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IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards 2020

Headline sponsor

Celebrating risk excellence - protecting people, reputation and profits.

The IIRSM awards are independent, recognising innovative individuals, teams and organisations responsible for implementing best practice in managing risks and opportunities. 

Whether you work for a large multinational with big budgets and lots of resources, or an SME or charity with small budgets and limited resources - the principles and benefits of risk management equally apply. Good risk management practice at all levels within an organisation is fundamental to support strategy development, operational performance and a strong reputation.

The awards are open to everyone and we want entries from all sectors and types of organisations, no matter how large or small.  

Being a finalist, highly commended or winning provides a truly independent recognition of your hard work, and showcases to employers, customers, clients and others the differences made to organisations, professions and society at large.

It has been a real pleasure celebrating the achievements and hard work of our finalists and winners since we launched the awards in 2018, and we are excited about recognising and celebrating with our 2020 finalists and winners.

Sponsorship opportunities

Why sponsor?

Sponsorship of the IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards offers an invaluable opportunity to position your organisation and brand at the forefront of innovation and delivering true value through risk management.

Sponsors of the 2020 Awards will reach an audience of decision-makers, thought leaders and influencers in the risk, safety and wider business community. As an awards partner, your brand will be seen on every piece of pre-event marketing material, from traditional to digital, as well as significant prescence on the evening.

So, what will you be getting as a sponsor?

  • Eight months of high-profile, high value brand exposure and reach
  • Opportunity to deliver a webinar showcasing your brand and thought leadership to our membership and wider networks
  • Your table at an event not to be missed
  • And more....

If you're interested in sponsoring our 2020 awards, please download the sponsorship brochure at the bottom of this page or get in touch with Sophie Williams, Director of Professional Development on 



When submitting your awards applications, please note, some or all of the work and benefits need to have been achieved between May 2019 and February 2020. 

Download and read the full terms and conditions at the bottom of this page. You may also want to look at our FAQs.

Barry Holt Award - Outstanding Risk Management Practice

Barry Holt was an advocate of the risk  profession, well known for his academic accomplishments and knowledge. He worked with IIRSM from 2010 until his death in 2016. He spent 35 years providing consultancy and training services to many of today’s best recognised global industrial brands. This award acknowledges those that demonstrate excellence in risk management benefiting people, society or business.

Award criteria

Open to individuals, teams, partnerships or organisations that can demonstrate innovation, collaboration and excellence in risk management, contributing to the success of an organisation and its stakeholders.

Judges will be looking for:

  • A clear link between a risk management initiative and organisational goals. 
  • The impact the initiative had on organisational culture. 
  • What makes the initiative stand out. 
  • Evidence of the benefits the initiative has brought the individual, team, partnership or organisation. 


Entries are open to all and a supporting reference from a client, customer, manager, or other relevant stakeholder will be required.

International Risk Initiative of the Year

The award recognises effective risk management across multiple global locations. 

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for:

  • Evidence of a strategic approach to managing risks across geographical locations. 
  • Evidence of how culture, values and employer brand are applied to different regions. 
  • Knowledge sharing across countries. 


Entries are open to all and can be submitted by individuals, teams and organisations. A supporting reference from a client, customer, manager, or other relevant stakeholder will be required.

SME Risk Initiative of the Year

This award recognises small and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 250 employees and not part of a group of large companies) that have transformed the way they manage risks in support of their objectives.

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for:

  • How your approach to managing risks has changed. 
  • How you overcame any barriers or challenges. 
  • What makes your initiative stand out and how you have been innovative. 
  • Evidence that the changes made have directly brought benefits to your people and organisation. 


Entries are open to all and can be submitted by individuals, teams and organisations. A supporting reference from a client, customer, manager, or other relevant stakeholder will be required.


Health and Wellbeing Strategy of the Year

This award recognises employers which have a clear health and wellbeing strategy that is both preventative and proactive in approach, and is at the centre of the organisation.

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for:

  • A strategy that focuses on both physical and mental health wellbeing. 
  • How leadership has driven the strategy across the organisation. 
  • How the strategy has been effectively integrated within day-to-day operations. 
  • Quantifiable business improvements. 


Entries are open to all and can be submitted by individuals, teams and organisations. A supporting reference from a client, customer, manager, or other relevant stakeholder will be required.

Change Programme of the Year

This award recognises a team or organisation that has achieved a common objective through effectively managing risks and opportunities to successfully implement change.  Some or all the benefits need to have been achieved during the last year.

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for: 

  • How leadership has driven the programme across the organisation or division.
  • Evidence of the benefits created by the programme and how these have been successfully integrated into the organisation or division.
  • How proactively risks were overcome and opportunities maximised during the period of the programme and what were the outcomes.


Entries are open to all and can be submitted by individuals, teams and organisations. A supporting reference from a client, customer, manager or other relevant stakeholder will be required. 

John Bennett Award - Exceptional Young Person of the Year

John Bennett was Chairman of IIRSM from 1996 to 1999 and was instrumental in the growth of the Institute having joined the Board of Governors in 1990. He was Honorary Life President until his death in May 2015. Recognising young talent was particularly close to John’s heart and the recipient of this award will be an apprentice or young risk or safety professional.

Award criteria 

Open to under 35s (or those who have turned 35 since February 2019) from IIRSM membership and the wider risk, safety and business community. 

Applicants will be required to demonstrate dedication over and above what is expected of them and can show how they made a positive impact on an organisation or team to improve its culture and operational performance through risk or safety management.

Judges will be looking for individuals who:

  • Demonstrate how they use their initiative to implement new solutions to meet organisational needs.
  • Use innovative approaches to their work.
  • Quantify the impact of their contributions to work.
  • Demonstrate exceptional teamwork and collaboration working beyond silos.
  • Demonstrate excellence in execution.


Entries can be submitted through self-nomination or an applicant can be nominated by a mentor, client, supplier, customer, colleague or manager. If submitting a self-nomination entry, it must include a supporting reference from either a mentor, client, customer, colleague or manager.

Mentor of the Year

This award recognises outstanding mentors who have actively participated in the IIRSM or similar mentoring programmes or are just individuals who have just proactively mentored someone else. The award acknowledges the time, dedication, contribution made to the advancement of his or her mentee and creating a successful mentor/ mentee relationship.

We do not usually consider line managers to be mentors to their teams, as part of this award. This is because a key part of the mentoring relationship is the ability to have an open and honest conversation, for example about workplace challenges or future career aspirations. Mentors are usually those who can offer an impartial viewpoint, so may work for the same company as the mentee but in a different team, or be connected to their mentee through a mentoring scheme offered by a membership body such as IIRSM’s.   

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for:

  • How the mentor has supported the mentee in gaining new knowledge and skills. 
  • How the mentor has guided the mentee in deciding the action to achieve objectives or solutions to overcome challenges. 
  • How the mentor has been accessible to the mentee over a sustained period. 
  • Overall, how valuable the mentee found the relationship with the mentor and what they have been able to achieve as a result. 


To nominate your mentor, or a colleague or professional peer who you know has done an excellent job of mentoring someone else, please provide details using the criteria above. You do not need to provide a reference if you have direct experience of being mentored by the person you are nominating. 

You can also nominate yourself for the Award. In addition to explaning how you meet the criteria above, you will also need to provide a reference from your mentee as part of the application process. 


Technology Risk Management Initiative of the Year

Technology is a driving force and enabler to successfully manage risk. 

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for:

  • The driver for the initiative/project and how it aligns with an organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Evidence of information and data produced and used to inform decision-making.
  • How the outcome of the initiative positively impacted the organisation and its people.  Evidence provided may include for example, financial metrics, stakeholder engagement levels, reduced or eliminated risks or exploited opportunities, as well as less tangible outcomes such as the impact on the credibility and integrity of the risk and/or safety function within the organisation.
  • What was innovative about the solution and how you used it?


We are looking for submissions from suppliers that have clearly understood their end users and their needs to build solutions that have delivered true business value and achieved users’ strategic objectives using technology solutions.


From organisations showcasing how they worked in partnership with their technology supplier to meet their strategic objectives and added value to their organisation through using technology.



Risk Team of the Year

This award recognises risk or safety teams that have demonstrated excellence to meet organisational needs.

Award criteria 

Judges will be looking for:

  • Teams that can evidence innovative approaches to addressing a key organisational issue or multiple projects, and how the approach met the needs of the organisation.
  • Exceptional teamwork and leadership in executing and delivering performance.
  • Collaboration and engagement across the organisation to achieve common objectives and organisational needs.
  • How the team and their work positively impacted the organisation. Evidence can include financial metrics, stakeholder engagement levels, reduced or eliminated threats or exploited opportunities, as well as less tangible outcomes such as the impact on the credibility and integrity of the risk and/or safety function within the organisation.


Entries are open to all and can be submitted by teams and organisations nominating a team. A supporting reference from a client, customer, manager, or other relevant stakeholder will be required.

IIRSM President’s Commendation

IIRSM’s President’s commendation recognises a member or leading industry professional who has made a major contribution to the advancement of risk management or provided exceptional support to IIRSM and/or its membership, the profession or wider society.

Nominations can be submitted to IIRSM setting out in no more than one page of A4, why somebody should be awarded the IIRSM President’s commendation.


A shortlist of nominations will be presented to the IIRSM Council with their supporting statements. The Council will choose a winner who will be invited to attend the IIRSM Awards Dinner to collect the award.


Congratulations to all our 2020 finalists!  We look forward to celebrating with them all at the Awards Dinner on 8 October.



Barry Holt Award - Outstanding Risk Management Practice

  • Affinity Living Team Building 5 & 6, Circle Square Manchester for MPB Structures
  • Haridas S Nair
  • Mathew Kurian, WSP Middle East


International Risk Initiative of the Year


  • EHS Boston Scientific Clonmel
  • Jonathan Smith, Online Safety Solutions
  • Multiplex Middle East
  • Neelesh Sogani


John Bennett Award - Exceptional Young Person of the Year


  • Darren Glendinning
  • Sarah Crawford
  • Shreejith Krishnan


Health & Wellbeing Strategy of the Year


  • Cabinet Office Health & Safety and Wellbeing Teams
  • Finlays Always Safe Team
  • healthcare rm
  • Loughborough University


Technology Risk Management Initiative of the Year

  • Acin
  • Avetta
  • Fujitsu Services
  • healthcare rm
  • Howdens Trade Health & Safety Team
  • Safe 365
  • Work Wallet


SME Risk Initiative of the Year


  • Arun Raveendran
  • healthcare rm
  • TJ Transport & TJ Waste


Mentor of the Year


  • Anthony Hayward
  • Graham Wailes
  • John Berrisford


Risk Team of the Year

  • Domestic & General
  • ITV Risk Team
  • Loughborough University Occupational Health Team
  • Unite Students Safe and Secure Team


Change Programme of the Year


  • Howdens Trade Health & Safety Team
  • Metinvest Holding
  • Quinn Industrial Holdings

The awards application deadline was 14 February 2020. The finalists have been announced and the winners will be announced on 8 October 2020. 

The awards are open to all and are free to enter.  As part of the application you will need to include a statement explaining how you or the individual, team or organisation you are nominating has met the criteria for the Award. Your statement should be no more than 1500 words, but you can provide up to 5 pieces of supporting evidence (videos, photographs, images, graphs, presentations etc.) as Appendices. A maximum of one side of A4 (minimum font size 10) is allowed for any supporting reference. Nominations will be shortlisted by our independent Judging Panel and winners will be announced at the IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards Dinner.

If you are successfully shortlisted, you will be required to provide us with your company logo to be used on our website and in relevant pre and post marketing activities.

How to submit your entry

Stage 1 – Complete the expression of interest application form 

Read all essential information (T&Cs, judging criteria, key dates) and complete the expression of interest application form (download below). Email it to Holly Mulvihill-Clark on to confirm your intention of submitting an entry.

Stage 2 – How to submit your entry

Submit your entry application form (dowload below) by email to Holly Mulvihill-Clark at no later than 4pm on 14 February 2020. An email confirmation will be sent to confirm receipt of your entry within 1 working day. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact Holly.

Stage 3 – Judging timetable and process

The judging process will be held during Feb/March 2020, and applications will go through two rounds of judging.

Stage 4 – Shortlist of finalists announced

The shortlist of finalists will be announced on the IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards website page on 20 March 2020 and all those who are shortlisted will also receive an email confirmation.

Stage 5 - Winners announced

Winners will be announced on 8 October 2020.


Headline sponsor

Cardinus Risk Management

"Cardinus Risk Management is a proud sponsor of the IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards 2019. The awards contribute to the overall mission of achieving excellence within the risk management industry, and of its attendant mission of saving money and saving lives, something that Cardinus Risk Management feels very passionately about.

The awards will demonstrate the breadth and depth of talent in the industry and we look forward to hearing from organisations and individuals about how they have achieved excellence in their work.

Cardinus is honoured to be sponsoring the Barry Holt Award. Barry was a friend of Cardinus long before he set up our consultancy division in 2009. Barry was one of the most knowledgeable risk management experts with a global reputation. And, he was a truly decent human being who is sadly missed by all who knew him. This award honours his memory and represents his passion for excellence in our profession."

Supporting sponsors

Multiplex - John Bennett Award, Exceptional Young Person of the Year

Multiplex has been delivering landmark property and infrastructure assets for over 50 years. They are a leading international contractor with a focus on sustainable growth and a presence in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and India.

Established in 1962, Multiplex’s work to date comprises more than 955 projects with a combined value in excess of US$80 billion. With almost 7,000 employees across the globe, Multiplex has a mobile, collaborative workforce that shares knowledge and applies international best practice across all projects. Their expertise encompasses the residential, health, retail, commercial, tourism, education, engineering and infrastructure sectors, and as a group they have earned more than 700 industry awards.

Multiplex has built a reputation in the marketplace for their collaborative, flexible approach – working in partnership with their clients and maintaining a shared focus on the final goal. They target the projects they believe in and work with partners and clients who share their values. Their current workbook across a diverse range of sectors reflects their strong reputation, which has resulted in a high proportion of repeat business.

Multiplex is backed by the financial stability and global relationships of their parent company, Brookfield, which supports their continued growth.

Barnett Waddingam - Risk Team of the Year 

Barnet Waddingham are a leading independent UK professional services consultancy across risk, pensions, investment and insurance. Our independence ensures we are free to do the right thing by all our clients at all times.

Our award winning Risk Advisory and Analytics team harness the skills of multi-disciplined, cross-sector experienced actuaries and consultants including certified enterprise risk actuaries, risk governance practitioners, quality and assurance professionals and software engineers.  Whether it is our inclusive approach which brings cognitive diversity to risk identification, or our utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the boardroom for optimising decision making, we stand out and help organisations make better informed decisions on risk that lead to better business outcomes.

Our specialist teams can also help and mitigate risks for insurance companies, from validating capital models to ensure companies hold sufficient capital to respond to adverse events and meet regulatory requirements.

Outside of this we help HR decision makers focus on a wider approach to benefits advice, helping with employers to set wellbeing strategies to include pensions, wider workplace savings, risk, wellbeing and lifestyle benefits.

We act for a wide range of clients, both large and small, in the private and public sectors including over 15% of FTSE 350 companies.

healthcare rm - Change Programme of the Year 

healthcare rm is passionate about preventing, managing and mitigating health risks for organisations and their employees, which can have a significant impact on any business of any size.



HSE Recruitment - Mentor of the Year Award 

Established in 2002, The HSE Recruitment Network is the most recognised and trusted brand in the UK Health & Safety recruitment sector. Our recruitment consultants are proud and passionate advocates of the Health & Safety industry, and equally of the diverse range of individuals who specialise in Health, Safety, Wellbeing, Environmental and Risk Management.


Avetta - Drinks Reception Sponsor 

Avetta connects leading global organisations in sectors including property, telecoms, retail, pharmaceuticals with qualified and vetted suppliers, contractors and vendors. 


PG Mutual 

PG Mutual are a not-for-profit, Friendly Society that specialise in providing Income Protection to professionals. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who can enter these awards?

A. Anyone – if the activity, company, team or individual involved in the submission meets the awards criteria.  

Q. Why should I enter these awards?

A. Whether you’re an SME or a large multinational, winning an IIRSM award doesn’t just give you something to boast about – it will be a weapon in your armoury and, most importantly, justify your role and influence in your organisation.

Q. What is the period of eligibility for the Awards?

A. For 2020 entries, at least part of the submission or its impact must have taken place between May 2019 and Feb 2020.  

Q. What is the word count?

A. 1500, which excludes tables and diagrams.  

Q. Can I add attachments?

A. Yes, you can add up to 5 pieces of supporting documentation.  

Q. I've designed a creative version of my submission; can I add this as an attachment? 

A. Yes, but please get in touch with us first.  

Q. What is the deadline for submitting my entry?

A. 4pm, 14 February 2020.

Q. How can I be sure about the integrity of these awards? 

A. The judging process for the awards is entirely independent with judges from a wide range of backgrounds and risk disciplines.  An adjudication panel meets in a second round of judging for any very close submissions in round one.  

Q. How do I enter these awards? 

A. Firstly, register your interest by completing the ‘register your interest’ form and email it to Holly Mulvihill-Clark. When you are ready to submit your final entry, download and complete the formal application form and attach any supporting documentation. This should also be emailed to Holly Mulvihill by WTF if including large files. Please refer to the awards criteria to ensure your submission reflects what the judges will be looking for. Entries open on 1 October 2019 and your entries must be received by us by 4pm 14 February 2020.  Late entries will not be accepted.

Q.  How hard is it to prepare an entry? 

A. Entering our awards is a simple and straight-forward process. But if you have any questions, please just get in touch with us.

Q. What should my entries include? 

A. All entries must follow the necessary category-specific entry criteria, and you should include any supporting documents. Please ensure all your entries are clearly attributed to the correct category, complete with contact details and attach your company logo as this will be required if you are successfully shortlisted.  

Q. What are your policies on confidentiality? 

A. IIRSM will publish a selection of winning entries as case studies to showcase the best of submissions. Any information that is commercially sensitive will be treated confidentially by judges, who all sign an NDA prior to becoming a judge. Any commercially sensitive information will be removed prior to publication. However, please keep in mind where appropriate, details of ROI and budget should be provided, as the more information you supply, the better the judges will be able to assess your entry.

Q. How much does it cost to enter? 

A. It is free to enter.  

Q. Can I enter the same project into more than one category? 

A. Yes, but please make sure you submit a separate application for each category. You must also tailor your submission for each category. 

Q. When will the shortlist by announced? 

A. The shortlist will be announced 20 March 2020. 

Q. When and where are the IIRSM Awards taking place this year? 

A. The IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards 2020 will take place on 8 October 2020 in London, at Church House, Westminster.





Find out more about our confirmed judges below... 


Jon Abbott - Director, Cardinus Risk Management

Jon Abbott has over 20 years’ experience of ergonomics, safety and occupational health. Over that period he has worked with a wide variety of organisations in the private and public sector providing a full range of risk management solutions including software, e-learning and consultancy.  Jon was instrumental in setting up Cardinus operations in America and across the globe, and is currently responsible for the global strategy of Cardinus Risk Management Limited.

Dean Adams - Group Health, Safety and Environment Manager, Glidepath Australia Pty Ltd

Dean has 19 years experience working in operations and maintenance and has spent the past 7 years as the Airport Services Manager for Glidepath Limited at Perth Airport in Western Australia.  Dean has a Diploma in Work Health & Safety and in his time with Glidepath he has developed the health and safety systems, policies and procedures which are utilised by the organisation in 13 subsidiaries globally. The industry leading safety systems he has put in place have led to him being recognised as a finalist in the Worksafe Western Australia Awards 2014 and 2015  for Best Individual Contribution to Safety and Health category, and to him winning the IIRSM Risk Excellence Award - The John Bennett Award for Exceptional Young Person of the Year 2019. 

Abdullatif Albitawi - Consultant and Trainer

Abdullatif Albitawi graduated from Jordan University of Science & Technology, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and holds a MSc in Energy Studies from the University of Sheffield.

He started his career in the pharmaceuticals industry and then moved to the chemical industry as a senior process engineer, then to the manufacturing industry as an operations manager. He played key roles in commissioning and starting up process plants and manufacturing facilities for companies that he worked for. He has made contributions to process improvement & control, loss prevention and environmental protection, quality management, process safety and occupational health and safety management.  

He is a Specialist Fellow of the International Institute of risk and Safety Management and serves as the Treasurer of the UAE branch and is also a member of the Energy Institute, serving as the Hon. Treasurer of the Middle East branch.

Abdullatif currently works as a consultant and trainer in areas of risk management, process safety, OH&S, energy and environmental management.  

Dee Arp - Director of Learning and Assessment, NEBOSH

Dee Arp is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner of IOSH and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors. Dee moved into occupational health and safety 20 years ago whilst working at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). At that time Dee was a Technical Manager for Road Safety, which led to her involvement in the development of occupational road risk training. After becoming a qualified health and safety practitioner; she taught on a wide range of courses and also worked with several boards and committees to implement safety governance.

Prior to joining NEBOSH; Dee held the roles of Course Developer and Head of Occupational Safety for RoSPA. 

Dee is now NEBOSH Director of Learning and Assessment and has responsibility for providing leadership on all matters relating to qualification development and assessment of NEBOSH qualifications and on matters of compliance, including the accreditation of NEBOSH Learning Partners. She oversees the implementation of agreed strategies and governance arrangements which protect the integrity of assessments leading to NEBOSH qualifications. Her previous experiences gained as a learner, provider and examiner are of great benefit to Dee in her role. 

Dee previously studied with Cambridge University for the Certificate of Continuing Education (Principles and Practice of Assessment) and is now undertaking further study with Cambridge University for a Masters in Education.

Laura Aucott - Brand Leader and Head of Contract, The HSE Recruitment Network

Laura Aucott has been a key part of the HSE Recruitment team for the last ten years, and as a brand leader she is responsible not only for the contract division of HSE but also plays a key role in defining the team vision and goals. Laura works closely with key professionals in the industry to accurately understand how best as a team HSE Recruitment can support them to grow, ensuring that we are providing excellent outstanding digital content, networking opportunities and events that help Safety professionals get the best out of their careers - as well as some of the best Safety opportunities across the UK. 

Heather Beach - Managing Director, The Healthy Work Company

Heather Beach is the founder and Managing Director of The Healthy Work Company. She has been running businesses in the health and safety community for over 20 years.

Having started in information services running the first available health and safety service from HSE on CD-ROM at SilverPlatter - she moved to Barbour and then to Safety & Health Expo, SHP, and IOSH conference.

Heather is a specialist in organisational cultural change. A qualified coach, she and her partners and associates are committed to transforming the way in which the health and safety profession is viewed by the general public.

The founder of Women in Health and Safety and the Barbour webinar series which attracts over 3000 attendees a month - Heather continues to run both of these in partnership with UBM. She also writes for SHP.

Su Corrin - Senior Health, Safety and Risk Manager, The FA

Su has over 20 years' experience as health and safety professional. She has worked in a very diverse range of environments including medical research, pharmaceutical, education, TV and entertainment. 

She currently works as the Senior Health, Safety & Risk Advisor at the Football Association, leading a team of advisors. She is based at Wembley Stadium, but is responsible for overseeing and implementing the health and safety management system for all aspects of the FA’s business. This includes large construction projects, venue and event safety, grassroots and football development, fire safety and health and wellbeing. 

Su has Fellowships of the IIRSM and the Royal Society for Public Health. She is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, a Certified Member of the  Institute of Workplace Facilities Management, Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management, Associate Member of the Association of Project Safety, Associate Member of the British Occupational Hygiene Society and Member of the Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians. She has also worked as an Occupational Health Advisor and has a degree in Occupational Hygiene.

Su has a particular interest in health and well-being and has spent a long time working to raise the profile of workplace health.  She has produced the FA’s staff well-being strategy.

Su has won a number of awards and has a passion for learning new skills, developing other whilst working collaboratively to support great results.


Steve Fowler - Managing Director, Amarreurs Consulting Ltd

Steve leads Amarreurs Consulting Ltd, a specialist firm providing international business strategy, risk and resilience, occupational health and safety, and change management and consultancy services. 

Steve is a prolific writer on risk management and business strategy, risk in major projects, international development and on competency standards for the risk management profession. He previously served 12 years as Chief Executive Officer at the Institute of Risk Management (IRM). He is also a part-time university lecturer in risk management and a member of British Standards Institution's committee for risk management. In addition, he serves on several risk management committees for major organisations. 

Karla Gahan - Senior Manager, Barnett Waddingham

Karla is a risk, business continuity and crisis management specialist. Throughout her career, Karla has dealt with complex subjects that can challenge people's core beliefs and behaviours, such as responding to a global cyberattack, terrorist attacks in various jurisdictions, as well as localised, office-based emergencies. 

Applying experiential and commercial knowledge and understanding how people might behave in such extreme circumstances has been invaluable in responding to such incidents. Karla believes that identifying and understanding complex interrelationships between various risks is essential to an effective enterprise-wide approach to risk management in a global business environment.

Karla has previously held roles in knowledge management, compliance and communications. She is a Fellow of the IIRSM, an Associate Member of the Business Continuity Institute (AMBCI), a Certified Member of the Institute of Risk Management (CMIRM) and a Member of Airmic and Parima. 

Dr Pamela Gellatly - CEO, healthcare rm

Pamela founded healthcare rm 20 years ago to provide an integrated approach to Employee Health Risk Management. This approach considers the occupational and personal risks across: Safety where the risk involves the person e.g. manual handling; Health where all aspects that may affect a person is considered e.g. work, home life, lifestyle and Wellbeing where the often forgotten health risks such as musculoskeletal disorders and mental ill health are integral to every programme in a manner not normally considered.  This ensures that the individual is placed at the centre of all Safety, Health and Wellbeing strategies and that any physical or psychological risk whether related to work (e.g. job tasks) or to the person e.g. excess weight and inactivity) is considered, and where appropriate assessed and addressed.  The objective is to improve the likelihood that any “control” or “benefit” implemented to eliminate or reduce these risks or offer support when required are more likely to be beneficial to the employee and the business that the traditional approach to Health and Safety or Health and Wellbeing.

Chris Marsh - Director, IRC-Risk UK

Originally trained as a Marine Engineer, for the past 30 years Chris has worked across the Oil and Gas sector globally: 19 years of which have been as a risk professional providing leaderhip and advice in key areas of HSSEQ at Corporate (strategic) and Operational (tactical) level. 

He has an MSc in Health and Safety Risk Management and is a Fellow of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (FIIRSM) and is an active member of the IIRSM Education and Training Committee. He has an interest in culture and behaviour also how technology can be best leveraged to improve our ability to manage today's risks. 

Whilst not an academic, Chris is the author/ co-author or a number of academic papers covering some very topical subjects, for example leadership, culture, behaviour, organisational incident investigation and learning and process hazard analysis and ageing assets. 

Hugh Maxwell - Principle HSE Consultant, Chubb Global Risk Advisors


Hugh Maxwell is Principle HSE Consultant for Chubb Limited – the world’s largest publicly traded P&C insurance company and the largest commercial insurer in the USA. Over 20 years international Risk and HSE leadership and an IIRSM Fellow since 2007, he continues to believe in supporting our members and making our Institution the international enabler for Risk and HSE professionals – no matter their career stage, role, disciplines or location.

Maxwell’s background is high-risk manufacturing and customer locations. As former HSE Director of Vesuvius PLC (a world leader in steel industry consumables) and Global Environmental Leader of ESAB (the world’s leaders in welding and cutting technologies), he has driven extensive risk reduction initiatives globally. A key part of this has been through developing people, reducing risks and saving lives. His primary risk reduction strategy -- Safety Breakthrough, a management change programme, resulted in him receiving the 2018 IIRSM Excellence Award for Best International Risk Initiative.

With a passion for people engagement and development, he continues to develop others wherever possible. He was part of the IIRSM Mentoring pilot since and continues to support our members where possible. He is also an IIRSM ambassador and part of the Fellowship recommendation assessment panel. He was also rewarded for his Mentoring efforts in 2019 as the IIRSM Mentor of the Year. During a personal visit this year, he had the honour of supporting the launch of the IIRSM Regional Network in Mumbai on January 25th.  He believes in the importance of planning for the future through people, making best use of new technologies and reducing risks wherever we can and continues to work closely with our IIRSM senior management team whenever possible.

Sarah Mitchell - Director of Health & Safety, University of the Arts London

Sarah Mitchell MBA CMIOSH has been Director of Health & Safety at the University of the Arts London (UAL) since 2018.  UAL is a global leader of undergraduate creative education, ranking 2nd for Art and Design in the QS University World Rankings by Subject 2020, next to fellow London institution the Royal College of Art.

Before joining UAL in 2018, Sarah had spent much of her working life in the UK rail industry in operations and infrastructure maintenance management including working as a mobile rapid response manager attending accidents and incidents on the railway network.  A passionate believer that work should not harm or hurt anyone, health and safety has been a constant thread throughout Sarah’s working life and in 2010 she made the decision to change the direction of her career and move into health and safety full time.  Two years later she took up the position of Head of Safety, Health & Environment for Network Rail’s Western region, before exchanging trains for planes and taking on the role of Head of Safety Improvement at Heathrow Airport in 2016.   

For Sarah, health and safety must not place an unnecessary burden on day-to-day business activities or make it more difficult to carry out work.  Sarah is an advocate for a risk-based, pragmatic and sensible approach to health and safety management which is baked into day to day working practices.  For this to happen, Sarah believes that workers at all levels must understand their health and safety risks and be empowered to make informed healthy and safe decisions – every day.  

Sarah lives on a small holding in Berkshire with her husband, five border collie dogs, a flock of Hebridean sheep and two Clydesdale horses; she has recently taken up upholstery as a hobby.

Glenn Ridsdale - Managing Director, Gauged Solutions

Glenn Ridsdale is the Managing Director of Gauged Solutions, and as a member of IIRSM he currently chairs the North East and Cumbria branch, having helped to establish it in March 2018. A career that started in aeronautical electrical engineering with UK based military flighter aircraft, Glenn has subsequently spent the last 20 years working in high hazard industries including power, oil, gas, petrochemical, waste and recycling, construction and Sub Sea, having held senior risk management positions in most. 

As comfortable on the shop floor as he is in the Board Room, Glenn is a Chartered safety professional passionate about both. Coaching executives or working with operational staff, Glenn specialises in both the human and technical aspect to managing risk. 

With an MSc in Behavioural Change, specifically related to occupational health and safety, Glenn has worked across the globe introducing cultural and behavioural based safety change programmes to a diverse range of organisations. One such behavioural change programme delivered by Gauged Solutions to Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd,  won the inaugural IIRSM Barry Holt Award for Outstanding Risk Management Practice at the 2018 Risk Excellence Awards Dinner. 

Stephen Smith - Executive Director of SHEQ (EMEC), Multiplex

Stephen is an experienced sustainability and occupational health and safety professional who has worked in numerous market sectors in contracting, engineering and consulting. His career to date has seen him work across Australia, the Middle East, Europe and Canada.

After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s degree in Science (Hons), Stephen went on to receive a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Technology Sydney. He began his career in Australia as a consultant specialising in Environmental Science and Occupational Hygiene before joining Multiplex’s Dubai office in 2011. In 2016, he was appointed to the position of Executive Director of SHEQ for the Middle East, and in 2018, he relocated to London as Executive Director of SHEQ for Europe, the Middle East and Canada. In his role, Stephen provides strategic and technical leadership to Multiplex EMEC and regional businesses, driving long-term value creation, business resilience and operational excellence in sustainability, occupational health, safety, quality and worker welfare.  

While based in the UAE, Stephen sat on the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) Board of Directors and was an Executive Member for the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety UAE Branch Committee. He is a member of the UK Green Building Council Leaders Network and a founding member of Building Responsibly– an initiative to promote the rights and welfare of workers in the engineering and construction industry. Stephen is also a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), a Certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP – EIANZ), an Estidama Pearl Qualified Professional (PQP), a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI) and a Specialist Member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (SMIIRSM).

Grant Thompson - Health, Safety and Environmental Manager, Fox's Biscuits

Grant Thompson, one of the younger members of the judging panel, works as Health, Safety and Environmental Manager for the UK's beloved Fox's Biscuits. Grant studied Environmental Science (BSc) and Environmental Management (MSc) at the University of Nottingham and started his career as an Environmental Engineer for DNV GL, an internationally accredited registrar and classification society, where he was supported through his NEBOSH General Certificate and introduced to the world of risk management. From there, Grant went onto work as the EMEA Health, Safety and Environmental Specialist for ISN, a US-based contractor management company, and then onto work as the Health and Safety Manager for GA Pet Food Partners, Europe's leading manufacturer of dry pet foods. 

Grant has been involved heavily with IIRSM through his participation in the mentoring scheme and more recently the Emerging Risk Leaders' Network, an independent network established to help emerging risk leaders build their contacts and develop their knowledge, skills and competences. In January 2019, Grant was selected as one of the Health and Safety at Work's 40 under 40 winners and was recognised for his divergent thinking and contribution to safety in his recent roles. Grant is an advocate of positive reinforcement inside and outside of the workplace and is delighted to be on the judging panel to recognise, celebrate and share achievements and best practices in our industry. 

Mark White - Health and Safety Trainer, GEN2

Mark is an experienced health, safety and environmental professional. Since leaving the military in 2003, Mark has embarked on a varied risk and safety career in consultancy, the Ministry of Defence, Civil Service and, more recently, higher education, starting with the University of Portsmouth in 2009.

Wanting a lifestyle change, seven years ago Mark relocated to Cumbria and took on the role of Health and Safety Experimental Officer for The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute’s Cumbrian Facility. This role involved managing radiation protection and all aspects of safety related requirements in the facility. 

In 2019 Mark joined GEN2, part of the City & Guilds group, as Health and Safety Trainer delivering corporate health, safety and wellbeing training to apprentices starting out in their careers.  GEN2’s ethos focusses on providing high quality employer and learner responsive training and educational programmes.

He has been an active member of IIRSM for 15 years and recently won the inaugural IIRSM North East & Cumbria Award for social responsibilities and community safety engagement, in recognition of his voluntary work in first aid training within his local community and working with the youth sector.

David Wilson - Head of Risk, Security & Compliance, Serco

David has a slightly unusual background. Serving in the Royal Navy, he saw active service in both Gulf wars, Northern Ireland and served in warships across the globe. The highlights of his Naval career included commanding HMS Bangor and the First Patrol Boat Squadron, receiving a Head of Service Commendation and selection to become the Royal Navy's first Chief Risk Officer. David is now enjoying the demands of corporate life in transforming service-provider, Serco and is currently studying for an MSc in Risk, where his dissertation challenges the very definition of risk.

Simone Wray - risk management professional

Simone is a certified risk professional and former IRM Chairman with proven success in driving the risk management agenda at Board level.  She has developed her knowledge, skills and experience through working within organisations across a range of industries in the private, public and not for profit sectors over the past 25 years. Her passion for risk management has been described as infectious.

The Dinner

The winners of each Award will be announced at our Risk Excellence Awards & Networking Dinner in London on 8 October 2020. Find out more about the event here