Risk identification and management is the process of identifying occurrences and situations which have an unsatisfactory outcome and putting in place steps (strategies) to minimize or hopefully eliminate the risk.
It is impossible for clubs to eliminate risk but importantly, clubs are able to put in place processes to minimize the likelihood of an unsatisfactory event and also put in place response procedures if the event was to occur.
Although risk management can be considered by itself, it really should be considered as part of the planning for each function of your clubs operations.
Ownership of Risk Management
For clubs to have an effective culture of minimizing risks, there needs to be a conscious decision that an individual or group within the club should “own” risk management and champion it continually.
Clubs should strongly consider appointing a “Risk Management Officer” or have the responsibilities included in the role of the Member Protection Officer. The function should have two main components:
- Identifying potential risks and implementing strategies to prevent their occurrence
- Be the first point of notification in the event that a risk eventuates
Risks can be divided into many groups but commonly into the following groups:
- Financial and asset protection risks
- Participant health and safety
- Governance risks
- Event management risks
- Club reputation and “brand” risks
For an expanded list of risks clubs may be exposed to for each group, please click on the risk definition pages at the bottom of this page. Once you have identified all the risks that your club may be exposed to in some way, you quickly realise that you can’t tackle every one of them so it is really important to prioritise the risks and take action against those with the highest probability of having the greatest negative impact.
Risk Assessment and Prioritisation
Many risk management specialists like to prioritise risks using a simple matrix which, for each type of risk, determines the likelihood of a risk occurring and comparing it to the severity of the consequences if the risk did in fact occur.
It is crucial that clubs continue to monitor the risks and assess if anything changes which increases the probability of risks occurring or if the club is exposed to different risks over time.
It is a critical component of any clubs risk management strategy that everybody is aware of the clubs focus on minimizing risks and that all issues and potential risks are reported immediately to the club committee as well as the occurrence of any unsatisfactory events.