Introduction:

"Risk is the potential of the hazard to cause harm. The more likelihood of harm occurring or the higher the severity of consequences the higher the risk is" - NHS, Policy & Guidance for the Use of Risk Registers

Risk = Likelihood of Occurrence X Severity of Consequences

Risks are everywhere, in everything you do. As a project manager you need a way of identifying and keeping track of the risks that may, or may not, derail your project.

Understanding the risks you face and knowing how to minimize their potential impact on your project, is essential for success.

That's why you need to create a risk register. A risk register is the perfect tool for identifying, documenting, and reviewing risks associated with your project.

This Risk Register Process Checklist enables you to identify risks, include information about each risk (such as the nature of that risk, level of risk, who owns it and what are the mitigation measures in place to respond to it), and also review these risks throughout the course of your project. 

It gives you a systematic process to follow to ensure you’re as thorough as possible. It gives you a place to record all your risk information, and it allows you to follow those risks throughout the project and check if the actions you’ve put in place to remedy the risk are working. 

It’s a risk register process that allows you to:

  • Brainstorm and identify all possible risks
  • Create tasks for each risk so you can document and capture key information
  • Assign responsibility for each risk
  • Review each risk at regular intervals
  • Add comments and update each risk

"Nothing is better than checking off that risk in your paperwork as no longer a problem in the project" - Project Manager, Guide to Using a Risk Register

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Complete checklist details

Provide details about who is running this checklist, in the fields below, to provide transparency and let people within your organization know who to contact if they need additional information or have any questions.  

Enter project details

Provide a summary of the project you are creating this risk register for, in the fields below, so that anyone looking at this process understands what the project is, who is involved, what the budget is, and why and when it's being executed.

You can also refer back to this information when identifying and documenting risks during this process. 

Risk Identification:

Brainstorm all potential risks

Source

With the project team, brainstorm and list, in the field below, all the potential risks associated with {{form.Project_name}}.

When identifying these risks, take into account different sources of information.

Such sources of information may include:

  • 1
    Communications from involved employees
  • 2
    Results of internal and external inspections/audits
  • 3
    Relevant incident/accident statistics
  • 4
    Relevant manufacturers information/safety data sheets
  • 5
    Any official guidelines/standards/regulations

The next few tasks will require you to create a new task for each risk you have identified above, and provide detail about each one.

To help you remember this list of identified risks, we will use variables to pull the above list into each risk task. 

Create tasks for each identified risk

Each risk you have identified should become an individual task in this process. To help get you started, we have included individual tasks for four risks. But, it's likely that your project will have more than four risks associated with it. 

You, in fact, identified that there are {{form.How_many_risks_have_you_identified?}} risks associated with this project. 

So, you need to create {{form.How_many_risks_have_you_identified?}} tasks - one for each risk.

To add more tasks to this checklist, you can either: 

1. Click the 'Task' button in the bottom left. This will create a new blank task, and allow you to manually copy the form fields into this new task.

Or


2. Click on the below task, task 7, and then click the 'Duplicate' button in the bottom right. This will duplicate this task and copy all the form fields across into your new risk task to save you having to do it manually.

Document risk 1

Source

In the fields below, detail what this risk is, the impact it's likely to have, who it will affect, what triggers it, the likelihood of it occurring, the severity of it, and what your plans are to mitigate it. 

To refresh your memory, and help you detail each risk, this is the fill list of risks you identified in the previous task: 

{{form.All_potential_risks}}

In this next field, you need to explain how you plan to mitigate this risk.

The following questions will jog your memory, and help you to think of ideas so you can provide a detailed account of how you plan to mitigate this risk. 

  • 1
    Can you eliminate or avoid the risk (eg. can you remove an unsafe piece of equipment etc...)?
  • 2
    Can you combat this risk at the source (eg. can you increase staffing levels, or amend a policy etc...)?
  • 3
    Can you adapt the work to the individual (eg. can you adjust the height of the workstation etc..)
  • 4
    Can you adapt the process using new technology?
  • 5
    Can you substitute the dangerous with a non-dangerous or less dangerous?
  • 6
    Can you use prevention policies that cover technology, organization of work, working conditions, social relationships, and the influence of factors relating to the working environment (eg. can you develop a safe system of work)?
  • 7
    Can you use controls that prevent group exposure to the risk rather than individual exposure?
  • 8
    Can you give appropriate information, instruction, and training to staff?
  • 9
    Can you provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

It's always a good idea to have a contingency plan, in case your mitigation strategy doesn't as planned. Detail your contingency plan for this risk, in the field below. 

Document risk 2

Source

In the fields below, detail what this risk is, the impact it's likely to have, who it will affect, what triggers it, the likelihood of it occurring, the severity of it, and what your plans are to mitigate it. 

To refresh your memory, this is the fill list of risks you identified in the previous task: 

{{form.All_potential_risks}}

In this next field, you need to explain how you plan to mitigate this risk.

The following questions will jog your memory, and help you to think of ideas so you can provide a detailed account of how you plan to mitigate this risk. 

  • 1
    Can you eliminate or avoid the risk (eg. can you remove an unsafe piece of equipment etc...)?
  • 2
    Can you combat this risk at the source (eg. can you increase staffing levels, or amend a policy etc...)?
  • 3
    Can you adapt the work to the individual (eg. can you adjust the height of the workstation etc..)
  • 4
    Can you adapt the process using new technology?
  • 5
    Can you substitute the dangerous with a non-dangerous or less dangerous?
  • 6
    Can you use prevention policies that cover technology, organization of work, working conditions, social relationships, and the influence of factors relating to the working environment (eg. can you develop a safe system of work)?
  • 7
    Can you use controls that prevent group exposure to the risk rather than individual exposure?
  • 8
    Can you give appropriate information, instruction, and training to staff?
  • 9
    Can you provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

It's always a good idea to have a contingency plan, in case your mitigation strategy doesn't as planned. Detail your contingency plan for this risk, in the field below. 

Document risk 3

Source

In the fields below, detail what this risk is, the impact it's likely to have, who it will affect, what triggers it, the likelihood of it occurring, the severity of it, and what your plans are to mitigate it. 

To refresh your memory, this is the fill list of risks you identified in the previous task: 

{{form.All_potential_risks}}

In this next field, you need to explain how you plan to mitigate this risk.

The following questions will jog your memory, and help you to think of ideas so you can provide a detailed account of how you plan to mitigate this risk. 

  • 1
    Can you eliminate or avoid the risk (eg. can you remove an unsafe piece of equipment etc...)?
  • 2
    Can you combat this risk at the source (eg. can you increase staffing levels, or amend a policy etc...)?
  • 3
    Can you adapt the work to the individual (eg. can you adjust the height of the workstation etc..)
  • 4
    Can you adapt the process using new technology?
  • 5
    Can you substitute the dangerous with a non-dangerous or less dangerous?
  • 6
    Can you use prevention policies that cover technology, organization of work, working conditions, social relationships, and the influence of factors relating to the working environment (eg. can you develop a safe system of work)?
  • 7
    Can you use controls that prevent group exposure to the risk rather than individual exposure?
  • 8
    Can you give appropriate information, instruction, and training to staff?
  • 9
    Can you provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

It's always a good idea to have a contingency plan, in case your mitigation strategy doesn't as planned. Detail your contingency plan for this risk, in the field below. 

Document risk 4

Source

In the fields below, detail what this risk is, the impact it's likely to have, who it will affect, what triggers it, the likelihood of it occurring, the severity of it, and what your plans are to mitigate it. 

To refresh your memory, this is the fill list of risks you identified in the previous task: 

{{form.All_potential_risks}}

In this next field, you need to explain how you plan to mitigate this risk.

The following questions will jog your memory, and help you to think of ideas so you can provide a detailed account of how you plan to mitigate this risk. 

  • 1
    Can you eliminate or avoid the risk (eg. can you remove an unsafe piece of equipment etc...)?
  • 2
    Can you combat this risk at the source (eg. can you increase staffing levels, or amend a policy etc...)?
  • 3
    Can you adapt the work to the individual (eg. can you adjust the height of the workstation etc..)
  • 4
    Can you adapt the process using new technology?
  • 5
    Can you substitute the dangerous with a non-dangerous or less dangerous?
  • 6
    Can you use prevention policies that cover technology, organization of work, working conditions, social relationships, and the influence of factors relating to the working environment (eg. can you develop a safe system of work)?
  • 7
    Can you use controls that prevent group exposure to the risk rather than individual exposure?
  • 8
    Can you give appropriate information, instruction, and training to staff?
  • 9
    Can you provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

It's always a good idea to have a contingency plan, in case your mitigation strategy doesn't as planned. Detail your contingency plan for this risk, in the field below. 

Risk Review:

Set review dates

Source

Now you've identified the risks and provided detail about each one, it's time to set the risk review dates, in the fields below.

These review dates will allow you and your team to officially review each risk at regular intervals, to ensure new risks are being identified, existing risks are updated, and appropriate controls/action plans are in place.

There is no legal time frame for when you should review your risk register. It is at your discretion to decide when a review is deemed necessary.

Top Tip: Risk registers are normally formally reviewed on a quarterly basis, as a minimum. 

However, the risk register is a working document and, as your business or project changes, this information should be recorded and updated.

It's, therefore, a good idea to give the risk register a quick overview during your weekly project meetings. 

If you want to formally review your risk register more than once a quarter, then read this to find out how to add more date form fields to this task. 

Top Tip: If you'd like to receive a notification every time your risk register is due for a formal review, assign task due dates to each of your risk review tasks.

Find out how to do this here.  

Complete risk review 1

Now it's time to review the following documented risks: 

{{form.Title_of_risk_1}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_2}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_3}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Don't forget to add in the variables for the new risk tasks you've created! Find out how to do this here

Fill out the following fields to provide an overview of what you have reviewed for each risk, describe what action you need to take, and establish if the risks have changed since the last review.

Risk 1: {{form.Title_of_risk_1}}
Risk 2: {{form.Title_of_risk_2}}
Risk 3: {{form.Title_of_risk_3}}
Risk 4: {{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Now you have reviewed each risk, identify if any new risks have arisen, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to add these, as individual tasks, to the risk identification section, so they are accounted for and can be reviewed at a later date 

Identify any risks that may have become obsolete, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to remove these risk tasks from the risk identification section.

Complete risk review 2

Now it's time to review the following documented risks: 

{{form.Title_of_risk_1}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_2}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_3}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Don't forget to add in the variables for the new risk tasks you've created! Find out how to do this here

Fill out the following fields to provide an overview of what you have reviewed for each risk, describe what action you need to take, and establish if the risks have changed since the last review.

Risk 1: {{form.Title_of_risk_1}}
Risk 2: {{form.Title_of_risk_2}}
Risk 3: {{form.Title_of_risk_3}}
Risk 4: {{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Now you have reviewed each risk, identify if any new risks have arisen, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to add these, as individual tasks, to the risk identification section, so they are accounted for and can be reviewed at a later date 

Identify any risks that may have become obsolete, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to remove these risk tasks from the risk identification section.

Complete risk review 3

Now it's time to review the following documented risks: 

{{form.Title_of_risk_1}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_2}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_3}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Don't forget to add in the variables for the new risk tasks you've created! Find out how to do this here

Fill out the following fields to provide an overview of what you have reviewed for each risk, describe what action you need to take, and establish if the risks have changed since the last review.

Risk 1: {{form.Title_of_risk_1}}
Risk 2: {{form.Title_of_risk_2}}
Risk 3: {{form.Title_of_risk_3}}
Risk 4: {{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Now you have reviewed each risk, identify if any new risks have arisen, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to add these, as individual tasks, to the risk identification section, so they are accounted for and can be reviewed at a later date 

Identify any risks that may have become obsolete, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to remove these risk tasks from the risk identification section.

Complete risk review 4

Now it's time to review the following documented risks: 

{{form.Title_of_risk_1}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_2}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_3}}

{{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Don't forget to add in the variables for the new risk tasks you've created! Find out how to do this here

Fill out the following fields to provide an overview of what you have reviewed for each risk, describe what action you need to take, and establish if the risks have changed since the last review.

Risk 1: {{form.Title_of_risk_1}}
Risk 2: {{form.Title_of_risk_2}}
Risk 3: {{form.Title_of_risk_3}}
Risk 4: {{form.Title_of_risk_4}}

Now you have reviewed each risk, identify if any new risks have arisen, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to add these, as individual tasks, to the risk identification section, so they are accounted for and can be reviewed at a later date 

Identify any risks that may have become obsolete, due to changing circumstances, in the field below.

Make sure to remove these risk tasks from the risk identification section.

Risk Analysis:

Record learnings

Source

Now you have completed your risk reviews, and the project has come to an end, it's time to reflect on what you've learned, so you can take these learnings and alleviate risks for future projects. 

Sources:

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