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IIRSM's Emerging Risk Leaders' Network

Introducing the Network 

IIRSM's Emerging Risk Leaders' Network aims to support those earlier on in their careers (our future leaders) to develop their risk, leadership, soft skills and business insights in a supportive and sociable environment. The network will also be open to those who have moved into risk from a previous career later in their working life. The network will specifically: 

  • Support you to deliver positive impact in your place of work by providing opportunities to develop your risk and leadership skills and raise your profile among your peers, employer and profession. 
  • Empower you to build your own career success by learning from and supporting others and building contacts with others from different sectors and risk-disciplines to cross-pollinate ideas and solutions. 
  • Provide you with opportunities to get involved in a sociable way to contrubte to research, engage in debate, deliver webinars and presentations, and participate in mentoring. 

To register your interest to hear more about the network and potentially join, please email 

Purpose and objectives

The purpose of the ERLN is to support the professional development of IIRSM members earlier on in their risk careers, including those who have moved into risk from a previous career later in their work life. 

As well as providing access to relevant content, it is about fostering social connections to help members learn from one another, as well as providing concrete opportunities for our emerging leaders to raise their profiles and develop both professionally and personally.

The objectives of the Network are to:

  • Raise awareness of the benefits of risk management earlier on in careers, as well as the importance of risk management and leadership competences.

  • Facilitate the sharing of knowledge, best practice and lessons learned between members of the network, across different industries, disciplines and geographical locations.

  • Provide opportunities for mentoring, to help members support one another with their challenges and long-term career aims.

  • Provide a supportive environment for members to grow soft skills, such as webinar/presentation and speaking skills, as well their technical, behavioural and business competences.

  • Conduct and publish credible research to provide valuable insights into risk and risk management.

  • Raise individual member profiles, enhance career opportunities and build long-lasting connections.

Who are emerging risk leaders?

Everyone is responsible for managing risks and should have the skills to be able to do so. A risk-based approach to decision-making helps to deliver strategy, manage costs, supply chains, keep people safe, and ultimately enables an organisation to better respond to its threats and opportunities in this fast paced and ever-changing world. 

Our Risk Management and Leadership Competence Framework outlines seven areas of technical competence and eight leadership behaviours for effective risk management at operational, managerial and strategic job role levels.

The network is aimed at two broad groups of IIRSM members, those at the operational or managerial level with ambitions to achieve a strategic role, and those who have recently taken on their first strategic role. 


Individuals aspiring to attain their first strategic role

Individuals with risk experience, who are looking for support in planning the achievement of their first real leadership position, through building their risk management and leadership competences and raising their profiles. This could be through:

  • Accessing relevant content and the opportunity to contribute to the development of network activities.
  • Being mentored, to help identify developmental areas and plan steps to achieve the next step in their career. 
  • Building a professional network.
Individuals in their first strategic role

Individuals who have recently taken on their first real strategic role and are looking for opportunities to enhance their risk leadership competences and raise their profiles. This could be through:

  • Accessing relevant content and the opportunity to lead on the development of network activities.
  • Mentoring those aspiring to attain their first leadership role and participating in reciprocal mentoring with peers.
  • Building their professional network.
  • Leading/ influencing best practice in the wider risk management community.
Activities & themes

Activities will include a combination of: 

  • Social & learning events 

  • Online content - webinar, videos, blogs, articles, podcasts 

  • Mentoring

  • Group research 

  • Careers advice 

As a key objective of the network is to facilitate knowledge sharing, members of the network will be expected to contribute to outputs as well as learn from those developed by other members and IIRSM. 


In line with our competence framework, the network will focus on the areas of leadership and risk management. The specific topics for initial focus are listed below, but network members will have the opportunity to input also. 


Leadership is traditionally associated with senior managers of an organisation setting its strategy, creating a vision for its future and inspiring the workforce to achieve that vision. It’s about influencing and motivating others, particularly in times of change. It is distinct to management, which focuses on the planning and implementation of the activities required to deliver the strategy. It is increasingly common within organisations, and particularly those with flatter structures, for all levels of manager and indeed non-manager to to be expected to display leadership competences and this is reflected in IIRSM's Risk Management and Leadership Competence Framework

The following are just some of the leadership themes the network will cover: 

  • Importance of purposeful/ ethical leadership. 

  • How to attain leadership experience and competence early in careers. 

  • Develop influencing and negotiating skills. 

  • Useful leadership models, books, podcasts.

Risk management

Everyone is responsible for managing risks and should have the skills to be able to do so. The benefits of being competent in risk management equally apply to those working in health and safety, and other risk-disciplines such as business continuity, crisis management, emergency planning, environmental management, quality and security. More importantly, they apply also to all decision-makers across an organisation. 

  • Risk strategy - How to develop a risk strategy and how it fits within an overall approach to risk came out on top of our 2019 Learning Needs Analysis. 
  • Data management. Data is key to to indentifying and evaluating risks facing organisations and informs how they decide to manage those risks. 

  • Human rights and modern day slavery. In 2018, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority identified that exploitation and abuse of workers is widespread across the UK economy in a range of sectors. However, this isn't just a UK issue. According to the International Labour Organisation, 21 million people are forced into labour at any point in time.

Applying for the Network

The network will be open to IIRSM members only and they will be required to complete an application. The application process will ask potential members to share details of their work experience and:

  • demonstrate their understanding of the scheme 

  • share their motivations for applying and thoughts on how they would like to contribute 

  • demonstrate their commitment to continuous professional development 

We will be accepting applications from April 2020 for those who wish to take part in the piloting of the network. More information about what is invovled will be available here soon. Spaces will be limited for the pilot, so if you are intereted in participating, we advise that you submit your application promptly.

Sponsorship opportunities
Working in partnership

We want to work in partnership with organisations that are aligned with our charitable values to educate and support current and future risk talent. 

Sponsoring the network enables you to demonstrate your commitment to attracting and retaining competent risk leaders in your industry and highlighting the vital role they play in protecting people, reputation and profits. We are seeking lead and supporting sponsors. Benefits include: 

  • Contributing features and opinion columns in the network's e-magazine. 
  • Sharing your achievements via webinar or video. 
  • Networking with a pool of risk talent. 
  • Accessing the network to help explore/ solve your risk issues.
  • Profiling your brand via sponsoring and attending seminars or social events. 
  • Participating in panel discussions at events or via podcasts. 
  • Having your logo on all relevant activities and literature. 

If you are interested in supporting this great initiative, get in touch with David Hamilton at