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IIRSM's Emerging Risk Leaders' Network

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

The network will specifically: 

Support you to deliver positive impact in your place of work by providing opportunities to develop and raise your profile amongst your peers, employers, and profession.

Empower you to build career success by learning from and supporting others and building contacts from different sectors and risk-disciplines to cross-pollinate ideas, knowledge, and solutions.  

Provide you with opportunities to get involved in a friendly environment to contribute to research, engage in debate, deliver talks, and participate in reverse and reciprocal mentoring and more.

Watch our promotional video here

New digital magazine

We are delighted with our first digital magazine; a key tool bringing to life this landmark initiative, full of insight, opinion, career support and much more. Click here to read.





The purpose of the network is to support the professional development of our future risk leaders and to foster social connections to help  develop both professionally and personally.

The objectives of the Network are to:

  • Raise awareness of the benefits and importance of developing risk competence and leadership skills early on in careers.

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

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

  • Offer a supportive environment for members to develop their soft skills, such as public speaking, delivering webinars/presentations and their leadership skills such as influencing, negotiating, emotional intelligence and communicating with impact. 

  • Conduct and publish research to provide valuable insights into risk and risk management and the challenges faced by organisations and industries.

  • 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 our ever-changing world. 

Our Risk Management and Leadership Competence Framework outlines seven areas of technical competence and eight leadership behaviours 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 to achieve their first real leadership position, through building their risk competence, leadership skills, business insights and raising their profiles within and beyond their organisation.

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 leadership skills and raise their profiles within their profession.

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

The activities and themes of the Network will be steered by its working group. For more information about joining the working group, see the 'Applying for the Working Group' tab. 


A full programme of activities and themes will be developed in the coming months, but expect it to include: 

  • Social & learning events 
  • Online content - webinar, videos, blogs, articles, podcasts
  • Mentoring 
  • Group research 
  • Careers advice 

In the meantime, lookout for: 

  • Emerging Risk Leaders' Network e-magazine - released quarterly, this magazine contains feature articles and interviews focussed on risk management, leadership and career development. 
  • Webinars on topics relevant to Emerging Risk Leaders. 

In line with our competence framework, the network will focus on the areas of risk management and leadership. 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 managers and indeed non-managers to to be expected to display leadership competences. 

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

  • Importance of purposeful/ ethical leadership. 

  • Attaining leadership experience and skills early in careers. 

  • Developing influencing and negotiating skills, and emotional intelligence. 

  • 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 to all decision-makers across an organisation. 

  • Risk policy and strategy - How to develop a risk policy and strategy. This came out on top of our 2019 Learning Needs Analysis. 
  • Data management - Data and information is key to indentifying potential risks, but knowing what data to trust is vital. Also, all data must be securely managed. 

  • 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 Working Group

Any IIRSM member who considers themselves an ‘emerging risk leader’ will be able to join the network and access its activities. However, we are initially looking to recruit up to 20 members to join our virtual working group who will be responsible for driving the direction of the network and contributing to the development and delivery of its activities.

It is expected the group will meet virtually between 2-3 times a year and the rest of the time contributing to initiatives and activities. As this is a new initiative, the working group’s role will be reviewed in summer 2021.

To apply to join the working group, you will need to complete the application form below and share details of your work experience, key achievements, career goals and motivations for joining, and submit it to by 20 December 2020. 

If you are interested in accessing the outputs of the Network once its up and running, please register your interest by emailing

Partners wanted
Working in partnership

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

Supporting the Emerging Risk Leaders' Network enables you to demonstrate your commitment to developing risk leaders and the vital role both risk competence and leadership skills play in creating and protecting value - people, reputation, and profits.

We are looking for partners to support this great new initiative and the benefits include:  

  • Contributing features, opinion columns and knowledge pieces to the network's e-magazine.
  • Sharing your achievements and case studies via webinars or videos.
  • Networking with a pool of risk talent.
  • Accessing the network to help explore and help solve your risk issues and challenges.
  • Profiling your brand via events, research/technical output, social media and the e-Magazine.
  • Demonstrating your expertise in panel discussions at events, webinars or via podcasts.
  • Having your logo on all relevant activities and literature.

If you are interested in supporting the network or want an informal chat, please get in touch with David Hamilton, Partnerships Manager at or Sophie Williams, Director of Professional Development at