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  • What is Risk?

    Nadine Cranenburgh


    ‘Risk’ is defined by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 31000:2018  as “effect of uncertainty on objectives”. This is a common definition in risk literature. 

    An alternative definition is “an event, situation which may influence an entity’s ability to achieve desired objectives successfully”.

    Risk management can therefore be defined as the proactive control of risk in a manner that promotes positive outcomes.

    For example, for a commuter with the objective of driving a car to work and arriving on time, risks could include: high traffic, a traffic accident, roadworks, and poor driving of the person trying to get to work or other commuters.

    In order to manage these risks, the commuter would assess the barriers to him or her arriving on time, and come up with a proactive solution, eg. leaving home earlier or deciding to ride a bicycle or park the car and catch public transport to avoid traffic delays.


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    Edited by Nadine Cranenburgh

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