Guidance Documents

We regularly publish best practice guidance and research on a variety of risk related topics, ensuring our members are kept updated and informed about the industry.


Back to basics procurement of insurance and related services
October 2021

Procuring insurance and the services related to it, such as claims handlers and brokers, is often an essential and important part of a risk and insurance practitioner's role. In this guide we have done our best to debunk and define the subject, to support you in understanding the routes to market, the importance of engaging with stakeholders, and how best to present your organisation's requirements when procuring insurance and the services related to it. We have drawn on the experience of practitioner's within public services, and those working in the insurance and legal sector. Our resident experts have contributed their insight and have shared their secrets for success. This guide will appeal to those starting out and equally to those who wish to know more, or be reminded of how to achieve better results.

Risk management toolkit
June 2021

We are delighted to relaunch our Risk management toolkit, in partnership with Marsh, the world's leading insurance broker and risk adviser. This revised edition of the toolkit offers clear guidance on the risk management process and terminology. Importantly, it provides practical tools and techniques to help manage risk, deliver objectives, meet targets and maintain organisational resilience. The templates provided in the toolkit can be customised to meet your needs and those of your organisation. This toolkit will be particularly useful for public service professionals who are new to risk management, who have expanded their roles, or who have responsibility for training others.

Supporting templates and resources

Contractor risks
March 2021

Managing contracts is key to providing appropriate services, protecting the public purse, managing enterprise risk and investing in communities. With public service organisations providing such varied and essential services and products, alongside purchasing and maintaining assets (sometimes of great value) this responsibility requires informed and effective oversight and management. With the grateful assistance of our sponsors and member practitioners, we have put together a guide on contract risks as a starting point for those of you approaching this task for the first time, returning to it, or just in need of a refresher. 

Climate change ambition to action
December 2020

This guide intends to help risk professionals understand the risks associated with climate change and implement plans to mitigate those risks.

Each section starts with a practitioner-led story that focuses on a particular aspect of climate change adaptation from a personal point of view. It's a chance to read case studies, scenarios, best practice and lessons learnt at a time when it is more difficult to share professional experiences in person.

Each of the section stories finishes with guidance on dos and don'ts, outlining the main points the author wants to communicate with ALARM members. This is followed by the second part of the section, contributed by a sponsor, communicating their expertise on an allied subject.

Transforming organisations
October 2020

This guide contains four personal stories or case studies from experienced practitioners on how different elements of their organisations have been transformed - not exclusively by COVID-19, but also a variety of ongoing transformations. In addition, we have invited our resident experts from sponsor organisations to add their thoughts and knowledge to the stories in each of the four sections, created focused guidance for members.

Risk reporting survey results
December 2019

ALARM wanted to gain a better understanding of the ways in which risk is reported to boards and committees to investigate current practices in reporting risk information to boards and committees in public services. As a result, ALARM commissioned Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to review current practice in reporting risk to boards and committees across public service organisations in the United Kingdom. This involved a survey of ALARM members, as well as risk professionals within government, and detailed interviews with elected members, senior managers and risk practitioners. The results of the survey are detailed in this report. 

Risk reporting guide
December 2019

Reporting risk information is the last stage of the risk management process. How that information is presented enables management, boards and committees to fulfil their respective roles. It is essential risk information is presented in a concise yet  meaningful manner. It should be sufficient for boards and committees to challenge and gain assurance that risks are being managed effectively. This guide brings together existing and best practice in risk reporting and provides some examples of existing risk reports. 

May 2019

This briefing has been produced to update members on the developments within the local government market, and aims to provide clarification around some of the terms associated with the current developments.

We also raise some important issues that should be considered when evaluating options available to organisations in managing their insurable risks.

Risk workshop guide
April 2019

This guide has been produced by a small working group of ALARM members and other risk professionals who have several years' experience of planning and facilitating workshops. This knowledge has been used to inform a step by step guide on how to deliver risk workshops from conception to the production of a final risk workshop report. 

Back to basics insurance guide
February 2019

This guide has been created to provide an overview of the most common types of insurance associated with organisations delivering services to citizens and communities. This guide has been written in a manner aimed to remove some of the technical jargon associated with insurance policies, making it easier for professionals with limited knowledge of insurance to understand how policies may operate for public service organisations. 

Highways claims management manual
March 2018

Following the introduction of the Well managed highway infrastructure: a code of practice, Section 2 of ALARM's Highways claims management manual has been revised to reflect the risk based approach to managing highways risks that must be adopted by October 2018.

Contents and introduction - UPDATED MARCH 2018

  • Section 1 - Highways liability - the law
  • Section 2 - Managing highway liability risks - UPDATED MARCH 2018
  • Section 3 - Highways claims handling
  • Section 4 - Managing the liability risks
  • Section 5 - The role of the highway authority's risk / insurance manager
  • Appendices

While documents already exist that may cover some of the aspects, nothing is currently available that deals with all the relevant aspects from the specific perspective of the risk / insurance manager who is responsible for managing the performance of the highways claims process. Therefore the intention of this document is to provide a practical reference document that covers both the basis of the highways claims function for new entrants into the sphere and also provides a source of tactical, operational and reference guidance for more experienced managers.

Risk management toolkit
Autumn 2017

At a time when public services are facing unprecedented challenges, the effective management of risk is needed more than ever. A risk-managed approach to decision-making helps organisatons achieve their objectives and deliver services more efficiently, using innovative and cost-effective means. 

The revised edition of the the Risk management toolkit builds on ALARM's Core competencies in public service risk management, which outlines the key skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of a risk practitioner. 

Major loss: ALARM guide to preparation and immediate response
November 2016

This Guide is intended to be a quick and easy resource for ALARM members, providing practical guidance on what can be done both pre and post incident to ensure impacts are mitigated. It is written from an insurance perspective and encourages early engagement with insurance partners to ensure that practical, procedural and financial support is accessed effectively.

This Guide has been produced in response to demand from ALARM members for something simpler and shorter than a full BCP, providing concise practical advice and pointers.

The ALARM and Vericlaim Major loss survey 2016 (available to non-members)

In developing the Major loss guide, ALARM and Vericlaim sought to obtain the views of Members on their experience of major losses and their readiness to deal with future events. The results of this short survey are explained in this summary document and were instrumental in the creation of the best practice guidance.

A guide to business continuity management
October 2016

ALARM has updated its guide to business continuity management (BCM) to support members in ensuring the resilience of their organisation.The Guide is divided into easy to access sections, including the context for BCM and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the plan, do, check, act (PDCA) cycle required to implement a BCM system and case studies and lessons learnt.

The Guide will provide members with the ability to develop a robust business continuity infrastructure that will enable future resilience and help promote business as usual when facing an incident.

Supporting business continuity management presentation

The new Guide also benefits from this supporting presentation offering hints and tips that will work for any public service organisation looking to implement, refresh or improve their business continuity plan.

New ventures, new risks
September 2016

As organisations identify opportunities and facilitate the management of risks from the public sector response to ongoing austerity measures and subsequent transformation, more questions are asked. This Guide explores the recent history and current context of the various methods and models developed by the public sector to deliver services to its users. It relies on published research from well-known and respected sources to explain the major drivers for changing service delivery. It also discusses the unstoppable forces that are leading the public sector to look for more efficient and effective service delivery models. 

Children's services: ALARM guide to managing risks
July 2016

The primary purpose of this document is to assist risk managers in identifying important issues in the complex area of children's services and to provide guidance on how those issues can be managed effectively. This guide is a comprehensive collection of professional tips and information on safeguarding, child sexual exploitation and historical abuse. It spans relevant and related topics covering: media and communications, the law, claims management, documentation, strategic risk management, commissioning and outsourcing, and insurers.

A risk management standard
February 2016

This risk management standard is the result of work by a team drawn from the major risk management organisations in the UK – including ALARM. In addition, the team sought the views and opinions of a wide range of other professional bodies with interests in risk management, during an extensive period of consultation. Risk management is a rapidly developing discipline and there are many and varied views and descriptions of what risk management involves, how it should be conducted and what it is for.

Risk Success Story: improving performance in risk management
July 2015

This report tells the story of the successful development of risk management in public service organisations in the UK, based on analysis of the data from ALARM CIPFA Risk Management Benchmarking from 2010 to 2015.

Although risk managers often feel like an endangered species in a hostile and uncertain environment, the overall story is of success.The evidence shows that public sector organisations have improved their overall management of risk since 2010, despite fewer resources and more complex risks

Freedom of Information Act 2000: ALARM good practice guide
May 2015

This ALARM guide aims to focus on key areas where Insurance Managers may encounter Freedom of Information (FOI) and other information requests and provide practical tips needed for handling such requests.

Restructuring Risk Report
December 2014

A report on the Wales seminar exploring the risk and insurance implications of organisational restructuring, either internally or involving two or more organisations via voluntary or compulsory mergers. Public sector organisations of all types are facing significant challenges, including reduced funding, new technologies, shifting demographics and changes in demand for services. As a consequence, new ways of working are being sought and new structures devised to try to do more with less. These structural changes may be purely internal, involving one or more departments, or involve two or more organisations merging part or all of their functions.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: ALARM good practice guide
September 2014

Covert surveillance is a tool that can reap benefits in defending liability claims. Recognising that managers of risk cannot use the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) guidance due to the conflicting advice given, ALARM, in partnership with practitioners and sponsors has produced this good practice guide, providing a clear understanding of how RIPA applies within this field. 

Managing the Risk of Fraud
May 2014

In 2007, ALARM published Managing the Risk of Fraud: The ALARM Standard for Risk Advisors. There have been significant changes to the way public services are delivered and ALARM have refreshed the document to take account of the emerging risks facing the public sector in these challenging times.

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