The Office for Students, our regulator, identifies risk as “the threat or possibility that an action or event will adversely or beneficially affect an organisation’s ability to achieve its objectives.”
Our goal is to ensure that we are focused on the risks that could impact our ability to deliver Imperial’s strategy, and we have a Risk Management framework in place to support identification of risks in departments and at faculty and College level.
The College risk profile is reviewed annually by the President’s Board, the Audit and Risk Committee and Council, with frequent discussions on specific risks throughout the year.
We reviewed our College risk profile during 2018 to support strategic alignment and we have worked with departments across the College to understand our significant strategic and operational risks.
We use standard best practice Risk Management methodology and our College risks are ranked based on likelihood over a three to five year rolling period, and impact on the delivery of strategic and financial objectives for the College.
The risks related to staff and estates are the highest rated given their importance and potential impact; three new risks were added to our risk profile this year. Controls are identified for all of our College risks and we regularly review mitigation strategies in line with changes to our operating environment.
Our approach to risk management is evolving and we are embarking on a three-year strategy in early 2019 to support continuous improvement, agility and responsiveness to our changing operating environment. Our priorities for Risk Management will include:
- Strategic support and managing our risks within appetite
- Increased alignment of governance, risk and compliance
- Developing and improving risk engagement
- Strengthening our control environment
- Improving transparency and communication of risk insights
- Building our organisational resilience.
We will continue to develop mitigations and controls for College risks as we deliver our plans for 2019.