The GRC Revolution: Reshaping Risk Management in the Education Sector


Replace spreadsheets and manual data manipulation with software                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Efficient Risk Management Is the Goal for All

Today, schools, colleges, and universities are continually challenged to do more with less. Managing risk, achieving compliance, and implementing good governance procedures are critical for the education sector to protect students, secure funding, and keep pace with modern protocols. The sector faces a constant push to innovate to meet stringent regulations while adapting processes to meet guidelines that evolve every four to eight years.

Not only is the education sector a highly regulated industry - making it subject to a myriad of obligations and regular audits & inspections - but they also deal with some of the most vulnerable people in society, making incident reporting, data privacy, and health and safety a top priority. With all these different areas to manage, schools, colleges, and universities need a system to manage these processes holistically and many educational institutions are using governance risk compliance (GRC) software to add structure and manage these complex processes.

However, some educational institutions are still using spreadsheets to manage risk. And while it can be a good place to start for some smaller organisations, as they expand, it becomes unmanageable. Complex processes like risk management require multiple users, complex data mapping, control monitoring, automation, strict data governance, and in-depth reporting & analytics – and spreadsheets simply don’t offer this level of functionality.

It’s no secret that efficient risk management requires GRC software solutions that consolidate disparate risk processes, systems, and data sources into a single point of oversight, providing deep insight into the risk profile, status, and performance of the organization.

How Does It Work

GRC software replaces spreadsheets and manual data manipulation and reporting with an online platform. These intuitive solutions enable organisations to set up a comprehensive online risk register and standardized risk framework, enabling multiple departments to log risks via online forms that feed directly into the platform. Teams can utilise online risk assessment templates and questionnaires to calculate the likelihood, severity, and impact of risk and generate risk ratings. Transactional and operational data can be pulled into the solution from other systems and data sources via application programming interface (API) connections - enabling teams to set key risk indicators (KRIs) and define risk tolerances based on real data. This empowers organisations to define a risk appetite framework and operate within it. Once the system is established and the risk register is completed, teams can set controls to mitigate risk on an ongoing basis - notifications and alerts are sent when the degree of risk reaches an intolerable level. Automated workflows are used for approvals and escalations and to roll out risk assessments and send reminders for missed actions and deadlines. Teams can run instant reports and view live dashboards to get a complete overview of their risk profile and drill down into the detail to address problem areas.

What Are the Benefits

Automating risk management processes through GRC software allows real-time reporting on risk that will assist boards and administrators to ensure that their risk appetite is fully adhered to throughout the organization. It fosters a collaborative approach, helping staff to understand the part they play in mitigating risk, and allowing them to feed into the process in a timely way. Not only does automating risk management ensure that risks across all areas of the enterprise are identified and evaluated - to ensure appropriate risk mitigation controls are in place. It also provides oversight for managers - enabling them to detect problems early and provide an audit trail of proof to regulators demonstrating that the institution is doing all it can to mitigate risk and operate in line with the pre-agreed risk tolerance. Automation also further supports learning institutions to detect and maximize opportunities and guides risk-based decision-making - enabling boards to allocate budgets and resources to mitigate the most pertinent risks. The tool consolidates disparate processes, systems, and data sources into a single point of oversight for leaders.

Risk Management Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

The right software engages the entire organization with the risk management process and ensures all stakeholders can capture even the smallest, risks, incidents, and near misses, which, if left unaccounted for, will escalate. This makes risk management more accessible, accountable, trackable, and resolvable and much more visible to leadership teams.

Be sure to choose a risk management platform that offers a full set of GRC capabilities enabling you to manage compliance obligations, incidents, audits and inspections, strategic planning, IT and cyber risk, third-party risk, health and safety, and project and portfolio management. When these functions are managed in the same platform, it enables important linkages between data. Teams can understand which risks turn into full-blown incidents, link areas of non-compliance to audits and inspections, visualize the impact of risk on organizational strategy, and assist with risk based decision-making and calculated risk-taking.


By Jonathan Lindhe, Head of Solutions, Camms

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