My view – risk matters, the next level

Monday 7 June 2021

I’m sure I am no different from everyone else during the pandemic, that while working at speed to support my organisation to respond well in the developing circumstances, I also reflected on how much value my role was adding to our response.

The pandemic has raised the profile of risk management and it is now more recognised and valued across many organisations and sectors.

During the pandemic crisis I was due to go to my board (November 2020), with a review of Risk Matters, our combined risk policy and strategy. Even though Risk Matters was embedded, had evolved and matured over time, and was well supported in the organisation, it was time to ask some serious questions about how much value it was really adding. In 2020 this review became particularly pertinent, and in response, our ways of recording and reporting risk are set to become more dynamic.

Our corporate risk management group undertook a review of arrangements and came up with new proposals. We also tapped into some great advice from ALARM sponsors and now we’ve embarked on The Next Level, a refreshed approach. Gone is the wordy, paragraph-intense document and in its place is a more dynamic presentation style of strategy that doubles up as a great training resource.

Gone are the routine meetings of the corporate risk management group. We’re now making better use of technology for sharing information and are introducing quick-fire touch-down meetings.

Gone are routine exchanges on lists of risks and we’re introducing control deep dives. And while our business as usual risks are still very much with us, these will be subject to a whole new piece of development work, with a fresh approach on how we are assured on our performance in relation to these risks.

We’re at the start of this new journey and have a lot of work to do to make this a reality now, but I have no doubt there will be exciting times ahead. My message to all like-minded ALARM members is: be bold, be brave! If you dare to take risk management to the next level in your organisation ALARM is here to encourage and support you!

Karen Locke ( is Risk Manager at Renfrewshire Council and ALARM Board Director.

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