Strategic Review - The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has begun a strategic review to decide how the Institute should develop over the next five years

The directors are leading the project, involving also members, the IRM's own staff and external stakeholders. The results of the review will be announced in the summer.

The main areas under consideration are:

- Diversification of the educational offering
- Partnerships with other risk management organisations in the UK and globally
- Development of membership and membership services
- Identity and brand.

Says chairman Ian McNeil, "The last time we did this was three years ago and the IRM is very different today. In these three years, our programmes, membership and market position have developed enormously. We are delighted with the standing that the Institute has today. At the same time, unless we look forward, we risk becoming complacent and stale."

CEO Steve Fowler, adds, "Some businesses only seriously look at their direction when a crisis is looming. In many ways, this is the worst possible time. Instead, it is often best to review strategy at a time of success.

As a growing organisation, the IRM is therefore precisely at the point when we should stop momentarily to gain breath, check on where we've been and whether our plans for the future are still right."

New products

A course for senior managers and professionals in other fields is the latest IRM education programme. The short course, Management of Risk and Uncertainty (MoRU), aims to help organisation leaders improve their knowledge and skills in risk management. In co-operation with Gallagher Basset, the Institute has already won a contract to deliver the course to executives at the UK Passport Office.

Identifying and managing risk is increasingly considered a critical management skill and a key element in corporate governance, but few people in leadership roles have specific training in these skills, says Steve Fowler. He comments, "We have recognised for a long time that a huge demand exists for a broad introduction to risk and uncertainty issues, and this programme has been built to meet that need. It is specifically aimed at individuals in leadership roles, whether in commercial life or the public sector, and also at specialists in individual risk disciplines, such as safety, insurance or corporate governance, who require a wider overview of risk."

This new programme draws heavily on the positive role of risk-taking in organisations. It provides a broad introduction to the subject of risk management and explores the process and some of the main tools and techniques available for the successful assessment and treatment of risk.

Partnership with Danish Risk Network

The IRM has agreed a partnership with the Danish-based training and information network, the European Institute of Risk Management (EIRM), for the joint development of an integrated set of risk courses and qualifications. Initially, each organisation will re-sell the other's products, but the IRM believes the potential for joint development of pan-European products is enormous.

The EIRM has over 1500 members across Scandinavia and Ireland.

Diploma Exams

Examinations for the IRM's principal qualification, the Associate Diploma in Risk Management, will take place from 7-9 June at examination centres around the world.

On 1 April 2005, the IRM held examination workshops in the UK to help students with revision, syllabus content and general examination techniques.

Risk Forum 2005

The 2005 IRM Risk Forum takes place on 19-20 September at Keele University, Staffordshire. A 30 strong group under the chairmanship of IRM deputy chairman, Paul Goulding, is working on the programme. Details of speakers and workshops will be available soon.

Regional and Special Interest Groups

The Scottish Region Group started in April 2004 with approximately 15 people and has grown to approximately 50. A regular slot at meetings is the discussion of diploma topics and assignments allowing qualified members to assist and mentor student members. IRM are very enthusiastic about the momentum generated so far and have the following dates booked for 2005:

- 24 June - Health and Safety Focus, Glasgow
- 16 September - Joint meeting with AIRMIC regional group, Stirling

Following publication of the emergent risks research paper, the Emergent Risks Special Interest Group has widened its remit and taken the new name Strategic Risks Special Interest Group.

South Wales and South West England IRM members have launched a new regional group. The chairman is Jonathan Blackhurst and the secretary Fergus Dolan.

At its inaugural meeting, the group considered plans for year, including potential joint events with the Association of Project Managers (APM) and presentations and debates led by group members.

E-governance, e-government and e-crime conference

The IRM and ACE European Group have organised a one day conference on e-governance, e-government and e-crime and hope to set up a joint special interest group with the Information System Security Association if there is enough interest.

Speakers will be drawn from the Metropolitan Police specialist crime directorate, National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, CESG (the information assurance arm of GCHQ), ACE European Group and the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre. The conference takes place on 10 May 2005 at ACE European Group, ACE Building, 100 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 3BP

The IRM web site,, has details of events and contacts.