to how imperative it is that enterprises put their money where their mouths are when it comes to keeping their most valuable assets – their people – safe. Here are some of the crucial elements of successful travel security programs.
While duty of care is supremely important to any travel security program, what you might not realize is that you also need to consider the standard of care. Basically, this refers to what other companies in your industry with similar risk profiles and similar characteristics are doing to protect their people. “Often, companies tend to look past the standard of care, which is largely often determined through litigation, unfortunately,” says Wesley Bull, CEO of Sentinel Resource Group and a former chief security officer. “Everybody overwhelmingly understands this notion of duty of care around travel risk, but the standard of care is a really important distinction to look at.”
Getting an independent baseline assessment can help you meet that standard of care by identifying any gaps in your program based on factors like your industry, your company’s risk profile, where your workforce is traveling, and how high profile your executives are, says Bull. If you do decide to engage an independent consultant to assess and audit your program, make sure the company you hire doesn’t also provide executive protection. “There are provisions under the IRS code that allow a company to write off their executive protection expenses as a business cost because it’s germane, but one of the key requirements for that is the company must have an independent party come and assess that risk and, very importantly, that company can’t be an executive protection company because it’s a conflict of interest,” Bull says.