Benchmarking risk management performance

Monday 15 July 2019

How do ALARM and CIPFA benchmark risk management?

The model used to assess risk management performance is based on HM Treasury's Risk management assessment framework. It was originally customised by ALARM members to meet the needs of member organisations. It has continued to be modified resulting in a reduction in the question set as well as detailed guidance. 

Risk management performance is then graded, depending on question responses, on a five-point scale. These are from level one (basic awareness) to level five (driving) where risk management is fully embedded into the organisation and influencing how it is managed and decision made. This is explained in ALARM's National performance model for risk management in public services.

What is the real benefit? 

Public services continue to be in austerity with year-on-year efficiencies in the way services are delivered and managed. The Benchmarking Club is an investment in effective and excellent risk and reputation management and good governance. 

Risk management is an essential component of good corporate governance and integral to the way a public service organisation is managed and controlled. There have been numerous examples of public sector organisations' governance not meeting high standards, causing significant harm to people and organisations. It is important that risk management is recognised as an essential component of good governance. Assessing how well organisations perform against similar organisations is a way of maintaining standards and up-to-date approaches. 

What evidence is there to show public sector risk management performance has improved?

In 2015 ALARM published The risk success story: improving performance in risk management by using benchmarking data from the previous five years. 

The report's main conclusion was that: 'public sector organisations have improved their overall management of risk since 2010, despite fewer resources and more complex risks. Organisations using ALARM's National performance model for risk management in public services and associated benchmarking have demonstrated consistent or improved performance. 

Without benchmarking data it is not possible to provide ALARM members with detailed assessments of where progress has been made and where challenges remain. 

Membership to the ALARM CIPFA Benchmarking Club is available from £375 +VAT for organisations with 1,000 employees or less or £700 +VAT for organisations with more than 1,000 employees. ALARM members can claim a discounted rate.

Size of organisation

ALARM member fee

Non-member fee

1 to 1,000 employees

£300 +VAT

£375 +VAT

1,001+ employees

£500 +VAT

£700 +VAT


For more information, visit the Benchmarking page or contact Paul Dudley, ALARM Board director


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