Risk Registers v.2023

By | Resource

Risk management and contingency planning continue to have a higher significance in the context of business school accreditation. More and more, the ability to identify key risk exposure and PRO-ACTIVELY mitigate those risks has become part of ‘best practice’ in any business – including the business of business schools.  Over the last two-three years,  the QED team has seen several ‘shades’ of risk management within business schools – from those institutions with significant risk registers and well-embedded processes for risk management – to those who focus only on financial risk management (and revenues) to one school that stated (quite confidently) that there were no significant risks at all – because they had the ability to teach online and thus could deal with any eventuality!  (We did ask what might happen if there was a power cut or drop in internet provision…?).

We’ve previously summarised the accreditation body requirements for risk management and these are:

  • AACSB (2020 Business Accreditation Standards – Standard 1.2) requires that each School “conducts formal risk analysis and has plans to mitigate identified major risks“. The concept of risk and risk mitigation is embedded in several key topic areas.
  • EFMD ( EQUIS) also addresses the topic of risk and risk management in several standards and criteria. For example, standard 1g) sets out the requirement to “Describe the principal strategic risks that the School faces or may face in the future“. Within Standard 7, it asks for further detail on the risk management system, including expecting schools to describe “…how the School’s risk management is organised and how it is integrated into internal as well as external governance.” A risk register must be included within the Online Document Repository (ODR).

QED has compiled a simple help-sheet that may be helpful for those schools approaching this exercise for the first time.  It provides a simple overview of risk management and an example of a risk management template.  The document is available to download. 

We hope the resouce is helpful.  If you have any comments or questions, just questions, let us know.  We’d be delighted to hear from you.

AACSB ICAM 2023 – Key Takeaways

By | Conference Update, Resource

AACSB ICAM 2023 – Key Takeaways

ICAM 2023 was the first of five conferences that QED is attending before the end of June.  As always, it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends, clients and colleagues – as well as hear some interesting speakers and updates on accreditation. As always, there was lots to choose from – but in the interests of focusing, my top three takeaways were:

1. Societal Impact was a recurring theme in several meetings and conversations.  Several key principles within AACSB were re-emphasised throughout multiple sessions: 

  • It is up to Schools to define their areas of priority for positive societal impact – in alignment with their mission and values.  AACSB does not prescribe what areas are required.  Nor does it prescribe the use of the UN SDGs as a framework. However, many schools use the SDGs as it is widely understood and often aligns with institutional work for the PRiME network.
  • It is not about demonstrating lots of activity across a wide range of SDGs – but about deciding which areas are being championed/emphasised (again, in alignment with mission and values). Most, if not all, schools have limited resources – so AACSB is encouraging schools to decide on the key areas of societal impact and focus resources (financial, human, organisational etc) accordingly. This does not preclude other activity from taking place – but places the focus clearly on areas where it might be possible to ‘move the needle’ and have real impact.
  • Some participants are clearly struggling with the definition of impact and how to measure impact. In essence, there isn’t a ‘stock’ measurement system, as the metrics employed by any school will need to align with its identified area of focus.  However, it may be helpful to revisit AACSB’s White Paper on Societal Impact – and note particularly the definitions of, and relationship between, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact (Page 7 of the report)

2. Dr Linda Hill gave an incredibly engaging, thought-provoking session on the ABCs of Leadership and Building an Agile Organisation.  There was so much to choose from in this session, and I need to review my notes and the slides again to get more of the learning. One of the things that stood out to me were her tips for identifying key barriers to change – using six key questions

Identify Key Barriers & How to Address Them

  • How much do you spend on “shoulds” and “coulds?
  • How do you encourage diversity of thought?
  • How do you get people to view reasonable missteps and intelligent failures as learning opportunities?
  • How do you ensure that people don’t compromise too quickly – as opposed to working through differences – when making decisions?
  • Are you developing talent to be value creators and game changers?
  • Is your team collaborative-ready?

3. In the Q&A session for Initial Accreditation, the presenters shared the key reasons why iSERs are sent back to Institutions for further review before being accepted (i.e. revise and resubmit decisions).  These are:

  • Standard 1 – Strategic Plan: At the point of submitting the iSER, the strategic plan is expected to be specific and current.  This includes having key objectives, timelines and metrics (for measuring success or not).
  • Standard 5 – AoL: The iSER should demonstrate a good understanding of AoL.  A School may not be implementing the AoL process fully, but there should be a clear timeline for implementation, which demonstrates the overall understanding of the process and the ability to complete two cycles of measurement before a Peer Review Visit.
  • Standard 3 – Faculty Qualification Criteria: Faculty qualification criteria (for SA, PA etc) should be aligned with mission and reasonably specific.  For example, if a school has a strong mission to engage with practice, then the PA and IP criteria should strongly reflect the need for this engagement.  The quality of activities should also be referenced – be it quality of research publications; level and type of practice engagement or other activities.

If you were at ICAM, what were your key takeaways?  We’d love to hear them.

For those who may have missed last week’s email, take note of the inclusion of an AoL module within Accredinator.  For further details, or to book a demo, please email accredinator@QEDaccreditation.com.