Here at On Call, we routinely find that administrators responsible for travel risk and security find themselves to be under-resourced, lower priority, and in constant fire-fighting mode. Our clients tell us it can sometimes feel impossible to be proactive about risk, let alone respond to incidents in a timely and effective fashion. This has become even more pronounced with the constant changes in COVID-19 relating to travel restrictions, entry requirements, quarantine mandates, and social distancing measures.
Luckily, On Call’s Global Security Team can help take that burden off our clients’ shoulders! Want to learn more? Below we profile our Global Security Specialists, what they do, and how they help organizations like yours–and their travelers–balance risk and opportunity.
Who the Global Security Specialists Are and What They Do
An On Call Global Security Specialist (GSS) is an organization’s dedicated subject matter expert whose mission is to further support and enhance each client’s risk management and duty of care initiatives. Our GSS team is an ideal fit for organizations without the in-house resources and/or capacity to provide in-depth risk analysis to their operations and travel overseas. Serving as an extension of our clients’ account management and internal risk teams, On Call’s GSS team not only provides proactive information, training, policy/plan reviews, and customized risk assessments, but also serves as crisis advisors to administrators during major incidents overseas. In addition to all of this, our GSS team continuously monitors the world for emerging threats so they can enable clients to take immediate action before a situation escalates (or better yet, avoid the threat altogether). On Call’s GSS team is also responsible for managing and coordinating all security assistance response operations, including political and natural disaster evacuations.
A Dedicated and Direct Approach
On Call’s clients who include our security services in their TRM programs are appointed a dedicated GSS who becomes familiar with the client’s traveler profiles, organizational culture, tolerance for risk, and overall risk management program so they can assist and advise on an ongoing basis. Assigning a specific security specialist to each client helps to build a relationship so we can continue to learn and understand each client organization’s unique challenges. Our goal is to pair the appropriate security expert with each organization based on a GSS’s individual skillset and focus region. In addition, each GSS has an assigned topical area of expertise based on their unique background – such as geo-spatial intelligence, supply-chain risk, or female traveler safety – and are paired with clients accordingly. On Call’s GSS team tailors regional and trip-specific assessments based on individual traveler profiles, trip itineraries, and each organization’s “appetite” for risk. They also consider an organization’s unique protocols, processes, and operations. This allows for the most accurate and nuanced risk evaluation for a prospective mission, program, or trip.
A Familiar Name and Face
Since our GSS team gets to know each client’s unique risk threshold and varied traveler profiles, this enables each GSS to build a personal relationship with every client—they are a ‘name and face’ that our clients get to know personally and can contact proactively for preventative advice or reactively for life-saving assistance. On Call’s GSS team works side-by-side with our clients to review TRM policies and procedures for gap assessments, to help test and validate client’s emergency response plans, to provide risk assessment reports for upcoming programs/trips, to share pre-trip briefings and safe travel advice, to offer phone consultations regarding incidents or escalating risks, to help with contingency planning for specific events, and more. The bottom line: if our clients have a travel security issue, no matter how big or how small, they can rest assured they will be working with a dedicated, well-informed resource to help them through the process.
Informed Decision Making
The GSS program is designed to proactively support administrators and help better inform their decision-making – such as determining appropriate risk countermeasures or understanding the risks associated with starting (or resuming) a program in a new location. One of our underlying goals is to empower our clients to embrace travel and to encourage their travelers to do the same. Yes, any type of travel involves some degree of risk…but levels of risk tolerance and vulnerability differ between destinations and from organization to organization. This is why we generally will not say “yes” or “no” answer when our clients ask, “should my travelers go to <destination xyz>?” Instead, we prefer to arm our clients and their travelers with the information and knowledge they need to make their own intelligent travel decisions. In regard to COVID-19 travel planning, clients typically lean on their Dedicated GSS to help navigate the restrictions and feasibility of a proposed trip.
On Call’s GSS team manages and coordinates all security response operations, including political and natural disaster evacuations. During a crisis, clients can speak to an expert 24/7 for crisis management support and real-time intelligence on the situation. Having On Call’s GSS team coordinate an organization’s security response, given the GSS’s intimate knowledge of the client’s organization, risk tolerance, and leadership structure, provides significant value for administrators. This works both ways, as the client benefits from speaking directly their dedicated resource with whom they have developed a strong relationship, rather than managing a crisis with multiple individuals with whom they’ve never interacted. Clients also receive detailed Incident Briefs after notable events such as terrorist attacks or political unrest; and, currently also receive regular Incident Briefs related to COVID-19, highlighting changes in case numbers, strain on hospitalization, border restrictions, and other related developments across the globe This is paired with On Call’s COVID-19 Travel Outlook Map, an interactive display that breaks down key metrics such as government ratings, case trajectories, and border restrictions by country.
For clients who want an extra layer of support, On Call also offers a variety of security consulting services that we can tailor to fit the needs of any organization. For example, clients have engaged a GSS to travel an overseas location to conduct threat and vulnerability assessments, train local and expatriate staff, and develop customized emergency response plans. The GSS team can also support On Call’s clients by developing an organization’s internal crisis management teams and conducting crisis response exercises with their leadership teams. Our consulting services are customized to the client’s needs and are geared toward mitigating risk, fulfilling duty of care, and improving an organization’s overall resilience.
Want to see On Call’s GSS team in action? Watch our client testimonial video and read our latest security assistance case studies. You can also contact us today to learn more about On Call’s security assistance services and travel risk management solutions.
For over 25 years, On Call International has provided fully-customized travel risk management and global assistance services protecting millions of travelers, their families, and their organizations. Contact us today and watch our video to learn more. You can also stay in touch with On Call’s subject matter experts by signing up for our quarterly Travel Risk Management (TRM) newsletter.