07 Nov 2023
by Caroline Jenkins
What is your role and what are your responsibilities?

The Risk Team’s role is to support and facilitate the Council’s management and oversight of risks. Our responsibilities include defining the Council’s risk management strategy, providing a risk management toolkit to support the management of risk, and support the identification, management and escalation of risks through horizon scanning, training, workshops and reporting.

Please provide a brief overview of your Risk Awards entry.

Before becoming a unitary authority in April 2020, Buckinghamshire was made up of five legacy councils, each with their individual risk management arrangements. Combining best practice from each legacy council, the Team implemented a new risk management framework, focused on developing risk registers across the new authority.

This process happened concurrently with the COVID-19 pandemic, causing changing priorities and requiring teams to be more adaptable. The Risk Team had to quickly develop and implement a COVID-19 risk management process. We also provided support to vulnerable people in the community.

Since the peak of the pandemic, the Risk Team has been busy embedding the new risk management framework which has allowed risks to be captured and scrutinised at all levels, while continuing to adopt more best practice.

What have been your biggest successes and achievements? What are you most proud of? 

We are really proud of the good risk culture that we have established across the Council, from officers to our Corporate Management Team and members. Combining five different risk cultures from five different councils was not an easy feat so it is amazing to see how far we have come.

What keeps you awake at night?

The scale pace of events and changes all around us; from Brexit to COVID-19, to the cost of living crisis to cyber attacks. It feels like things are not going to slow down any time soon. As a Council, we need to be prepared and be able to respond to situations quickly in a world where there is growing demand for services and tight budgets. We need to be able to thrive and survive which is not easy.

What are your top tips for people thinking of entering the 2024 ALARM Risk Awards?

Just go for it! It is a great way to capture and showcase all the fantastic work your team and organisation has done or is doing. It was a real sense of achievement for the Risk Team and the Council to be recognised by our industry peers. We have by no means completed our risk management journey, but it is great to be commended for what we have done to date.

How does ALARM benefit you and your organisation? 

It provides a vast array of resources to help support us as a team, whether it is stronger, guidance documents, training or seminars. Let us not forget the ALARM National Conference; a great way to network with peers and build those relationships that we use in our everyday work.

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