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New Handbooks Explain Managing Risk in Sport and Recreation

New Handbooks Explain Managing Risk in Sport and Recreation
October 13, 2010

Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand have just published two new risk handbooks aimed at non-profit sport and recreation organisations.

The publications are SAA/SNZ HB 266:2010 Guide for managing risk in not-for-profit organisations and SAA/SNZ HB 246:2010 Guidelines for managing risk in sport and recreation organisations.

SAA/SNZ HB 266:2010 ‘Guide for managing risk in not-for-profit organisations’ accurately paraphrases AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management - Principles and guidelines and provides substantial additional context and tools that will help non-profit organisations apply AS/NZS ISO 31000.

The non-profit sector has a wide and diverse range of stakeholders and it contributes an estimated 4 to 5% to gross domestic product in New Zealand and Australia. The sector encompasses community services, legal advocacy, charities, and philanthropic, international aid, and church organisations. They serve, variously, 'clients', 'customers', 'beneficiaries', and 'members'.

According to Roger Estall, a New Zealand member of the joint Australia/New Zealand development committee OB-007, consultation on HB 266:2010 across the sector was wide, well-endorsed, and welcomed.

Estall states “this handbook will help NFPs find and implement new and even more effective ways to support their organisation's stakeholders. It's a fact that supporting such worthy causes involves taking risk, sometimes not being successful, and learning from an organisation's successes, failures, and near misses. This book will help those judgments with greater confidence.”

Jeanette Ward, one of the principal authors who worked closely with the non-profit sector says, ”what matters most is not what happens in the face of uncertainty, but rather how well the organisation deals with a change in circumstances, the unthinkable or the unforeseen, both bad and good. HB 266 will assist NFPs manage the risks they face with more confidence.”

Florence Trout, Advisor Quality & Risk Management for Plunket Society, says ”non-profit organisations typically have to pursue their objectives against a background of considerable uncertainty and thus risk. To have available a document that provides practical advice for managing risk, especially in a way that conforms with national and international best practice, should help NFP organisations to achieve their business and community goals. We, at Plunket, welcome this new Guide, HB 266 – and all NFPs should benefit from its principles, explanations, and tools.”

Tony Duncan, Executive Director of Heart Foundation New Zealand says 'handbook, HB 266, has successfully explained how to apply the international Standard for risk management to not-for-profit organisations in a clear and very readable way. Passion and the cause may be an NFP organisation's pulse but they may not always protect it from unwise decisions, mismanagement, or human fallibility. The very practical advice including the 15 excellent templates in this handbook will go a long way towards helping NFPs to do so and thereby better achieve their objectives.”

SAA/SNZ HB 246:2010 ‘Guidelines for managing risk in sport and recreation organisations’ has been written for application across the whole spectrum of sport and recreation, including related activities conducted within education institutions at all levels and government agencies at all levels.

HB 246:2010 recognises the sector's dependence on volunteers. It does not deal explicitly with adventure tourism but would generally be helpful to this sector as well. This handbook was also developed with wide consultation across the sector.

The handbook explains how to apply AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines and provides additional context, diagrams, examples, and tools that will help sport and recreation organisations to do so. It has a 'running' case-study of an angling club wanting to hold a fishing contest downstream of a chemical plant – this is used to illustrate each step of the risk assessment process and selection of risk treatments.

Estalladds “HB 246:2010 also has a very useful section on involvement of volunteers in risk management activity, a list of risk assessment techniques with explanatory material and examples, and helpful annexes dealing with regulatory considerations in Australia and New Zealand, good governance, and interface with local government. The case study advocates risk registers should be headed by the relevant context statement on which the risk assessment is based. That way, if the context changes, the organisation is reminded to update the risk assessment.”

Dennis Goodwin, principal author of the handbook says, “the sport and recreation sector makes a huge contribution to the well-being of New Zealanders and a significant contribution to the economy and reputation of New Zealand too. The success of all these organisations ultimately depends on them managing risk effectively in order to achieve their various objectives. HB 246:2010 has been developed after extensive consultation with the sector to help all forms of sporting and recreational organisations to achieve their important goals.”

The Handbooks can be ordered from Standards Australia on 131 242 or Standards New Zealand on 0800 782 632.

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