The Higher Education Funding Council for England defines risk as "the threat or possibility that an action or event will adversely or beneficially affect an organisation's ability to achieve its objectives." Risks may thus be either opportunities or threats.
The objective of the College’s Risk Management processes is to add value to normal management processes by providing a mechanism for: Identifying systemic risks; Escalating emerging or common themes and; Identifying whether the College’s strategic risks are both understood and managed at an appropriate level.
Council is accountable to HEFCE that the College is identifying and appropriately mitigating its strategic risks. Council is advised by the President’s Board and the Council Risk Committee, that this is the case and members of the President’s and Provost’s Boards are responsible for ensuring that all their departments comply with the College’s risk management processes.
The College Risk Register is not the sum of Departmental risks and nor are Department/Divisional risk registers merely a cascade of the College Risk register but it is appropriate that there is some alignment between the two and Departments/Divisions/Faculties should consider College risks when reviewing their risk registers.
As the understanding and mitigation of risk is an essential element of the planning process, Heads of Departments, SIDs and Faculties (HoDs) are to update their risk registers, in Empirical, in conjunction with the planning round. Additionally, as many risks are dynamic in nature, it is appropriate that they should be updated again in November each year. It is good practice and enables buy-in of risk and action owners if after each review of risk registers they are discussed at the next departmental/school/institute management meeting. HODs should, at a minimum, formally discuss their risk registers bi-annually during a management meeting.
In order to identify systemic risks and emerging or common themes the Risk Management Department will analyse all Departmental/Divisional Risk Registers immediately after the planning round and also in December each year. The outcome of this analysis will be advised to the Provost’s and President’s Boards and also to Departments/Divisions/Faculties. The Risk Management Department will maintain the College risk register, updating it biannually for consideration by the Provost’s and President’s Boards.
Guidance and procedures are available on the Risk and Business Continuity website.
Updated September 2016 next review March 2019