If you and your team are implementing a new or improved risk management initiative, start thinking about your entry to the StrategicRISK European Risk Management Awards 2008, says Sue Copeman

What have a railway company's communications exercise to improve level crossing safety, a central bank's ERM programme, a Russian focus on a safer way to destroy chemical weapons, a borough council's innovative method of financing improved fire safety in schools and a multinational's audit, business continuity and compliance team got in common? They were all among the outstanding risk management initiatives that were acknowledged at the StrategicRISK European Risk Management awards in April.

Innovation, flexibility and, above all, adding value, are among the criteria that our judges look for when they determine the recipients of the awards. They certainly found these in 2007, when both the number and standard of entries were at an all-time high.

I believe that this growth in quantity and quality will continue for next year's awards.

And to mark their truly European nature, we will be holding our 2008 awards dinner and presentations in Paris.

We asked some of this year's winners what winning an award had meant to them. A word that often occurred in their replies was 'credibility'.

Risk management often has negative connotations. Winning an international and objectively judged award highlights to your colleagues that you are actually doing some very positive work which has demonstrable value. And enhanced credibility can help in gaining the all important business buy-in for risk management strategies.

“Enhanced credibility can help in gaining all important business buy-in

Another aspect that our winners highlighted was the valuable motivational benefit. Risk managers themselves do not 'manage' very much risk, and the success of initiatives rely heavily on the involvement of others. It seems that winning an award can be a real motivator for the whole team.

Why not show what you have been able to achieve for your organisation by positive risk management and an approach that turns risk into opportunity? You too could be a winner.

More information

The deadline for submitting your 750 word entry is 18 January 2008. In previous years, we have asked that entries be submitted in English. However, we are now offering non-English speaking entrants the opportunity to make their submissions in their own language. We are also asking for entries to be emailed to us rather than posted if possible.

As in previous years, we will treat the information that you provide as confidential. We will always get your approval before we publish any information about your submission.

And, finally, good luck!

2008 award categories

StrategicRISK European Risk Management awards will be presented in the following categories.

Section 1 for risk management
- European Risk Manager of the Year
- European Risk Management Team of the Year
- Enterprise-wide Risk Programme of the Year
- Most Successful Loss Control Strategy
- Best Risk Financing Initiative of the Year
- Most Effective Use of Technology
- Best Risk Training Programme
- Environmental Initiative of the Year
- Best Risk Communication of the Year
- Best Risk Management Approach in the Public Sector
- Risk Management Young Achiever of the Year
- Lifetime Achiever

Section 2 for organisations offering products or services to the risk management community
- Risk Service Provider of the Year
- Risk Management Product of the Year
- Training Initiative of the Year

Section 3 in addition, European risk managers will vote on who they consider to be:
- European Business Insurer of the Year
- European Commercial Broker of the Year