All organisations are exposed to risk. Risk managers aim to reduce and mitigate an organisation’s exposure to risk.

They do this by:

  • analysing an organisation’s exposure to risk
  • developing and implementing strategies for controlling and monitoring risks. 

Risk management is a developing and challenging discipline which is a key requirement for any successful organisation.

Financial professionals have many of the skills and competencies required by risk management.

A skillset that is increasingly required is an understanding and knowledge of digital and IT risks.

Entry and progression

Risk managers are experienced professionals often educated to degree level. Entry-level roles are in administration or support for a risk management team.

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including risk managers.

Exam options

For those who work in risk management, or aspire to be a risk manager, the most relevant exam options are:

Performance objectives

Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your risk management career.

Performance objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:


High level competencies required by management accountants include:

  • Governance, Risk and Control

    A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.

    B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.

    C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.

    D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.

    E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.

  • Leadership and Management

    A. Applies appropriate leadership strategies to effectively deliver business objectives.

    B. Leads, motivates and manages people to optimise performance and effectiveness.

    C. Collaborates, supports and works to achieve the objectives of the organisation, harnessing appropriate digital technologies.

    D. Acts proactively and thinks strategically, in anticipating organisational needs, recognising the wider business environment and dynamics.

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.