ISO 31000: A Guide for Educational Institutions

Best Practice Guide

The changing risk profile in education

Today’s education sector is confronting a sharp uptick in risk and uncertainty. In turn, the practice of risk management is becoming foundational to the way schools, districts, and campuses operate, as effective risk management comes to be seen as a better way not only to identify and manage risks, but also to promote quality, continuity, and accountability.

The shift couldn’t have come sooner, especially for zealous regulators. You see, on the mandatory compliance side, obligations, the adherence to which is critical for avoiding significant financial and reputational penalty, have increased in number and complexity.

In the U.S., the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) endorsed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, setting stricter compliance and reporting standards for statutes like Title IX and the Clery Act. Meanwhile, Australia, the first country to formally embrace robust risk management in its education system, continues to tighten standards through the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Department of Education and Training. Along with prior updates to existing reporting requirements on student, staff, and financial data made in Australia’s 2015 Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards), TEQSA now assesses student wellbeing and safety standards as part of the mandatory accreditation process.

Across Australian jurisdictions, different types of abuse have distinct requirement obligations, too. Those obligations impose varying reporting requirements on members of special occupations like teachers, nurses, or security personnel - all critical members of a campus or school community.

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