How resilient is your travel and risk management system?

Professor Erick Hollnagel in his book “Safety I and Safety II: the past and future of safety management ” and presentation “Making the Shift from protection to resilience” outlines what he considers to be new system of safety, Safety II, or a resilient safety system.

In this new system the organisation investigates what goes right, as well as what goes wrong so that the organisation “…doesn`t through the baby out with the bath water...” during audits, investigations, reviews or travel. This change in perspective allows easier identification of why things function even if there are faults within the system and how the systems can be further improved.

Often things go right, not because the system is right, but rather the individuals have adapted to the changing circumstances to allow a successful outcome. While sometimes this occurs naturally during travel the likelihood of a traveller successfully responding to change can be improved by a supplying both the traveller and those responsible for travel with both training and current information will result in a more resilient travel management system.

For this to occur 3 things must be present.

1 – Training. The traveller and those responsible for travel must understand how information changes will be communicated and what to do if changes occur. Is the change so great that the travel is stopped i.e. security risk rating at the destination prevents travel or is the change minor that the travel can still proceed with some minor changes, such as accommodation / transport provider change?

2 – Information must be current. The traveller and those responsible for their travel must have access to true up to date information. Situations can rapidly escalate and deescalate. Access to current information is vital to a successful journey.

3 – Communication. There must be acceptable means of communication between the traveller and those responsible for them. This is important during normal conditions, but vital during emergency situations. Having more than one mode of communications is essential, as is both parties knowing when to use the chosen modes.

If you are a traveller or responsible for travel, you should consider your travel risk management system in light of the three points above and ask yourself “…How resilient is my travel and risk management system?…”

Jason Parsons, Director Travel Risk Management Solutions


Hollnagel, E (2014). Safety I and Safety II: The past and future of safety management. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

Travel Safety Experts
Travel Safety Experts

Travel health, safety, security and risk management experts