Thursday, 23 August 2012
IRMSA gains official stamp for risk education in South Africa
The Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) has announced that the South African Qualifications Authority Board (SAQA) has approved it as the only registered and recognised professional body for risk management in South Africa.
IRMSA president Hennie Thessner, Head of Enterprise Risk Management at Nedbank
IRMSA has worked hard to gain this approval and the process has taken longer than expected. But it now firmly places the association as the leading professional risk management association in Africa and in a central position to help foster more risk awareness and professionalism in South Africa and on the wider African continent.
The association will now use the approval to help build on some of the educational work that it has carried out to date, largely through The Cruywagen/IRMSA Risk Foundation that was founded by former president and risk manager for Tsogo Sun hotel and casino group Gert Cruywagen.
The news from IRMSA comes at a time when South Africa faces the opportunity to be the central hub for a rapid development in the Sub-Saharan region’s economic development, particularly as global companies desperately seek new growth opportunities.
But as the recent news on fatal violence perpetrated by police and strikers at the Lonmin platinum mine clearly shows [see related news on labour risk in Africa in this newsletter] local and international companies and public bodies need to ensure that the risks attached to that potential are managed as closely as the opportunities.
IRMSA president Hennie Thessner, Head of Enterprise Risk Management at Nedbank, said of the approval: “This was a long but rewarding process and will reposition and place IRMSA on an even footing with the rest of the international professional risk management institutes around the world.”
The qualifications will be generic and fit for anybody who wants to study risk management. It will therefore be applicable to various industries, be it in banking, insurance or construction, as the qualification will address generic risk management principles, explained Mr Thessner.
IRMSA was originally selected, along with nine other bodies, to participate in the SAQA Professional Body Pilot Phase in 2011.
The IRMSA team worked hard to ensure that the institute would be in the position to be able to submit all the necessary documentation and prepare all the requested information to comply with the timeframes set out by SAQA.
The institute has implemented new processes during this process and met all the requirements stipulated.
IRMSA said that it has introduced Continued Professional Development (CPD) and will continue to assist risk professionals in their need for knowledge and development.
Members will be able to manage their CPD online as the association said that it is currently implementing new software that will allow members to manage their online profiles and interact via the internet with the IRMSA team and other risk professionals.
IRMSA said that seven out of the ten bodies that participated in the Pilot Phase have so far been recognised by SAQA.
The official certificate of recognition and registration will be handed to IRMSA at a special ceremony at which the other bodies that have been recognised will be present.
Mr Thessner said that this ‘remarkable achievement’ lays the foundation for even greater things to happen for the institute and its members.
Mr Thessner said that approval has now paved the way to ensure that IRMSA continues to build on its ‘value proposition’ for its corporate and individual members and the risk profession as whole.
Based on this latest development he said that he was pleased to report that the association is on track and ‘in an advanced stage’ to finalise the following training initiatives:
- Occupation Risk Officer Qualification with BANKSETA, the statutory body, established by the South African Minister of Labour, to support and grow the level of current and future skills needed in the banking sector
- Lower Risk Management Qualification that will be shortly initiated through BANKSETA
- Training programmes started in 2012.
Three such courses have been completed and were very successful, reported Mr Thessner.
Mr Thessner also reported a successful Annual General Meeting held earlier this summer which was attended by a record number of members.
At the AGM it was reported that subscriptions to the association were up 48%, attendance at the association’s series of regional breakfast meetings were up 85% and the annual awards dinner attendance continues to grow with income up 63%.
Mr Thessner reported that IRMSA’s annual growth has resulted in an increase in its operating costs by 22% but added that operating profit is up 53% and the association’s cash position is up 51%.
“This will assist IRMSA to fund the various initiatives and continue to invest in the enhancement of risk management in South Africa,” he added. The Annual Gala Dinner and Awards evening will be held on 26 October 2012 at The Estate Ballroom, Gallagher Convention Centre and nominations are still open.
The IRMSA Annual Conference, this year entitled ‘The Ripple Effect’, will be held on 19–20 November 2012.
· Commercial Risk Europe will again be present at the IRMSA annual conference this November and report the big news from the event and take the opportunity to interview leading figures about the state of risk management in South Africa. CRE will also publish a 12 page in-depth analysis of the South Africa and wider Sub Saharan risk and insurance landscape in the September main issue. This is the first of a three part series, sponsored by Zurich, that focuses on key growth areas for European and international markets and how to apply global programmes in these areas in particular. In October we publish a report on Brazil and the wider Latin American risk and insurance environment and in November the GCC and wider MENA region. To secure your copies of these reports please contact Hugo Foster at HFoster@commercialriskeurope.com. To share any expert editorial input on these regions please contact Adrian Ladbury at ALadbury@commercialriskeurope.