Education Promotes Risk Management Quality

Article excerpt

Exchanging business cards with risk managers quickly demonstrates the wide variety of professional designations that support the field. The choices--ARM, CRM, CPCU, AAM, CSP, CLU, AIM and others--can sometimes seem endless. The educational backgrounds and experience levels of risk managers are even more varied than the number of designations. In light of this tremendous diversity and the changing role of risk managers, RIMS has recognized that professional development is more important to members now than ever before.

To improve the practice and status of our profession, members of the advanced designation task force recognized the need first to define risk management--who we are, what we do and what backgrounds we possess. Based on the 1,300 survey responses received last fall, the task force developed a profile of today's risk manager: Approximately 80 percent have a college degree or greater and nearly 80 percent hold a title of mid-level manager or higher. Most risk managers have a professional designation, with over 50 percent holding an ARM or CPCU. The task force was encouraged that more than 88 percent of the respondents were interested in the Fellow in Risk Management program, which has been under discussion for some time.

Armed with this information, task force members began defining the requirements for an advanced risk management designation. The survey findings led them to formulate a proposal that will take some doing to implement, but will address the needs and interest of risk managers. The fellow program will include a common body of knowledge and professional skills that will define and strengthen the performance of today's risk managers. The program will offer courses in seven competency areas that, in addition to providing a strong background in basic risk management principles, will present practical applications and processes that can be used immediately in the workplace.

We also anticipate that creating the fellow program will be a starting point for risk managers to round out the basics. As the role of risk management changes, so, too, must the profession's educational opportunities. An executive management and distance learning MBA programs are being considered to acquaint participants with strategic approaches to risk management.

As these ongoing professional development initiatives are launched, we realize they will need to be flexible enough to accommodate the latest trends and techniques being introduced in the field. …