Evidence reveals that only half of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make it beyond their fifth year, suggesting that running a successful business requires managing risks effectively. Making a commitment to better understand and manage risk is therefore key to helping SMEs survive and grow sustainably.
Risks affecting organizations can have consequences in terms of economic performance and professional reputation, as well as environmental, safety and societal outcomes. Therefore, managing risk effectively helps organizations to perform well in an environment full of uncertainty.
ISO 31000:2009, Risk management – Principles and
provides principles, framework and a process for managing risk. It can be used by any organization regardless
of its size, activity or sector. Using ISO 31000 can help organizations increase the likelihood of achieving
objectives, improve the identification of opportunities and threats and effectively allocate and use
resources for risk treatment.
However, ISO 31000 cannot be used for certification purposes, but does provide guidance for internal or external audit programmes. Organizations using it can compare their risk management practices with an internationally recognised benchmark, providing sound principles for effective management and corporate governance.
A number of other standards also relate to risk management.
- ISO Guide 73:2009, Risk management - Vocabulary complements ISO 31000 by providing a collection of terms and definitions relating to the management of risk.
- ISO/IEC 31010:2009, Risk management – Risk assessment techniques focuses on risk assessment. Risk assessment helps decision makers understand the risks that could affect the achievement of objectives as well as the adequacy of the controls already in place. ISO/IEC 31010:2009 focuses on risk assessment concepts, processes and the selection of risk assessment techniques.