Use a Risk Register as a formal, central record of your risk management status and progress.
To make navigation of your document easier, you could group the risks according to risk categories (make headings). In any case, column 1 includes unique reference numbers so you can look up more detail in your Risk Schedules. For ease of use, the Register should contain only summary information.
I adapted this Template Risk Register from the indicative examples 10.1 and 10.2 in HB 436 Risk Management Guidelines, Companion to AS/NZS 4360:2004. Although the Standard was superseded by ISO 31000 in 2009, the new Standard and Guidelines do not provide greater practical assistance in terms of constructing a risk register, and the principles underpinning this template are consistent.
You should adapt this template further to suit the particular needs of your operations. For example:
- The Specific Risk Event information should be derived from your Risk Schedules. This event is not a generic hazard, but a specific risk exposure which clearly identifies how a general hazard could impact on your business’ objective(s). If a risk could result in more than one impact, each should be listed separately because they are likely to involve different causes, probabilities, prevention methods, and response planning.
- The pre- and post-mitigation measurements should be derived from a measurement matrix that you design on the basis of your organisation’s particular risk profile;
- Upon reflection, I would probably change the title of the ‘Treated Y/N’ column to ‘Action’ because it is a logical place to note a decision about whether to Accept, Mitigate, Transfer or Avoid the risk (or a combination thereof);
- The Further Action column was intended for any cross-reference notes about Transfer (insurance policy) or Avoidance (changes to strategic or tactical plans, or operating procedures); and
- If sorting or rearranging the order of rows is important to you, you could copy the structure of this template into an Excel spreadsheet.
This template is in Microsoft Word format (.docx, 16KB):
Please let us know about your experience of using this template, and if you have any questions or suggestions about further adaptation/improvement of the template, by leaving a comment below.
Dr Kerri O’Donnell
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