Dan Wylie GradIRM: Enterprise Risk Account Manager, Network Rail
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asks its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they'd share with people looking to move into the industry.
How did you get your job?
I started in risk management by accident really. Originally an internal auditor, I worked for an organisation that didn’t have a risk function. That changed when a new head of risk came in and identified the need for risk management and risk resource. I was initially seconded over, but really enjoyed the work and challenge involved so made the permanent move across.
What’s a typical day like as an Enterprise Risk Account Manager?
I’m employed as an Enterprise Risk Account Manager. I work for a large national company with varying risk resources and experience. Within the Group Risk Team we’re responsible for setting the organisation risk framework, producing the policy, standard, tolls, templates and guidance to allow strategic risk to be consistently manged within the organisation.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy that every day is different. Risks can be different in different parts of the country, and all stakeholders have a differing view in what is a risk, what is an issue, and what is business as usual. By working with a wide range of stakeholders, I’m able to adapt my own skills to suit the needs of the stakeholder, but also to understand the opposing views some may have.
What are the challenges?
Being a large and diverse organisation brings its own challenges. Within my role I work a lot of with many different risk champions / coordinators. Each of these contacts are experts in their own business areas and have their own risk experience and views on how things should be governed from a central team. It can be challenging, but I am confident in my own ability and experience in influencing stakeholders to see the benefits of a centralised approach to risk management.
In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?
I started off by completing the certificate a few years back. As I had learnt my risk skills on the job, I found this really useful in giving me the background theory around risk management. This helped me feel more confident early on in my risk career. I then decide to take on the diploma and I’m glad I did. The study material and workbooks provided provide a wealth of information and resource that I refer to on a regular basis. With specific modules such as risk treatment and risk culture, I was able to learn so much that I can use on a day to day basis within my role.
What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?
I’d say go for, you wont regret it. Its time worth investing to really help with theory and ultimately the practical application of risk management. Whether you work in a small or larger organisation, the skills you will learn by studying with IRM will help you for years to come.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions? Has being linked to the IRM helped?
I’ve worked up the career ladder these past few years and I certainly think that being recognised a someone who has achieved IRM qualification has helped that. I’m waiting for the offers to roll in now judging by my increased LinkedIn exposure now that I have achieved the diploma level qualification!
My next aim is to complete the Master’s in risk at Birmingham University. The IRM diploma (along with my experience) will help provide exemption from the 1st 2 years of the 3-year course. This will be another challenging but exciting period I’m sure.
Ultimately, I see myself in a Head of Risk or Director of Risk role within the next 5 years, and this learning experience will have played a major part in that if I get there.
How do I work as a Risk Manager?
Working in risk management allows you to gain a deep understanding of the whole business, and not many roles give you this exposure. To work in a risk management role you need to have sound business knowledge, risk management knowledge and be confident in challenging senior members of staff.
Tip 1 – Get to know your business – Spend time gaining an understanding of the business. Review the annual reporting and accounts, review the objectives, mission statement and any other documentation you can
Tip 2 – Be confident – As a risk manager, don’t be afraid to challenge senior leaders. Oure there to provide challenge and make sure all risks are properly identified and mitigated
Tip 3 – Get qualified – Start with the IRM Certificate and see where your risk journey takes you