Risk Assessment 101: Identifying, Evaluating, and Mitigating Risks 

Risk assessment is an important process for identifying, evaluating, and controlling risks in business, project management, and safety.

By implementing a systematic approach, organisations can proactively address potential threats and make educated decisions to minimise negative impacts. Outlined below is a step-by-step guide to risk assessment. 

Identify Risks 

  • Brainstorm potential risks related to your specific domain or project. 
  • Review historical data, industry standards, and best practices to identify common risks. 
  • Engage stakeholders, including subject matter experts, team members, and management, to gather diverse perspectives. 

Categorise Risks 

  • Group identified risks into categories such as operational, financial, technical, legal, environmental, or reputational risks. This helps in better understanding and organising risks. 


Assess Probability 

  • Determine the probability of each identified risk occurring. 
  • Use historical data, expert judgment, statistical analysis, or other relevant sources to estimate the probability. 
  • Assign a numerical value or qualitative ranking to indicate the likelihood (e.g., low, medium, high). 

Assess Impact 

  • Evaluate the potential consequences of each risk materialising. 
  • Consider financial, operational, legal, safety, reputation, and other factors. 
  • Assign a numerical value or qualitative ranking to indicate the impact (e.g., low, medium, high). 

Prioritise Risks 

  • Combine the probability and impact assessments to prioritise risks. 
  • Utilise a risk matrix or other decision-making tools to assign a risk score or rank to each risk. Focus on high-risk areas that require immediate attention. 

Develop Mitigation Strategies 

  • Identify and evaluate strategies to mitigate or reduce the identified risks. 
  • Consider risk avoidance, risk transfer, risk reduction, risk acceptance, or a combination of these strategies. 
  • Involve stakeholders to ensure an effective mitigation plan. 

Implement Controls 

  • Implement preventive measures to minimise the occurrence and impact of risks. 
  • Communicate the mitigation plan to the relevant individuals or teams. 
  • Ensure that controls are properly documented, understood, and followed. 

Monitor and Review 

  • Continuously monitor and review the effectiveness of implemented controls. 
  • Periodically assess the changing risk landscape and update the risk assessments accordingly. 
  • Foster a culture of risk awareness and continuous improvement within the organisation. 


Risk assessment is an iterative process that requires continuous attention. Ensure that you regularly review and update your risk assessment to adapt to changing circumstances and new risks. 


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