Individuals who are hoping to begin or enhance a career in business are often looking for opportunities to learn new and tangible skills. The number of business-training options available to individuals is almost endless, and it is often difficult to judge both their credibility and value. A risk management certification is a professional accreditation that provides legitimate and tangible business management skills that can aid any ambitious individual in their career progression. The training involved in earning a certificate in this area builds on the individuals previous training and work experience, and sufficiently prepares the individual to become a high-functioning and contributing member of any senior management team. During the certification process the pupil is introduced to the many different aspects of being a certified risk professional, including the development and use of risk analysis templates and organizational risk policies. Other areas of study include risk identification, analysis, assessment, prioritization, mitigation, and management. A certificate that focuses on these areas that be attained from any of the six primary industry associations that oversee the risk management profession. To earn a certificate in this area the student typically undertakes a certain level of training which in some cases includes class time as well as at-home reading materials. Most people use their certificate to pursue careers as risk managers, either as a consultant with a major international consulting firm, or as an internal risk professional within an organization.
An individual with a certificate in risk management typically begins their career as a risk analyst, a component of a larger risk analysis and oversight team. Over time these individuals have the opportunity to transition to the role of a risk manager or risk officer. One of the primary tools that a certified risk professional is taught how to develop or use is a risk analysis template. This is a document or series of documents that standardizes the risk assessment techniques that the organization plans to use to identify and evaluate the risks their operation is exposed to. These templates are usually designed with the help of a certified risk management professional and adequate examples are available for limited expense. In some cases an organization will develop their own series of templates that are unique to the idiosyncratic operation of the company, while other organizations may use a publicly distributed risk analysis template. That being said, those firms that take the latter approach will often take a standard framework and morph it to apply to their unique organization.
A risk analysis template is traditionally designed in a checklist format that aids the user in asking the correct questions when identifying and analyzing the operational risks the organization is exposed to. They suggest regular areas of risk exposure while also providing insight for organizations to look in areas unique to them. These frameworks are considerably helpful in evaluating the impact and probability of risk events, and aids the organization in prioritizing risks for mitigation and avoidance initiatives. It is always important to use a template that best matches the industry in which the organization operates; for instance, frameworks that apply to a multinational financial services company will be different from ones that apply to a manufacturer of chairs catering to local businesses.
Risk analysis templates are particularly attractive to small and medium sized businesses that either can not financially justify the expense of an external risk management consultant, or have no need for a full-time internal risk specialist. Of course, it is possible to acquire risk assessment and management skills through informal risk training, but free time is at a premium for most small business managers. These pre-designed templates and frameworks offer a great opportunity to leverage the insight of risk management professionals at a reduced cost.