RISK MANAGEMENT

As the largest local government self-insurance pool in Australia, Statewide Mutual has a strong history of providing cost-effective programmes to manage key area of risk exposure within Local Government.

Integral to the Mutual’s success is the Risk Management Programme which is geared towards assisting Members to implement tailored risk management solutions to make their communities safer, promote best practice in risk management, and aimed at reducing the incidence of claims.

Over time the programmes offered through the Mutual have evolved to meet the changing needs and risk maturity of its Members. The principles guiding this programme have however remained constant.

Statewide Mutual’s current risk management offering can be divided into five pillars addressing:

The Regional Risk Manager (RRM) Team plays the central role in delivering Statewide Mutual’s Risk Management Programme. The RRM to client ratio, proximity of RRMs to clients by locating them in the regions, and the complimentary skills of team members are all integral to the success of the programme. Statewide Mutual currently employs six RRMs and a Senior RRM, distributed across NSW.

Each Member is allocated access to a dedicated RRM offering assistance at an individual Council level through training, onsite assistance, guidance, mentoring and on-call advice for Council staff members involved in the management of risk. RRMs can provide assistance in person or remotely.

The RRM also operates at a regional level, facilitating Regional Risk Group Meetings, Regional Workshops and information sharing between Members. These activities provide opportunities for training, networking and access to other members of the JLT team, providing additional expert advice and assistance throughout the year.

In addition, each year Statewide Mutual hosts an Annual Conference promoting risk management best practice in Local Government. Speakers from within and outside of the industry offer advice on emerging issues, explain how they have overcome problems similar to those in other councils, and offer case studies on industry best practice.

Statewide Mutual provides members with a wide range of guidance documents including Best Practice Manuals, Guidance Notes and Training Modules. These materials have been developed in collaboration with Member Councils and help promote best practice in risk management and enable a consistent approach to risk management while encouraging tailoring of risk programmes. Current resources include:

  • Best Practice Manuals – providing a systems approach to the development of sound systems of management for specific high risk assets.
  • Guidance Notes – advice on managing risks in areas of elevated interest within local government.
  • Training Modules – valuable tools developed for members to conduct their own in-house training. Some modules can also be delivered through online learning or regionally coordinated training workshops.
  • Decision Making Framework – a tool that guides planning decisions relating to sea level rise, flood prone land and bushfire zones.
  • Sample Tools and Templates – examples provided by other members that can be adapted to suit individual members.
  • CIP Workbooks – processes to enable the benchmarking and gap analysis of existing systems or facilitate the development of integrated systems that recognise the principles contained within the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) and align with the Integrated Planning and Reporting and other regulatory processes.

We understand that every Member is different and it is important to assist Council to tailor systems to their unique needs rather than offering a “one size fits all” approach to risk management. All resources are available through our Member Centre.

One of the central pillars of our Risk Management Programme is the Continuous Improvement Pathway (CIP). The CIP is a powerful programme based on the principles contained in AS/NZS ISO31000:2009 for the management of risk. The programme is voluntary and allows Council to identify and work on projects that continuously improve risk systems.

The CIP exists to help Councils advance the continuous improvement of risk management systems through individually chosen projects, benchmarking and participation in Statewide Mutual programmes and initiatives. The CIP offers a framework that Members can use to assess their progress in developing effective risk management systems. Where the organisation can best focus its efforts towards achieving its continuous improvement objectives will also be identified.

To support the programme a suite of workbooks are available. These workbooks promote a holistic approach to the management of risk and are aligned to the NSW Division of Local Government’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework. Workbooks can be used to analyse and benchmark the integrity of Council’s risk systems or offer a framework for the development of new policies, procedures or plans.

The Statewide Mutual Board currently funds the provision of a broad range of online risk management tools to Member Councils. These include:

  • Member Centre – all Members have access to our online Member Centre; a secure section of our website and an invaluable resource centre for councils and their staff. The Member Centre provides access to a host of practical tools, reference materials, presentations and reports, all aimed at saving time and sharing knowledge between members.
  • AVCRM RPA & Aerodrome Systems – Statewide Mutual has partnered with AVCRM Paperless Operations to provide Member Councils with access to a fully customisable and paperless risk management solution for Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Aerodromes. The AVCRM product suite is a collection of web-based applications managed by a team of aviation professionals who understand the operational and regulatory demands required to maintain compliance through CASA. Subscription to the systems for member councils is fully funded by the Statewide Mutual Board.
  • Contract Insurance Management System (CIMS) – CIMS is a secure, web-based, password protected database where contractors working with Member Councils can register their business and insurance information. Insurance details entered into the system are verified and presented in an easy to understand manner enabling Members to focus their attention on the management of works and/or services provided by the contractor. Access to the system is provided at no cost to Member Councils, with the contractors’ contributing a small annual registration fee.
  • Temporary Works Assessment Application – an iOS application that facilitates the management of liability, indemnity and asset risk associated with temporary worksites.
  • JRS Risk Profiler Software System – a tool to manage risk assessments, risk registers and support an ERM framework.

Further information on these tools is available within the Member Centre. Demonstrations of the tools, training and the provision of login details can be arranged through Council’s Regional Risk Manager.

Statewide Mutual is committed to implementing innovative risk management solutions that minimise the occurrence and effect of claims across our membership. We have a history of proactively introducing cutting edge risk management programmes. Programmes currently on offer include:

  • Mock Trials – facilitated by one of Statewide Mutual’s legal experts, our Mock Trials provide Council staff with insight into court procedures and an understanding of why councils need to develop policies and procedures with a risk approach and the importance of document management systems in defending claims. The current programme will see twelve trials held across NSW over a three year period with the theme “Roadworks, contractors and motorcycle riders – what could possibly go wrong?”
  • Insurance Review Programme – over a three year period all Member Councils will be offered the opportunity to participate in the insurance review programme that includes an insurable risk profiling review and a business interruption review, fully funded by the Statewide Mutual Board. This initiative will help Members to better understand their insurance programme, confirm current insurances adequately address the organisation’s maximum foreseeable loss (MFL), and provide a financial model that allows Council to declare future limits and sub limits relating to revenue generating operations correctly.
  • Risk & Audit Maturity Assessments – Member Councils have been given the opportunity to apply for twenty places in a fully funded risk and audit maturity assessment programme. Individual participants will obtain a better understanding of how Council’s audit function performs against industry standards and the new legislative framework for internal audits. Overall results will be reviewed and compiled to form the foundation of a new suite of resource materials for all Member Councils.

Annual Risk Management Conference

The annual Statewide Mutual Risk Management Conference endeavours to provide practical and real life examples regarding how risk management can, and should, be implemented in a local government environment.

Each year’s conference improves on the last, with highly relevant and topical presentations delivered by leading experts. The event includes a Gala Dinner with entertainment and has been a resounding success since it began in 2001.

Risk Excellence Awards

As part of our annual conference, we host an awards initiative to recognise risk management excellence by NSW local government councils. Specifically, these awards recognise excellence in implementing risk management programmes using the principles of identification, evaluation, control and measure.

The Risk Management Excellence Awards exist to promote:

  1. recognition of risk management as part of  management structure;
  2. awareness of risk management issues;
  3. innovation in risk reduction, and
  4. recognition of that innovation.

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