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Risk Management & Assurance Mapping

Although HEIs have been required to implement risk management for many years now, we are seeing an increased focus on ensuring that risk management isn't simply an overhead but adds real value.  This has led to many institutions re-examining their established risk management approaches - often with the support of Uniac.  There is no one right answer - beyond stating that a good risk management framework will both support the executive and allow the governing body to be satisfied that the principal risks to the institution have been identified and appropriate responses formulated.

Some debating points remain: some institutions link risks tightly to their corporate plans while others also devote space to identifying external left-field factors that may have an impact.  External factors such as government policy may have been treated as "unmanageable" in the past, but increasingly and encouragingly we see institutions couching these risks in terms of increasing the instititution's own capacity to respond to external forces.

Assurance mapping flows from risk management and is a powerful tool to ensure that internal audit, and other sources of assurance, are channelled towards those areas where there are gaps in the assurance available to executive and governing body members.   

uniac talk to our specialists

Richard Young

Richard Young

Uniac
0161 247 2959

Richard is a Director at Uniac.  He has over twenty years’ experience of auditing within the HE sector and has held similar roles within the private and NHS sectors. ​ 

He holds the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors qualification and offers extensive experience of leading governance audits for Uniac members and non-members alike.  In addition, he has chaired the Audit Committee for a HEI for the last four years and has also been a Chair of the Audit Committee and Finance Committee (at different times) within a large six form college.

Richard leads Uniac’s extensive value adding services including the organisation of the annual audit forum and the various topical sessions which are aimed at non-executives and senior management teams.

Sean Ryan

Sean Ryan

Uniac
0161 247 2856
  • ​Sean is the Lead Director of Uniac.
  • He has twenty years' experience in higher education covering all aspects of university accountability, funding, governance and management.
  • His particular interests are in student recruitment, admissions and retention; together with workforce planning and performance management and development of staff.
  • Prior to joining Uniac he qualified as a chartered accountant which he later supplemented with an MBA.  He worked both in practice and in banking - both of which were excellent training grounds for his current role.
  • Outside of the sector, he chairs an audit committee within an arts organisation. 

They cover high priority risks and processes that are important to us.

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