In this article Terry Simister explains the background behind the initiative led by the Institute of Risk Management to establish recognised British and International standards for the practice of risk management. He discusses the historical development of the concept of risk management and how that led to recognition of the need to create a profession to deal with all its aspects. He analyses the difficulties in providing a comprehensive definition of risk management and the difficulties there have been in reaching agreement in the international arena. He concludes with an overview of the forces which make an agreed standard a necessity.
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