FERMA’s plans for European Certification of Risk Managers have moved forward to a testing phase for the application and examination process by volunteers and the finalisation of the first set of exam questions. The project is on track for a launch during the FERMA Forum on 4-7 October.

Over the last few months, the Certification Steering Committee, led by Vice President Michel Dennery, has done extensive work to capture the reasons for a Certification programme and get the full endorsement of all national association members of FERMA. On 12 March, the steering committee held a conference call to discuss some new key elements of the project with national associations and others representing the European risk management community. The call gave the steering committee confidence that national associations are fully supportive and will help draw the project to a successful conclusion.

These aspects include designing a designation that is suitable for a wide range of risk management professionals, from the new generation that is starting out with master’s degrees in risk management to the highly valued risk managers who came into the profession before such degrees were available. A fast track process is seen as the most appropriate for senior risk managers with more than 30 years of experience, who will have the choice of an examination or a dissertation to complete the application.

Since Certification is designed as a tool to bring value to the profession, it must also be widely accessible. Applications will, therefore, be open to non-members of national associations, although the focus will remain on the associations. The steering committee’s thinking is that risk management is a broad role description and some people who want to become certified may not be eligible to join one of FERMA’s member associations. These could include people with engineering roles, for example.

At this stage, FERMA is bringing in more founder members from among FERMA board members, presidents of national associations and members of the teams designing the content of the four pillars of Certification: the body of knowledge, the experience and skills needed to apply the knowledge, continuing professional development (CPD) and a code of ethics.

Founder status will be granted to turn risk management volunteers who are helping to build the Certification programme into ambassadors of the profession. The engagement of founders is seen as fundamental to the success of Certification in turning risk management from a discipline into a profession.

When it comes to the accreditation of risk management programmes and the licensing of CPD providers, national associations will be consulted in March to identify education bodies and CPD providers that will want to apply.

Work is still being done regarding the appropriate proportion of classroom time and e-learning that will be required from education programmes to become accredited, and personal work may also be considered in the mix.

The steering committee has also worked to ensure that behind the scenes, proper governance is in place so that processes and committees are defined and well managed. Ethical issues, for example, will be dealt under the ethics committee composed of existing committee members belonging to steering, certification, accreditation committees whose composition is still to be determined.