The importance of risk management education for councils*

Risk management, the simple mention of the term in councils invokes a range of reactions, the most usual of which is an eye roll. 

There is an almost universal lack of understanding across councils relating to the management of risk and, as a result, avoidable incidents continue to occur.

Most councils have a person or team who manage risk, however, in many cases, they have come from backgrounds that are not related or, come from a very narrow discipline of managing risk (e.g. safety, environment etc).  In addition, often councils will hire consultants to provide expert advice as to what is required in the management of risk.  They also may come from backgrounds not related to the risk management profession.

Hiring staff into our Council to fulfil risk management roles with no qualifications, or engaging consultants with no qualifications in the management of risk, will result in risk management outcomes that are, at best, questionable or, at worst, leave the Council totally exposed to unacceptable consequences that arise from risks that remain untreated.

What fascinates me is that no Council would engage an unqualified auditor; no Council would engage an engineer that wasn’t qualified and certified; so why do we engage people who are self-professed risk experts where there is no evidence to support this?  

So, the takeaway here is simple: there are risk management qualifications available, so the opportunity does exist to get your staff qualified and certified.  When hiring a consulting firm to assist you in developing your risk management program, insist that their consultants are trained and certified. In that way we can gain assurance that the advice we are receiving is correct.

More information on my courses is available at: A white paper on managing risks within councils is available here:

*Copy supplied by Paladin Risk Management Services