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GRC Professional : GRC Summer 2013
20 GRC Professional • Summer 2013 COVER STORY The more school services a school provides, the greater its legal responsibility. beyond the scope of the non-specialist, resulting in schools hiring and training executive- level managers with oversight on such matters. The more school services a school provides, the greater its legal responsibility, she says. Providing care before and after primary school and during holidays, for instance, requires compliance with the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care. She says while big schools and tertiary institutions have the resources to hire specialist compliance officers the same legislation applying to them also applies to small schools. She suggests it might be a good idea for schools with a common connection such as geography or religion, to band together to share a trained person. New RTO body Since the Waugh horse training tragedy, regional training organisations representing some 5000 training orga nisations nationwide, including TAFEs, are regulated by a recently formed national body (except WA and Victoria), the Australian SkillsQuality Authority (ASQA). This change means that these organisations now not only have to meet the 'continual improvement' requirements annually, but the RTO annual audits include a comprehen sive compliance component for organisation s to remain authorised to provide training. Cosgrove says schools are starting to appoint compliance managers who are looking at risk management. As well as doing education well, he says schools must also operate effectively as businesses in order to get good outcomes for students. "People who become principals accu mulate a lot of skills such as good business management and have good support to run their schools. The danger is that you may lose sight of the wood for the tree," he says. "Part of my role working with school councils, principals and business managers is to keep sight of the wood as well as the trees. "For a long time workplace, risk and safety was thought of as painting yellow lines on things so you don't trip over. "Risk management is good management. You are looking at what you are trying to achieve, what objectives you are complying with, and working out what might stop you reaching those objectives. "You have to look at how you fall into non- compliance then work out what you are trying to do. about it . "The terminology of risk management for schools has strong connotations of bureaucracy and compliance we have to do, and stuff we do as an afterthought because we are here to run this enterprise. Ideally, a school should be about being a learning organisation. Risk management should be about continual improvement." ACI viewpoint With the growth of professional appointments in this sector, more and more GRC professionals may find themselves moving across other industries and sectors. However, although there are obviously sector specific issues and considerations, essentially the same overarching principles ca n be applied. Compliance and risk management in the school environment is a complex puzzle, but taking a principles based approach, as suggested by the applicable standards AS/ NZS 3806 and ISO 31000, will assist greatly when building a framework to support a school or school network manage these risks and obligations. In doing so, assessing and prioritising the treatment of risk and compliance management with some level of common sense and sophisticated analysis will allow staff to sensibly prioritise real and potentially 'catastrophic' risks, the death or abuse of a student or staff member, versus a possible scraped knee in the playground. Compliance and risk management professionals in these environments should also remember that successfully embedding any framework in an orga nisation requires engaging and involving staff, and in this case, students and parents in the process, as well as in training and implementation. Teaching students the skills of risk assessment and management could be a valuable and unintended benefit. •••
GRC Spring 2012
GRC Autumn 2013