How to determine the country threat level to use with MOTSS:

There are three options for determining the country threat level:

  1. Government travel advice.

  2. Insurer-provided or subscription risk portal.

  3. Bespoke systems, such as Open Briefing's country threat rating tool.

MOTSS is divided into core, enhanced and advanced standards to apply to low-, medium- or high-threat countries respectively; however, many government advice systems and subscription risk portals use four- or five-point scales. The traveller will need to map these onto the three-point scale used in MOTSS - with the highest and lowest ratings matching low and high in MOTSS, and the middle ratings matched according to the best fit.

An example is the four-point travel advisory system used by the US state department, which can be matched onto a three-point scale as follows:

Exercise normal precautions LOW
Exercise increased caution MEDIUM
Reconsider travel MEDIUM
Do not travel HIGH

Likewise, a five-point risk portal system can be mapped onto the three-point system used by MOTSS as follows:

Negligible LOW
Critical HIGH

The other option, is for travellers to use a bespoke system, such as Open Briefing's country threat rating tool. To use this simple tool, the traveller should answer each question below, and record their score for each as indicated. The total score will provide the country threat level to use as follows:

14-31 HIGH

Note that two of the answers (relating to armed conflict and do not travel warnings) substantially increase the overall score in order to ensure an accurate outcome.

Country threat rating tool

  1. What is the crime situation?

    1. Occasional petty crime

    2. Frequent petty crime and occasional violent crime

    3. Frequent petty and violent crime

  1. What is the threat from political violence?

    1. Terrorism is not a threat

    2. Occasional attacks on government targets, security forces or commercial targets

    3. Frequent attacks against civilian targets

  1. What is movement like?

    1. Free movement around country

    2. Some restrictions in certain locations

    3. Significant restrictions in many locations

  1. Is there a threat from civil unrest?

    1. Civil unrest is unlikely to occur

    2. Organised protests in urban areas

    3. Frequent protests in urban and rural areas

  1. What is the threat of armed conflict?

1. No armed conflict in the country
2. Armed opposition groups active in parts of country
8. Civil war or international armed conflict

  1. What is the medical situation?

    1. Fully-functioning healthcare system in all areas

    2. Reasonable healthcare in urban areas; limited in rural areas

    3. Lack of adequate healthcare

  1. Does the traveller's or organisation's national government have a do not travel warning in place?

1. No
8. Yes

Total score:

14-31 HIGH