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What it takes to be a risk manager or risk management consultant

Key message: qualifications and experience are not enough


I wonder how many of the readers are practicing in the field of risk management. It would also be interesting to find out how many of those practicing in the field are offering their services as a consultant. In my opinion the competencies need for both roles are different but also there are some overlaps.


For me it is a no brainer that there needs to be a level of technical expertise in the field of risk management. This is generally gained either through formal courses resulting in the issuance of qualifications and/or non accredited courses that focus on workplace application without the formal qualification.


Some risk managers and consultant tout themselves as such simply based on the “university of hard knocks”, life and work, and what else they throw at us. How well we manage that defines our experience. We use these experiences to advise others. Relying simply on qualifications and/or experience in either role whilst essential is my opinion not enough.

The third ingredient that is missing is the one of certification. Again many readers may or may not be familiar with the process and the advantages it brings to the individual (internal) risk manager and their organisation or the organisation that is engaging a risk management consultant.


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For the unaware, the certification process offered by a professional body adds an additional layer of certainty that the individual can do what they say they can do, and that it has been conferred by an independent third party. Individuals undergoing certification must meet key criteria before they receive their “licence to practice”. This level of assurance does not provide a guarantee however does ensure a greater probability of success.


For other professions it is mandatory to be certified before being able to perform certain professional roles. In engineering unless you are a CPEng you are not able to sign off on drawings. In the medical profession you are unable to practice your craft unless you are board certified. So why in a critical area like risk management do we have practitioners out there touting themselves as professionals yet not taken the step of being certified?

The mechanism is there at least for risk managers to receive certification through the Risk Management Institute of Australasia (RMIA) at two levels.


For risk management consultants there is also the avenue for being certified as a risk manager as well as a management consultant. The latter can be achieved through the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC).

Now when organisations are hiring either a risk manager or a risk management consultant ask the question; are you certified as a risk manager and/or a management consultant? If not, then why not!!

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