Risk mapping and risk registers

Risk mapping and risk registers

Risks can be internal or external to an organisation and most donors will expect you to have completed a risk assessment at the proposal stage, having identified relevant risks and considered how you will mitigate them.

The risks that each organisation and project face will be unique. How often you will need to revisit your risk mapping and risk registers will depend on the nature of your activities and any arising events that will affect implementation. Analysing risk collectively within your organisation or project team, will help you to have a more holistic view when identifying risks and coming up with strategies to mitigate them.

Here are some helpful resources to help you think about risk more strategically.

Assessing and mapping risk:

·         You can use The Alliance’s risk assessment template (word doc) which is available to download

·         Tools4Dev have a risk assessment template available to download including advice on when to use it and when not to use it

·         NCVO’s KnowHow webpages contain a Risk Assessment Toolkit, including an introductory video and series of self-assessment questions

Creating a risk register:

·         You can use a sample risk register (word doc) produced by Alliance mentor Jane Petty which is available to download

·         The PMD Pro Starter website has a risk register template for projects that is free to download, accompanied by guidance and an introductory video

·         The Charity Commission for England & Wales has a helpful guidance document about ‘charities and risk management’ which includes a template risk register in Annex 1 and gives examples of risks and associated mitigation strategies within Annex 2

Further reading about risk:

·         Our Good Governance Support Package written in collaboration with SCVO and updated in 2019 contains information about risk assessment on page 29

·         SCVO have a helpful webpage about ‘risk analysis & management’ for Scottish charities covering things like financial risk, fraud, loss of income and unexpected costs

·         The Charity Finance Group and Sayer Vincent wrote a report ‘Rethinking risk: Beyond the tick box’ outlining new ways that charities can categorise risks in a helpful way

·         The Institute of Risk Management has a special interest group for charities, and has produced reports on ‘Risk Governance for Charities’ and ‘Tools for providing assurance on regulatory compliance’ which you can read online

·         The Guardian ran an online chat about how to minimise the risks in international development in 2014, you can read what the panel of experts had to say

Who is reponsible for risk:

Ultimately, risk is the collective duty of trustees for charitable organisations operating from Scotland. Find out more about trustee responsibilities on the OSCR website ‘managing a charity guidance’ page or download OSCR’s Trustee Information and Guidance Pack.

COVID-19 and when to report a significant event to the charity regulator:

·         OSCR’s update from the regulator includes answers to frequently asked questions relating to the risks of the COVID-19 outbreak, including questions like ‘What if the current situation has a negative impact on my charity?  Should I be reporting it to OSCR as a notifiable event?’ Find out more about notifiable events on the OSCR website.

·         The Charity Commission has updated its advice on what to report relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and stated on the 12 March 2020 that “charities should continue to report serious incidents using the current guidelines and their own judgement and we will advise if and when this situation changes.”

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