News releases

Compliance officers reminded to have say on risk severity

Compliance officers have just less than two weeks to have their say on a new element to the methodology for the risk assessment of firms.

Views are being gathered through a survey run by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA's Risk Centre wants to introduce a new element of severity to sit alongside current impact and probability components of risk assessment.

Measurement of severity allows the Authority to identify those risks that are greater than others. A short questionnaire was sent to COLPs and COFAs in March, asking for views on the severity of the risks in the Risk Index. The closing date for the survey is on Wednesday 22 May.

Andrew Garbutt, SRA Director of Risk, said: "We'd like to thank those who have already responded to the questionnaire. It presents compliance officers with an excellent opportunity to feed their views directly into our firm-based risk assessments. We’d urge those who have yet to complete the survey to do so, as this is the first step in opening up a two-way dialogue around management of regulatory risk.

“It will also allow us to explore whether firm size, location and areas of practice influence perceptions of risk. By taking part in our survey we hope to capture your views on how serious each of the risks in the Risk Index are. We will be sharing our analysis through our website in due course."

At present, the Level 1 risks in the Risk Index are not weighted or prioritised. By allocating a severity score to each risk, the SRA acknowledges some risks inherently have more potential than others to harm the regulatory objectives.

A guide to how the SRA currently assesses risk can be found on the Regulatory Risk Framework pages. Understanding how severe each Level 1 risk is will underpin further work on tolerance levels for each risk, and how risks are prioritised.

The SRA will use responses to feed into a wider piece of work being undertaken by its Risk Centre that will help form a view of the final severity scores. The Risk Centre will also be analysing how different types of firms view risks.

The SRA has emailed COLPs and COFAs with further details and a link to the survey using contact details entered on to mySRA. COLPs and COFAs who have not updated their details may not receive the survey invite, but are welcome to be involved in this exercise, as are other interested parties.

To ensure similar communications are received in the future compliance officers are encouraged to update their mySRA details.

More on the Risk Index

Information on the Regulatory Risk Framework