How To Conduct a Thorough Risk Audit

Risk audit is the examination and documentation of the effectiveness of risk responses in dealing with identified risk and their root causes, as well as the effectiveness of the risk management process. Conducting a risk audit is an essential component of developing an event management plan.

When working on complex or large projects, project managers incorporate the risk audit and the risk review into their overall risk management process. There are many questions on the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam that test a candidate’s understanding of how to use the risk audit and risk review to make sure the various goals are understood. Above all, the project manager needs to be aware that the risk audit and review ensure a successful risk management strategy for the duration of the project. It is less of a question of risk audit versus risk review PMP and how the two work in tandem as part of the larger project risk management plan.

The Audit Risk Model

How to perform a risk audit

Here are some actions you can take to ensure the execution of an efficient audit if you are getting ready to conduct a risk review:

1. Choose an auditor

Finding the auditor is the first step in performing a risk audit. Often, project managers perform this function. However, the ability of the auditor to remain impartial must be taken into account when making your decision. To ensure the audit is complete, objective, and detailed, stakeholders occasionally prefer to hire an outside auditor or audit company.

2. Understand project scope

Consider making a list of everything you’ll be looking for before you start your audit. By outlining the standards you’ll use to assess standard operating procedures, you can assist teams in ensuring that their performance is up to par. You can perform a thorough audit and accurately assess each area for effectiveness, safety, and peak performance by using a list. Include all potential risks you can think of because the purpose of a risk audit is to eliminate risk. Work with project teams to make sure they comprehend appropriate procedures and measurement techniques

3. Interview relevant personnel

Consider identifying key project participants as you start your audit. Project managers, stakeholders, project team members, and external employees can all be included in this. Interviews can be a useful way to determine how well everyone currently understands safety procedures and risk-reduction techniques. Make sure key personnel have access to all the training and educational materials they might require to become familiar with the established procedures if you’re auditing risks for a specific project or event.

4. Assess processes and procedures

Think about putting in place a scoring system to gauge how effectively your current procedures are performing. Use this to assess important factors like internal controls, reporting procedures, oversight controls, financial restrictions, resource management, and task effectiveness. To make sure project controls and management efforts are appropriate for the projects scope, you can also evaluate your current practices. Some procedures might need testing to determine their current functionality. Determine which processes are effective and which could use a reevaluation using your scoring system.

5. Collect evidence

Recording information about everyone and everything involved in your processes is part of evidence collection. Consider gathering your evidence in the first few days of your audit, even though risk audits can take weeks. Interviewees don’t have time to discuss the details of their interviews with other team members, and the evidence is kept clean as a result. Depending on your project and industry, gathering evidence can look very different. For instance, in the field of construction management, the focus of the risk assessment evidence may be on the operational capability of the equipment, the comprehension of the operating procedures, or potential influences on the timeline.

6. Analyze evidence

Spend some time in your report analyzing the data and identifying any potential risk areas. Compare the evidence against the businesss timelines and goals. Thorough analysis can help you prepare recommendations for process improvements. Try to structure your report in an approachable, transparent, and direct manner. In this manner, other interested parties can comprehend how you arrived at your conclusions if they need to consult your review. This will also be useful if your team runs into an unanticipated project detour. They can refocus on their tasks and realign their priorities by going back to the risk assessment.

7. Perform follow-up audits

Consider conducting additional audits to confirm and gauge the efficacy of the suggested improvements once you’ve identified potential risks and submitted your completed audit. This can guarantee teams comprehend all the audit’s outlined factors and that teams are properly adhering to key procedures.

What is a risk audit?

A risk audit, also known as a risk review, is an assessment used to pinpoint potential operational and safety threats, their root causes, and the efficiency of current risk management procedures. Risk audits can be an essential function of project planning. Auditors can lessen the possibility of harm to staff members, projects, and businesses by identifying and evaluating potential risks. Businesses and project managers can reduce risks and put into place practical strategies to prevent undesirable events by conducting audits.

Tips for risk audits

You can use the following additional advice to improve the efficacy of your risk audit:

Remain impartial

You can contribute to the success of the audit by maintaining objectivity in your evaluations. Sometimes it can be difficult for experienced people who helped design or implement new processes to understand what less experienced team members are going through. For instance, chemical contamination could be a risk in a research laboratory. Although using personal protective equipment or taking other preventative measures may seem obvious, newer employees might not be sufficiently familiar with protocols to recognize and prepare for risks.

For an audit to be successful, it can be essential to comprehend all the potential risk areas.

Be thorough

It’s crucial to assess all possible risks associated with a project, event, or activity. Strive to include as much as possible in your audit. In this manner, you can get team members ready for any circumstance or danger. Complete audits can safeguard teams and lower the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes.

Communicate results

A written report can be a fantastic way to share the findings of your audit with all parties concerned. But it’s safe to assume that not everyone will read the information you provide. Consider holding a team meeting to discuss findings, evaluate suggestions for improvement, and formulate plans for suitable risk mitigation measures. You can ensure that everyone is aware of the steps they must take to avoid unnecessary risks by evaluating employees on their comprehension.

Outline consequences

One of the top priorities for project managers, important stakeholders, and team members is frequently eliminating risk within a project or activity. Incorrect procedures could put other team members in danger or delay the project’s completion. Consider establishing repercussions in your review meeting if team members fail to adhere to the prescribed procedures. For instance, you may ask someone to leave the job site to ensure their own and others’ safety if they refuse to use heavy machinery safely or to wear the necessary personal protective equipment.


What are the 3 types of risk in audit?

Inherent risks, detection risks, and control risks are the three main categories of audit risks.

What is risk audit process?

An attempt is made to identify, verify, record, measure, analyze, and report the variety of risks that may be present in a specific situation through the process of a risk audit.

What are the 5 audit risks?

  • Financial Risk »
  • Inherent Risk »
  • Internal Controls »
  • Residual Risk »

What are examples of audit risks?

Ineffective audit planning, poor engagement management, the incorrect audit methodology, low competency, and a lack of understanding of audit clients are common causes of detection risk.

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