Categorising Risk - How Do You Decide What to Tackle First?
There’s a lot to school governance. Resultantly, keeping everything on track can leave you feeling, well—knackered.
Often, compliance procedures can fail. They can also fall short of providing wanted benefits.
There’s been a lot of well-meaning, but unsuccessful attempts to fix this issue. For example, many experts recommend focusing on success factors. Still, how do you define success for school compliance?
It’s imperative to categorise risk to find the answer. Also, you should do so in an organised manner.
It helps to start at the beginning. Compliance work can suffer from a poor definition of scope and lax planning. Also, organisations might fail to pinpoint the right risks.
To find out more about classifying risks and figuring out what to tackle first, keep reading.
Compliance in the New Normal
Today’s students face considerable risks compared to previous generations. As a result, the safe reopening of schools is a huge concern.
For instance, some areas are too small to maintain social distancing. Alternatively, it’s impossible to avoid periods of heavy traffic in some areas.
Enforcing social distancing among kids is tough. Let’s face it—they can prove cheeky.
With risk assessments, though, you can find hidden problem areas. By doing so, you can find and fix issues more effectively. However, school rules require that you record your efforts.
For example, schools risk assessment laws say that several people sign off on compliance-related documents. This rule can result in a mountain of paperwork.
Accordingly, today’s schools need solutions for compliance document management. For example, they need ways to share info easily.
A document management system also makes it easy to find any needed information, whilst allowing you to modify them when needed.
This kind of flexibility simplifies compliance a lot. It also makes it easier to keep up with constantly changing laws. What’s more, an effective compliance system will help you to keep your sanity!
Building a Framework for Compliance Procedures
It’s critical that school leaders can respond to situations effectively. One of the most important roles of leaders is to keep up with school compliance.
For example, schools must stay up-to-date with the latest guidance and legislation. Lately, however, it might seem like keeping up with these changes has grown into a full-time job.
Today, schools face a barrage of educational reforms. They also face constantly changing financial limits.
With this in mind, school leaders must learn to use the right tech to support the compliance process. With the right tools, you can also make the auditing process easier.
A good compliant management system will help you make sure that your school stays on top of legal obligations. It will also help you to connect a wide range of resources. More importantly, it will help you to make the most of every policy and rule.
With technology, you can support quality assurance. Moreover, it will allow you to keep up with an ever-evolving compliance environment.
Risk Categorisation Examples
The Department for Education keeps an exhaustive list of school compliance requirements. School leaders must maintain these standards. They must also follow suggestions about how to review those policies.
In some cases, the Department offers no guidance about how to do this. Still, they recommend reviewing all compliance policies and procedures at least once a year. Also, the Department urges schools to revise policies as new regulations arise.
The Department for Education also suggests guidelines for policy approval. It directs schools to maintain a governing board or trust board for this process.
Their directives include a long mix of statutory and voluntary suggestions. It’s the governing board’s responsibility to enforce the structure and revision of this guidance.
The Department’s guidance covers many areas. These risk categorisation areas include:
• Facilities management
• Public info
• School fees
• Student registration
• Student safety (i.e., food safety, school bus safety)
This list is only a fraction of the issues that schools must manage. Still, it’s easy to see how school compliance can get overwhelming. In part, it helps to take a look at where you’re at now.
Compliance: Where Are We Now?
At the beginning of each school year, it’s important to do a back to school safety check. For example, your organisation should pinpoint any health and safety weak spots. This evaluation should cover the needs of both students and teachers.
As an example, you should consider fire safety. You should also consider issues such as the condition of your floors.
Today, it’s never been more important for educators to address age-old issues such as school bullying. Also, you should review issues like classroom access. This item is especially important to promote school safety during COVID-19.
In addition, school leaders should do a thorough inspection of electrical equipment. They should also review the use of entrances and exits.
Now, a once over of handwashing and sanitising policies is very valid—as is reviewing rules for maintaining social distancing. Also, school leaders must look at policy and procedures for cleaning. This point is especially important if different teachers and students use the same room during the day.
Finally, today’s schools must develop policies for identifying symptoms of COVID-19. Here, it’s important to do weekly briefings.
Students and teachers should know the symptoms of the coronavirus. The symptoms may include persistent coughing.
The symptoms of COVID-19 might also include a flushed complexion. Student and teachers must learn how to identify these signs.
They must also know what steps to take should someone spot symptoms of the virus. More importantly, it’s important to know how to do so without causing alarm.
Moving Forward With Risk Assessment
Your organisation might manage its own claims and losses. On the other hand, you may have staff who work closely with insurers.
If so, they can help you do internal research. These people can help you to define risks clearly.
You can also find some problems with simple observations. For example, you might spot unusually high costs for a department. This clue could signal an unmitigated risk.
Also, you can take advantage of trends and data. These kinds of info can help you to find the root causes of problems.
Your internal review should also include an assessment of “near misses.” These events can point to areas that your school must address.
You can also take advantage of external research. Like many other fields, academia has unique trends and common occurrences. You can learn a lot by using this information to find potential risks.
Professional groups are a good place to start. Academic organisations can provide you with expert insights.
They can help you to pinpoint risks typically faced by schools. An academic organisation can also give you access to research and trends that will help you to identify common risks. You can also research similar schools and legal precedents that relate to similar risks faced by your organisation.
Zeroing in on Risks
There are many methods and technologies that can help you to find and organise risk. For example, your organisation could run simulations or role-play.
Alternatively, you might perform a SWOT analysis. You can also use flowcharts and risk mapping tools to assess your school’s risks.
A strong starting point for this research is risk information you might gather from professional organisations. However, technology can help you to make the best possible use of that data.
A top software solution can help you to develop an effective risk management process. It will help you to overcome the challenge of finding risks.
With risk management software, you’d start by performing a high-level analysis. In other words, you’d use it to evaluate the obvious things that might go wrong at your school. For example, you might base the scenarios on your school’s daily activities.
Still, the assessment of risk is multifaceted. Eventually, you’ll need to expand your research.
You can do so by researching specific areas. These areas may include:
• Financial governance
• Legal environment
• Political environment
• School standing
Technology can help you to break down your organisation in each of these areas. Also, it can help you find the strengths and weaknesses of each of these areas.
Meet Your Compliance Goals With the Right Technology
Now you know more about categorising risk and figuring out what to tackle first. What you need now is a partner that can help you to improve your compliance procedures.
iAM Compliant is your solution for scalable school safety management. We can help you to cut costs by reducing paperwork. Moreover, we can help you to maintain control of the health and safety of your school.
Our software makes it easier to stay on top of vital compliance tasks. Also, a partnership with us gives you access to expert guidance and budget-saving advice.