Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats, or exposures, to a business or organization. The number and nature of risks differ greatly depending on the organization; a full-service restaurant, for example, will have an entirely different set of risk factors than a public pool.

While risks and controls may vary, the objective remains the same: effectively manage potential hazards and protect the organization by identifying, assessing and mitigating exposures.

Four Essential Steps to Effective Risk Management

Different risk management strategies will be comprised of different steps and go by different names; however, without exception, an effective risk management strategy will include the following four essential steps:

  1. Identify risks
  2. Assess
  3. Control
  4. Monitor and report

Identify Risks

The first step in the risk management process is identifying all of the potential hazards or exposures. Generally, this is achieved via on-site inspections. The best way to complete this step is by using a digital software solution that allows information to be submitted and available from anywhere.


The assessment step involves analyzing the exposures identified to determine likelihood and gravity. In other words, how likely is it to happen, and how serious would the consequences be if it did happen?


Once risks have been identified and analyzed, the next step is to decide what controls you can put in place to mitigate or minimize those risks and then implement those controls.

Monitor & Report

The job isn’t done once controls are in place; you must continue to monitor and report on a regular basis so you can verify that these controls are actually working to minimize exposures.

Risk Management For Municipal Governments

Government agencies don’t operate the same as, say, a for-profit company. Still, they face many of the same risks and exposures and require an equally robust—if not more comprehensive—risk management strategy.

Inspections play a critical role in government risk management strategies. Local governments across Canada and the United States struggle to complete thousands of inspections across departments—including parks and playgrounds, schools, arenas, roads and sidewalks, water and sewage systems, and many more—as often as every month.

Lack of qualified personnel and outdated paper reporting systems are significant hurdles local governments face to achieving their goals and governance responsibilities.

Inspections Carried Out By Municipal Governments

Every city is responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of inspections a month, including (but by no means limited to):

  • Playground Safety Inspections
  • Public Works Inspections
    • Water & Sewage systems
    • Swimming pools
    • Arenas & Skating rinks
    • Roads & Sidewalks
    • Office buildings & Conference venues
    • Parking lots, Landfills & Trails
  • Building Permit Inspections
  • Fire Prevention Inspections
  • Health & Safety Inspections

These inspections are critical to ensuring public safety, among other government objectives.

When inspections are not carried out at regular intervals, or when documentation is lost or not properly communicated, infrastructure, services and public safety are put at risk.

Municipalities may be held liable for damages resulting from negligent inspections or failure to enforce safety codes or be subject to other consequences, including public criticism or even accusations of negligence.

Efficient, Paperless Inspections With CityReporter

CityReporter is a software that provides government departments with the infrastructure they need to eliminate inefficiencies and ensure the health and safety of their citizens.

Developed by Noratek Solutions, CityReporter is a user-friendly, intuitive and responsive tool that digitizes the inspection process. With software that works on PC or Mac computers, tablets and smartphones, municipalities can eliminate paperwork, data entry and labour inefficiencies and improve risk management processes by making critical information and documentation available anywhere, anytime. Watch our demo video.

If you’re ready for efficient and accurate inspection performance across your city, with detailed records at your fingertips, contact CityReporter today.