ISO 31000: the new ISO Standard for Risk Management

ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – Principles and guidelines on implementation

ISO issued on 13 Nov, 2009 a document of a new standard for Risk Management, ISO 31000:2009 .
This International Standard  provides principles and generic guidelines on risk management.

ISO 31000:2009 can be applied throughout the life of any organization, such as a shipping company, and to a wide range of activities, including strategies, and decisions, operations, processes (i.e. navigation, cargo operations, etc), functions, services and assets.

This International Standard can be applied to any type of risk, whatever its nature, whether having positive or negative consequences.

Although ISO 31000:2009 provides generic guidelines, it is not intended to promote uniformity of risk management across organizations. The design and implementation of risk management plans and frameworks will need to take into account the varying needs of a specific organization, its particular objectives, context, structure, operations, processes, functions, projects, products, services, or assets and specific practices employed.

This Standard recognizes the variety of the nature, level and complexity of risks and provides generic guidelines on principles and implementation of risk management. To apply these generic guidelines in a specific situation, this International standard sets out how an organization should understand the specific context in which it implements risk management.

Risk management can be applied to the entire organization, across its many areas and levels, at any time as well as to specific functions and activities.


Risk management should ensure that organizations have an appropriate response to the risks affecting them.

Risk Management should thus helps avoid ineffective and inefficient response to risk that can unnecessarily prevent legitimate activites and/or distort resource allocation.

To be effective with the company, risk management should be integrated part of the company’s overall governance, management, ISM and ISO reporting process, HSE and Quality policies, philosophy and culture.

The ISO 31000 is intendent to be used by a wide range of stakeholders including but not limited to :
- those responsible for implementing risk management within their organization (i.e.  Fleet Manager and Safety Manager)

 - those who need to ensure that a company manages risk;

- those who need to manage risk for the organization as a whole or within a  specific  area or activitiy (i.e. ship superintendent, Master, Chief Engineer, etc.);




Many shipping companies’s existing management practices and processes include components of risk management and many organizations have already adopted a formal risk management process for particular types of risk or circumstances.  We suggest Management to critically review their existing practices and processes in light of this standard.

When implemented and maintained in accordance with this International Standard, risk management enables an organization to, for example:
 - encourage proactive rather than reactive management;

- be aware of the need to identify and treat risk throughout the organization;

- improve identification of opportunities and threats;

- comply with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and international norms;

- improve financial reporting;

- improve corporate governance;

- improve stakeholder confidence and trust;

- establish a reliable basis for decision making and planning;

- improve controls;

ISO 31000:2009 is not intended for the purpose of certification.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further clarifications and/or assistance.



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