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Risk management of engagement and consultation during Covid-19

At the time of writing, we see that many bodies that have had to divert staff to Covid related duties are now looking at returning to engaging and consulting the public. In some cases, this is the resumption of programmes stalled or halted by the pandemic. In other cases, this is about what happens next because the status quo has been altered significantly, including whether emergency and temporary changes should be retained.

In 2014 the Institute developed a risk management approach to supplement the deficiencies in ISO31000, regarding managing risk in engagement and consultation. It was marketed as tCI Risk Workshops and provided a workshop plus written risk report that clients could use to update their risk management. It also provided a deeper insight into what mistakes not to make and how you needed to meet statutory and public law requirements.

It wasn’t all about the law. Though the approach looked at the law and what you might need to do to meet it, it also examined the external and internal risks that gave rise to the desire to challenge by different parties and their approaches to finding faults that would enable challenge. This approach was significantly different from that which public bodies, developers and other consultors took in managing risk. Those that embraced this approach have universally appreciated it and have used it multiple times.

Today the Institute offers the risk workshop that has become an even more refined and effective tool. Geared not just to general concepts but also to a client’s specific scenario, it is increasingly effective in reducing the risk of challenge.

There could not be a better time than now to consider using it. Statutory duties for public involvement and consultation have not been repealed, yet different directives from government and agencies are ambiguous and leave what one should be doing open to interpretation. Incorrect interpretation will leave opportunities for those that oppose changes to successfully challenge.

Risk workshops are ideally suited to being run online. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex or Duo are all suited to this workshop. Participant numbers are best between six and twelve, slides need to be seen and notes made. These platforms allow all that would happen offline to happen online.


Now would be an ideal time to talk to the Institute about using this approach.

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