ISO management systems

Brace for the future: evaluate and manage your risks

Risk management

No organisation is immune to risk. Economic cycles, outdated technologies, changing customer preferences, supplier dependence, or new competition – these are just some of the possible internal and external threats organisations face. ‘But there is also good news,’ says Ellen Bartholomeeusen, Operations Manager at NBN. ‘It may sound paradoxical, but where there are risks, there are also opportunities. And standards help you take advantage of them.’

‘We need to move away from the idea that risks are always negative and therefore avoidable,’ Ellen Bartholomeeusen continues. ‘On the contrary, forward-looking organisations are not necessarily trying to eliminate or reduce risks, but rather to manage them. The idea is to take just enough risk – no more and no less – to effectively pursue your strategic goals. That's why risk assessment is so important.’‍

‘Every organisation manages risk – consciously or unconsciously – but they rarely do so systematically. ISO/IEC 31010 and ISO 31000 change that.’

Ellen Bartholomeeusen
Operations Manager at NBN

Thinking ahead with ISO/IEC 31010

To support organisations in assessing risk, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have been joining forces for more than 10 years. Specifically, they are jointly developing ISO/IEC 31010, a standard that brings together international best practices in this area. ‘The standard includes a series of useful techniques to better identify and understand risks in various situations,’ explains Ellen Bartholomeeusen. ‘This way, you create an evaluation process that is at once practical, sustainable and easy to understand. The ultimate goal: to make better decisions.’

A flying start

Ellen Bartholomeeusen: ‘ISO/IEC 31010 is a valuable complement to ISO 31000, the international standard for risk management. It focuses mainly on how you convert the identified risks into opportunities to achieve your objectives. Both standards were recently revised, so they are now even better aligned with reality. Moreover, they can be implemented by any organisation, regardless of type, sector or size.

Why implement the ISO 31000 standard? Who is ISO 31000 intended for? And many other questions answered!

Learn more about ISO 31000

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