There is no one right way to manage risk, says chair of joint committee OB-007 Michael Parkinson, but standards may help people avoid the wrong way.
The 28-member joint Australian/New Zealand committee OB-007 Risk management met in Wellington recently to discuss what is going on in the risk management world, and Michael says the committee comprises a wide range of industry experts who have a deep knowledge of risk management.
The committee was formed in 1992 and Michael is in his third year as chair. He is a director, in government practice, for KMPG based in Canberra.
‘The committee meets three times a year, once each year in New Zealand. Everybody in the room is a practitioner at one level or another with a huge amount of knowledge so our discussions can be quite complex. It can also get quite lively! We have working groups that meet independently of this meeting and they report back to the whole committee. The whole committee approves documents and has governance over publications.’
OB-007 has representation on ISO Technical Committee 262 Risk management – with one vote for each of Australia and New Zealand – and liaises with other AS/NZ standards committees. As well as developing standards, its publications include a series of handbooks; some are New Zealand only, some are Australian only, but most are joint.
One recent example is SA/SNZ HB 436:2013 Risk management guidelines – Companion to AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 which provides guidance on the implementation of AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines (which the committee helped develop) or, as Michael says, it advises people how to use AS/NZS ISO 31000 in the ‘real world’.
Michael believes standards are important because they give everyone a common reference point.
‘They help us to all speak the same language. If you know what standard is used as a reference, you can begin to understand what the message is.’