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Job Title: Risk Manager
Division: Corporate Business
Grade: F
Reports To: Director of Corporate Compliance

General information
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal sovereign states. Its unique strength lies in the combination of its diversity and shared inheritance. Spanning five regions globally, it includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest, and poorest countries; 31 of its members are small states, many of them island nations. The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion citizens, of which 60% are under the age of 30.

The Corporate Business Division comprises the following corporate sections and functions: Finance, Procurement, Enterprise Risk Management, Audit, Compliance, Travel Management, and Events and Protocol Management.

Job summary
The Risk Manager advises on potential risks to the viability of the Commonwealth Secretariat. The role is crucial to the process of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s understanding and managing of the risks that the entity is inevitably subject to in attempting to achieve its objectives. Enterprise Risk Management is considered fundamental to the Secretariat being able to deliver its strategic objectives.

The post-holder will identify and assess threats and develop contingency plans and solutions to avoid, reduce or transfer risks. The role is responsible for managing the risks to the organisation, its employees, customers, reputation, assets and interests of stakeholders. The post-holder will have the ability to communicate effective to different audiences, for example, to the Executive Committee so they understand the strategic risks, to Senior Management to ensure they are aware of risks relevant to their parts of the organisation and to individuals to understand their accountability for individual risks.

The post-holder will provide advice, review and challenge of project and programme risks recorded and managed in the project management system, divisions/directorates and at the strategic level.

The post-holder will support and assist the Director of Corporate Compliance in implementing Secretariat strategies and policies particularly in relation to risk, compliance and audit. The position includes review, revision and maintenance of financial regulations, policies, procedures, controls and risk management. It also includes streamlining of processes and developing and delivering staff training on enterprise risk management. The post-holder will also provide administrative support to the Audit Committee.

Task description
The post-holder:
• Develop, maintain, communicate and implement an enterprise-wide risk management strategy and process for the Secretariat.
• Develop risk management system and controls.
• Report to various committees, including the Executive Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, Risk and Business Continuity sub-Committee, Senior Management Committee and Senior Management Group on matters pertaining to enterprise risk management.
• Conduct risk assessments and risk evaluations.
• Establish, maintain and implement the organisation's 'risk appetite'.
• Continually review and update the enterprise risk management procedures, policy and strategy aligned to ISO31000.
• Drive the continued embedding of risk management throughout the Secretariat providing support, education and training to staff to build risk awareness.
• Conduct quarterly reviews of the divisional and strategic risk registers.
• Challenge the quality and completeness of risk information, including the identification of trends/common issues, interdependencies, new and emerging risks, risk mitigations on project, divisional/directorate and strategic risk registers.
• Conduct statistical analysis to evaluate risk and using statistical software such as SPSS and SAS;
• Evaluate existing policies and conduct checks on compliance to policies and procedures.
• Act as clerk and governance advisor to the audit committee including taking minutes, arranging meetings and liaising with the Audit Committee chair on Agenda items etc. as well as preparing meeting papers.
• Follow up and report on internal and external audit issues including the implementation of external and internal audit recommendations, liaising with internal and external auditors as necessary.
• Member of the Secretariat’s Risk and Business Continuity sub-Committee making business continuity plans to limit risks and prepare for if things go wrong. Prepares and maintains the disaster recovery plan for the Financial Management Information Section.
• Assist the Director of Corporate Compliance in responding to queries/requests from member Governments and other key external and internal customers by providing information, analysis and commentary.
• Assist the Director of Corporate Compliance with any data privacy enquiries.
• Proactively pursue opportunities for improved service, streamlined processes, efficiency and information for decision making and managing risks.
• Undertake ad hoc analysis for the Director of Corporate Compliance.
• Adhere to the Gender Equality values of the Commonwealth as enshrined in the Charter and Secretariat’s Gender Equality Policy.
• Perform any other duties that may be required from time to time.

Person Specification Education
• A relevant Risk Management qualification or certification from a professional risk management body e.g. ERMA, IRM etc.
• A professionally qualified accountant, e.g. CIMA or ACCA with proof of ongoing professional development

• At least 10 years’ post-qualification experience
• At least 4 - 6 years enterprise risk management experience including working knowledge of risk registers, providing advice on risk management and embedding of enterprise risk management
• Experience with ISO 31000 – Risk Management
• Experience setting up, embedding and using risk management systems that reinforce best practice and improve risk management maturity
• Experience of carrying out quantitative analysis
• Strong analytical, and presentation skills with the ability to present complex issues clearly and concisely
• Proven ability to work in a proactive and flexible manner
• Project and Programme management experience
• Experience in writing and maintaining policies in an organised and documented manner
• Experience with auditing and reporting procedures
• Experience of presenting via reports and presentations, outlining findings and making recommendations for improvements
• Experience with contributing to and providing administrative and governance support to committees
• Strong verbal and written skills with the ability to communicate effectively at all levels and build relationships with key stakeholders
• Good IT skills, particularly with strong working knowledge of excel


Respect for Diversity
- Works effectively with people from all backgrounds.
- Treats all people with dignity and respect. Treats men and women equally.
- Shows respect and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates understanding in daily work and decision making.
- Examine own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses and does not discriminate against any individual or group.
Encourages others to evaluate systems, processes & behaviour to ensure respect for diversity is demonstrated

Working with Others
Manages conflict and works towards mutual solutions
Identifies organisations with which to partner for specific solutions
Encourages others and provides them with the autonomy to pursue relationships
Uses personal influence to establish compromise and agreement when faced with conflict
Demonstrates balance between directness and diplomacy in negotiations
Uses influence to persuade partners and third parties toward Commonwealth Secretariat aims
Encourages and supports others in demonstrating cultural awareness when working with others

Managing Resources
Manages programme and cross team activities against specific objectives/results
- Manages available resources in order to meet objectives e.g. by effective and efficient use of budget inter alia
Identifies the best method and resources when high level course of action has been identified
Analyses available resources and what activity they will enable Takes responsibility for multi team/programme activities
Manages diverse motivations of a range of groups in large scale programmes

Decision Making
Determines what can be realistically achieved when deciding on strategic solutions
Is proactive and responsive in making decisions on complex, technical issues based on appropriate information
Considers the relevant justifications for a particular course of action Takes context into consideration when making decisions
Makes effective decisions when acting on behalf of a senior colleague, seeking advice where appropriate
Bases actions and approaches on the root cause of an issue, rather than the symptoms

Takes ownership of assigned tasks, honours deadlines.
Ensures timely delivery of outputs within defined cost and quality standard parameters.
Takes responsibility for own shortcomings and compliances.
Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for all delegated assignments.

Leadership & Development
Reinforces vision throughout organisation e.g. by acting accordingly inter alia
Identifies and develops leadership skills in others
Empowers others to take control of their own development and progression Offers sound guidance and direction on complex and critical issues
Maximises the potential of others e.g. by creating suitable opportunities for development inter alia.

April 2023

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