13 Jul 2023

On Tuesday 4 July, day two of the ALARM Conference started on a high after a stellar Risk Awards dinner and ceremony at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel the night before. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the 2023 ALARM Risk Awards. Congratulations to the ALARM team and host Lucy Porter too, for putting on such a good show.

Kennedys’ roundtable on emerging risks proved popular and was a lively start to Tuesday’s Conference. The panel covered a breadth of issues and sectors, and engaged with delegates who posed questions and shared experiences.   

Russell Heppleston shared insights from the National Audit Office’s work as independent auditor of government that applied equally across all member sectors.

Chris Griffin also shared learnings from the University of Warwick’s  experience hosting a Commonwealth Games Athlete’s Village, reminding us that the range and complexity of risks in higher education mirror the diverse needs and requirements of campus life.

Paul Dudley offered a taste of ALARM’s Back to basics risk management course before lunch. Ever popular both online and in person, some places are still available on the next in person training in Leeds on 14 September. It’s offered to full members of ALARM only and is included as a membership benefit. For those more experienced risk professionals, the Advancing the agenda day course in Manchester on 12 October is bookable now for full members and is free of charge. Contact [email protected] for more details.

“Insurers are not the big bad wolves” reassured Donal O’Hanlon from Protector Insurance, “we don’t really think traditional construction is the only answer. We would just like to see a balance between net zero and fire safety. Speak to us at the beginning of your construction projects and we’ll be your critical friend.”

Donal and co-speaker Andrew Gray explained clearly and concisely the interlinked sustainability, useability and health & safety issues surrounding timber framed buildings. But they acknowledged these construction systems are here to stay - around 85% of new build homes in Scotland are timber framed, for example - and insurers and risk practitioners can manage the risks together.

Carl May-Smith from Browne Jacobson shared what is known so far about new regulatory care reforms. They require the Care Quality Commission to regulate, assess and rate councils’ contributions to their local care systems. “The golden thread that runs through these reforms is the requirement for choice and personalisation in care,” he said.

There is also renewed emphasis on prevention and equity in how councils work with people. However, “cost-effectiveness is given no regard” cautioned Carl. The new regulations are due to be piloted with councils from September, but Carl warned that timings may shift - again!

Thank you to all delegates, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors for making yet another ALARM National Conference such a valuable event. If you would like to take part in the next conference in Scotland from 29 to 31 October, do get in touch with the ALARM Office at [email protected].