Risk registers from a NED perspective.

by Andrew Childerley

Risk registers from a NED perspective.

As a non-executive director (NED), it is important to have a good understanding of the risk register, as it is a key tool for managing and mitigating the risks that an organization faces.

What is a risk register?

A risk register is a document that identifies and assesses the risks that an organization faces. It typically includes information on the following for each risk:

  • Risk description: What is the risk?
  • Likelihood: How likely is it that the risk will occur?
  • Impact: What would be the impact on the organization if the risk occurred?
  • Mitigation actions: What steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood or impact of the risk?
  • Owner: Who is responsible for managing the risk?
  • Status: What is the current status of the risk?

Why is the risk register important?

The risk register is important because it helps organizations to:

  • Identify and prioritize risks
  • Develop and implement mitigation strategies
  • Monitor and manage risks over time
  • Report on risks to stakeholders

What NEDs need to know about the risk register

NEDs have a responsibility to ensure that the organization has an effective risk management system in place. This includes reviewing the risk register on a regular basis to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date.

NEDs should also pay attention to the following when reviewing the risk register:

  • The overall level of risk faced by the organization
  • The most significant risks to the organization
  • The effectiveness of the organization's mitigation strategies
  • Any changes in the risk profile since the last review

NEDs should also be prepared to ask questions about the risk register, such as:

  • How are risks identified and assessed?
  • How are mitigation strategies developed and implemented?
  • How are risks monitored and managed over time?
  • How are risks reported to stakeholders?

By understanding and reviewing the risk register, NEDs can play a vital role in helping organizations to manage and mitigate their risks.

Here are some additional tips for NEDs regarding the risk register:

  • Make sure that the risk register is aligned with the organization's strategic objectives.
  • Ensure that the risk register is regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Be aware of the key risks facing the organization and the mitigation strategies in place.
  • Ask questions about the risk register and challenge assumptions.
  • Use the risk register to inform decision-making.


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