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Risk Champions Key to Effective ERM

The Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) recently held a risk management workshop for its risk champions from the 23rd to the 24th of February, 2023 at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe. The two-day workshop sought to discuss enterprise risk management frameworks, unpack the roles and responsibilities of risk champions, and examine some of the strategic drivers of risk in higher education.

In his remarks, the ZIMCHE Chief Executive Officer, Professor Kuzvinetsa P. Dzvimbo emphasised the importance of risk management, which he said was crucial for the success of the ZIMCHE. He commended risk champions for taking a team approach to risk management that is aimed at promoting a risk-aware culture.

The workshop began with an introduction to the concept of enterprise risk management (ERM) as a comprehensive approach to risk management that involves identifying, assessing, prioritising, and managing risks across an organisation. The (ERM) framework allows organisations to align their risk management efforts with their strategic objectives, ensuring that risks are managed in a way that supports achieving those objectives.

Participants discussed the importance of setting clear risk management objectives, outlining the ZIMCHE’s risk appetite, and developing a risk culture. Other key issues included measuring and monitoring risks and the need to communicate risk management information to stakeholders.

At the end of the workshop, it was clear that risk champions play a critical role in ensuring that institutions effectively manage risks. Some of their roles included identifying risks, identifying blockers and developing risk management strategies, and monitoring the effectiveness of those strategies. Over and above communicating risks and building a risk-aware culture within the organisation, the champions also help to ensure that risks are integrated into decision-making processes, and that risk management strategies are regularly reviewed and updated.

The workshop, which was attended by various heads of departments and units within the ZIMCHE was facilitated by Pertonady Consultancy.