A global standard for a global profession

The title ‘risk manager’ means different things in different contexts: a mathematics PhD doing elaborate algorithms for a bank; an engineer responsible for oil rig performance and safety; or the person who coordinates the view of risk across the whole enterprise.

Sometimes the job involves a specific professional qualification, such as engineering or accounting. Other times it does not. Many operational risk managers, for example, have worked in insurance but that is not true for everyone, and not all of us handle the company’s insurance programme. From the outside, for an employer, a regulator or a shareholder, it is not obvious what these roles have in common. The international nature of business today further complicates the situation, because of different definitions in different countries.

The International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations (IFRIMA) has risen to the challenge. We have a working group made up of members of some of the world’s most important risk management organisations, including among others FERMA,  RIMS, Alarys and the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), that is defining the core knowledge and competencies that lie at the heart of risk management in whatever context it is practiced.

Our ultimate objective is to produce a short document that any risk management body can use as the foundation of a risk management education and /or certification process. As you can imagine this is demanding work, first to define the scope of the work and then create a text which is simple and clear, but we hope to have our first version available in 2015. Within IFRIMA, we believe this will be a major contribution to the enhancing the professional status of risk management.