FERMA’s plans to create a pan-European certification for risk managers are moving strongly forward, following agreement by the FERMA board to move from the research to the planning stage for the project.

The certification steering group has devised a project and governance structure for planning towards certification, and by February 2014, it intends to have a first draft prepared for each of the four pillars of certification: knowledge, experience, ethics and continuing professional development (CPD).

The steering group members are FERMA president Julia Graham, vice presidents Michel Dennery and Jo Willaert, and board member Isabel Martinez supported by scientific adviser Marie Gemma Dequae, executive director Florence Bindelle, general secretary Pierre Sonigo and EU affairs adviser Julien Bedhouche. They have cut the project work into a number of sub-projects to reflect the four pillars, plus a further group looking at the business model and implementation, including the financials. In these project groups, the steering group will also involve FERMA member associations. “Although we might not work by committee, it is certainly going to be worked by consultation. We are very keen to make sure our members are engaged and help us drive this work,” says Julia.

Neither planned, nor expected

The group is anxious to emphasise that FERMA is not going to become a provider of education, nor will it tell member associations that they cannot develop their own solutions.

When it comes to individuals, FERMA will not expect risk managers with existing qualifications and experience to start over again. As Julia says, “It is very important for everyone to realise that whatever education or qualifications members already have, they are not going to be thrown away or disregarded. You may need to do some extra work to get certification but what you have will have a value.”

In the end, risk managers will be certified by FERMA through a combination of knowledge, experience, ethical standards and the CPD they receive from education providers and other bodies, including their FERMA member association.

FERMA will establish a framework to allow certification of learning programmes run by associations, commercial education bodies, institutes and universities. The steering group is currently talking to education and training providers to confirm whether completion of their programme would be up to the standard of the FERMA certification.

“The certification standard will give learning providers, professionals and students a sense of what ‘good’ looks like and an idea of what they need to do to achieve and maintain the FERMA certifiable standard,” according to Julia.
“Evidence suggests that in this complex and ever faster moving world, the profile of risk management is set to increase, and with this the profile of risk managers. A certification that you can hold up as a recognised credential can only help your cause.”