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How IRM qualifications can up-skill your staff - Veritau tells us more

Veritau is a local authority shared service group providing a broad range of public sector assurance services, including internal audit, counter fraud, risk management, information governance and data protection. Their clients include local authorities, national park authorities, town councils, housing associations, charities and academy schools.

We asked them how they benefited from their group membership with the Institute of Risk Management and how it helped them to develop their staff and risk management capability through our qualifications.

Background on Veritau:

Although risk management is a key part of the work we undertake within the audit function, none of our staff held a qualification which gave them a recognised level of attainment in risk management. We therefore decided to invest in this area. The Institute of Risk Management is currently the leading professional body for risk management and their qualifications are ideal for anyone looking for a solid foundation in the theory and practice of effective risk management. To date, we have had four officers undertake the International Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management qualification with one continuing onto the Diploma stage.

Has being involved with the IRM helped/foster/create a more risk focused culture for the organization?

The staff who have undertaken the certificate qualification are now much more confident within the field of risk management and can bring a number of examples and proven techniques to their work. We undertake risk management facilitation with some clients and the recent feedback has been exceptional. For example, we held an interactive risk workshop with a senior leadership team for one of our clients. Attendees were introduced to risk in a different way, using the bow tie model to illustrate and break down risks into their component parts. There were a number of interactive tasks which all helped to facilitate the workshop’s objectives.

"A really good session which had been well prepared. The delivery was swift, natural and set at a great pace, which encouraged energy from the whole team . The speed and energy of the training session did not stifle debate on the contrary some really snappy and insightful discussions took place.

"Good interaction and feedback. Like the bow tie as easy to use and understand. Never thought I would admit enjoying a risk seminar but I did and I think the whole team benefited from a better understanding of the corporate risks and how the controls mitigate the risk. Well done."

Chief Executive, Selby District Council

Key benefits:

One of the significant strengths of the qualification were the examples and extended reading that our staff needed to do. This has given them a valuable toolkit of case studies and techniques to use in different situations and to apply to their work. They now all have a broader knowledge base of all aspects of risk and risk management and can confidently discuss risk-related issues with our clients’ senior management. It was also good to see that the exams themselves did not just require factual recall – there were also scenarios and small case studies. This reinforces the practical strengths of the qualification - staff were challenged to apply their knowledge to different situations. This will stand them in good stead as they continue to deliver our services in future.

How were these deployed within the organisation and to what benefit?

The knowledge our staff have gained and the skills they have learned have enabled us to expand and improve our risk management service. We are able to offer assessable risk management support to a number of clients and are looking to grow our service further in future. A further benefit of this work has been to improve our profile with our clients, enabling us to gain key insights into the challenges and pressures they face and the strategic decisions they are making.

Would you recommend IRM qualifications/training to other organisations?

Obviously, being linked to the IRM does provide added credibility – it’s an internationally respected body recognised for quality risk management education. The qualifications are thorough – each member of staff undertaking the qualification had to commit to over 200 hours of study! It’s not something that you can support without commitment from both sides. We didn’t need to worry about anything as there was a wealth of information provided to the students as part of the qualification as well as the webinars and student support side of things.