‘JCAD RISK has been instrumental in enabling us to embed risk management throughout the organisation’
With a population of over 330,000, Croydon is London’s largest Borough. It employs about 10,500 which when combined with a budget of £900 million a year makes a significant contribution to the local economy. As well as being the main employer the council also provides a large number of services for local people, businesses and visitors to the borough, including services for children and adults, and environmental, cultural, sports, housing, planning and benefits services. With such large sums to invest and the importance that the local community rightly attaches to the services that it provides, Croydon has long been aware that a robust risk management process is required. This becomes even more important when you factor in such national initiatives as Building Schools for the Future. With this in mind when looking for a risk management solution the authority looked for a demonstrably robust solution.
The relationship between Croydon and JCAD was already well established as the authority was an existing user of the JCAD LACHS claims management system. ‘The fact that Croydon already had a very good relationship with JCAD gave me added confidence in choosing them as our risk management software provider’. Malcom Davies Insurance & Risk Manager Malcolm and his team started the process of implementing JCAD RISK in the spring of 2006 having already encouraged key staff to become engaged in the risk management process. This was achieved over a number of months by undertaking 35 risk management workshops across the authority. As part of the workshop process 450 specific strategic service level risks were identified or refreshed and it was these risk entries which were used to populate the new JCAD RISK system. With the roll out of the JCAD RISK system and the addition of the web version a further training programme, consisting of one to one training for officers and members, was developed. The aim of this training was to illustrate best use of the system with the ultimate aim to encourage ownership and self sufficiency of risk management; and the system has enabled them to do just that.
This effort has realised some very real benefits not least the fact that Croydon is now experiencing organisation-wide risk management and it is JCAD RISK software that has been the vehicle by which this has been achieved. This has given the Risk Management Team the ability to empower users across the authority, but through wise planning and training, at a pace and level that is realistically achievable. Today success is able to be measured by the numbers of users wanting access to the system.
- CMT (Corporate Management Team) review fortnightly strategic and receive detailed reports
- Cabinet Members are trained and take an active role in the risk management of portfolio related risks.
- Assistant directors have the ability to regularly review their risks
- The external auditor accesses the system to plan risk based audits
- Risks have been aligned with KPI’s
- Project risks have been integrated within the core risk system for project manager access • Links have been successfully made between performance and audit functions
Croydon now has plans to build on this success and develop partnership risk working. This of course becomes more important due to the introduction of CAA (Comprehensive Area Assessments). The ability of the JCAD solution to provide secure, external access means that this is very plausible next step. Malcolm concludes; ‘JCAD RISK has been instrumental in enabling us to embed risk management throughout the organisation and we look forward to working further with JCAD as our requirements evolve’.