Guidance on Skills and Career Development in Risk Management

Thinking of a career in Risk Management? Find all you need to know here about how to jumpstart your risk management career.

What is Risk Management

The Risk management profession has become more and more relevant in our world today as organisations seek to maximize profit in the face of greater challenges in the business environment. Risk, which is a measure of uncertainty in outcomes coupled with the impact of the outcomes, are always with us and an attempt to avoid all risks would result in no achievement, no progress and no reward. As such, the only alternative is to manage risks. This scenario presents huge opportunities for persons that have the relevant competencies in the business world.

All organisations have objectives at strategic, tactical and operational levels – anything that makes achieving these objectives uncertain is a risk. As our world becomes increasingly volatile and unpredictable, we must cope with greater uncertainty.

Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives) followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities. Risk management’s objective is to assure uncertainty does not deviate the endeavor from the business goals.

Risk management is required across the entire enterprise to include financial, project, information technology, safety, health, etc

Who is the Risk Manager

The Risk Manager advises the organisations on any potential risks to the profitability or existence of the company. They identify and assess threats, put plans in place for if things go wrong and decide how to avoid, reduce or transfer risks. At times, the risk manager is focused on a specific area of risk e.g. financial or information technology. Some organisations however have an enterprise wide approach to Risk Management. The Risk Manager role is key to any organisation’s strategic plan

How can I become a Risk manager

Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a relevant degree in a number of subject areas as listed below can increase your chances, these include:

  • risk management (actuarial science);
  • finance or economics;
  • science;
  • statistics;
  • engineering;
  • law;
  • management or business studies.


Graduates of risk management courses and courses with risk management content are sought after and targeted by recruiters of risk managers.

Membership of risk management associations coupled with relevant degrees can help with job prospects.

Postgraduate qualifications are not essential but can be advantageous. A Masters in risk management is available at a number of universities and may be particularly relevant for those who have not completed a risk management-related degree.

Entry without a degree is possible, but it would usually entail a career path through an administrative role, working up to a risk assistant position and progressing to a risk manager role. Employers would expect A-levels or equivalent qualifications for entry through this route.

Graduates of less relevant subjects can also take the recognised International Certifications in Risk Management to give them an introduction to risk management and increase their chances of getting an entry-level position.

Candidates need to show evidence of the following:

  • technical acumen;
  • problem-solving and decision-making abilities;
  • analytical skills and a good eye for detail;
  • ability to cope under pressure;
  • planning and organisation skills;
  • negotiation skills and the ability to influence people;
  • good communication and presentation skills;
  • commercial awareness;
  • numerical skills and the ability to evaluate costs;
  • ability to understand broad business issues.



Certifications in Risk Management

There are a whole lot of associations promoting the risk management professions across the globe by offering association membership and certifications. Some are industry specific while some offer enterprise wide focused qualifications. Find a list of some useful organization and their offerings below

Certification/Approx Cost Organisation Membership/Cost Study/Exam Mode Country of Origin Website
·         ISO 31000 The Global Platform for ISO31000 (G31000) membership available – Exam and training cost above 2000USD Onsite Study available in several regions US
·         ISO 31000 Professional Evaluation and Certification Body (PECB) No membership Onsite Study (not compulsory) and Online Exams above 2000 USD Canada
·         ISO 31000 Risk Manager Certification British Standard Institute (BSI) No membership Onsite Study UK
·         International Certificate in Risk Management (1800GBP)

·          International Diploma in Risk Management (4000GBP)


Institute of Risk Management (IRM) Yes – costs about 100GBP Self Study, optional Training, Onsite Exams UK
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

(670 USD)

Project Management Institute (PMI) Yes – 139USD Training or Self study, Online or Onsite Exams (670 USD) US
Canadian Risk Management (CRM)  The Risk Management Society (RIMS)/Global Risk Management Institute (GRMI) Yes Classroom Training required. Exams for 3 modules $125(CAN) each at testing location is Canada and London
MoR (Management of Risk) APMG International No membership Training (not compulsory), Onsite Exams at British Council or Approved Training Providers (above 1000USD) UK
Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) (650USD) The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Yes – Self Study, Online CBT Exams US
Certified in Risk and Information System Control (CRISC)


ISACA Yes – 135USD Review Training available but optional. Onsite Exams at various locations US
Financial Risk Management (FRM), Energy Risk Management (ERM) Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)  Yes – $195 per year. Option of Affiliate membership at $0 Self study, Onsite exam ERP – 875USD and FRM – 775USD US
ERMAP (400USD), ERMCP (400USD) , and CERG Enterprise Risk Management Academy (ERMA) Yes – Regular Members (Free) and Certified Members ( Online Self Study, Onsite and Online options Singapore
Choice of 8 Certifications

Advanced Risk Management Professional (ARMP), etc

The Risk Management Academy Ltd Yes – 80 or 150 USD Onsite Traingin and Online Exams Nigeria


Our Pick

Based on a combination of affordability, ease of access, global recognition by organisations and industry practitioners, content and curriculum, ease of payment for the qualification, time of completion and feedback from participants, my pick is PECB Lead Risk Manager



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