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Dorothy Gjerdrum is Chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for Risk Management, which worked on the draft standard, “Risk Management—Principles and Guidelines on Implementation” (ISO 31000).

In this interview, Gjerdrum explains how the TAG operates and provides an update of the TAG’s activities and goals for the remainder of the year.

Wayne Salen, TAG Vice Chair, also contributed to this interview.

Please provide a brief description of your professional background and of your responsibilities as Chair of the TAG for Risk Management.

I joined Arthur J. Gallagher in 1999 to bring a public entity risk manager perspective to the company’s largest client segment, which includes cities, counties, state governments, K-12 public schools, special districts and pools—or insurance groups—of those clients. I am the Executive Director of the Public Entity and Scholastic Division, which includes 290 sales staff in 30 offices across the U.S.

Prior to Gallagher, I was a risk manager for a county association pool (three insurance programs) in New Mexico. Prior to that, I staffed the insurance committee for the New Mexico legislature. All in all, I have 24 years of insurance/risk management experience, and I have focused exclusively on public sector risks since 1989.

As chair of the U.S. TAG for Risk Management, I ensure the thorough review and discussion of the proposed ISO 31000 Standard on the Practice of Risk Management. To do that, I facilitate discussion and expression of views from various constituent groups, including professional associations such as ASSE, the Association of Industrial Hygienists, the Public Risk Management Association, the Risk and Insurance Management Society; industry representatives such as Bayer Material Science, Bearingpoint, Inc., Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, Project Management Institute, Pilz Automation Safety, RRS Engineering and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and brokerage and consulting groups like Aon, Esis, Gallagher, Marsh, Safety Management Consultants and Wyeth. Ultimately, it is my job to work with this group to reach consensus on the U.S. position regarding the proposed standard and then, through ASSE and ANSI, to communicate that to the international working group. 

How does this TAG assist the new ISO Technical Management Board Working Group on Risk Management (ISO/TMB/RM)?

The U.S. is one of 30 countries involved in determining the new international standard on the practice of risk management. We recently submitted our vote on the standard (which was “No, with comment”).
This allowed us to engage in discussion during the working group’s November meeting. During that meeting, country representatives finalized the wording of the standard. The U.S. was one of only three countries that voted “No, with comment.” We cast that vote to foster further discussion. Twenty of all countries submitted comments with their vote.

How does this TAG work with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)? What procedures or processes are followed for voting at the international level?

ANSI casts the vote at the international level with ANSI. The TAG gives ANSI the position and comments to make when actually casting a ballot. TAG voting is conducted in accordance with our accredited procedures. The TAG administrator oversees the process and then provides the official voting position and comments to ANSI for them to execute.
ISO released the draft standard, “Risk Management—Principles and Guidelines on Implementation” (ISO 31000). How is this draft standard structured, and what kind of response has it received since its release?

The international standard was created to provide principles and guidelines on the implementation of risk management. It can be applied to any public, private or community enterprise, association, group or individual. It is designed to be generic and not specific to any industry or sector.

This standard has received much attention from around the world. It will make the practice of risk management more consistent and understandable, whether you are in Japan, the U.S. or Europe. This will benefit businesses that have operations in many countries. It is of great interest to multiple industries and private and public entities, as is evidenced by the diversity within the U.S. TAG.  

The definitions that apply to the standard are in a separate document, “Guide 73: Risk management—vocabulary.” This guide includes the definition of risk, the creation of a risk management framework and the definition of the risk management process. The purpose of the framework is to assist an organization in integrating risk management into its overall management system. The risk management process mirrors the Australian/New Zealand risk management standard, in which communication, consultation, monitoring and review occur continually throughout the process.  
ISO also released Guide 73, “Risk Management Vocabulary.” What is the purpose of this document?

Draft ISO Guide 73 is an update of a longstanding document. When the ISO working group began crafting the risk management standard, they realized that definitions were important and decided to update Guide 73 instead of including it in the ISO 31000 document. We disagree with that, and we hope we will be able to persuade other country TAGs during the November 2008 meeting to merge the two.
The TAG met on August 5, 2008 at ASSE headquarters. What was the outcome of this meeting, and what are the TAG’s goals for the remainder of this year?

The TAG agreed to vote “No, with comment” on the proposed standard to ensure discussion at the November meeting. Our goals are to participate in the meeting and to influence the adoption of the standard that represents the technical group’s concerns and needs.

Will the TAG develop any new risk management standards series in addition to ISO 31000?

That is yet to be determined. We hope Guide 73 will be incorporated into the standard. It is also possible that a U.S. national standard (in concurrence with the ISO standard) will be proposed at a later date.

How can those interested participate in the TAG’s activities?

Interested parties can apply to ASSE to join the TAG. However, we have already completed the majority of the review work on the standard at this point. I recommend waiting until after the international standard is adopted to see if the committee will need to consider adopting an American national version of the standard or proposed revisions. This would most likely occur after spring of 2009.

Dorothy Gjerdrum

Dorothy Gjerdrum, ARM-P is the Executive Director of Arthur J. Gallagher Brokerage & Risk Management Services’ Public Entity and Scholastic Division. She works with public sector clients and brokers across the U.S., focusing on risk management, exposure identification, pool operations and enterprise risk management. She is also Chair of the U.S. TAG for Risk Management

Gjerdrum has more than 20 years of industry experience, including ten years in risk management at the New Mexico Association of Counties insurance pools. She was a founding member of the NM PRIMA Chapter and serves on many PRIMA committees, including conference planning, education and PRIMA institute planning. She is a guest speaker and published author on current and emerging risk management issues in the public sector.







Wayne Salen

Wayne Salen, ARM, CHCM, CPSM currently serves as Director of Risk Management for Labor Finders® International, Inc. in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. He is Vice Chair of the U.S. TAG for Risk Management.

Salen holds two Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) awards—the 2001 “Heart of RIMS” Award and a Risk Manager-in-Residence Fellowship with West Virginia University, which he completed in April 2005.

Previously, he was a RIMS Board Member and Chair of RIMS’ External/Governmental Affairs Committee. He was renominated to the RIMS Board of Directors in April 2007 and currently serves on the audit committee. In April 2008, RIMS appointed Salen to represent RIMS on the U.S. TAG for Risk Management.

He has held various risk management positions in healthcare, wholesale and retail food, general merchandise retail, franchise, municipal, construction-related as well as the insurance and insurance service industries. As a 31-year risk management veteran, Salen has worked in all areas of risk management such as occupational safety, workers’ compensation, medical clinic management, disaster planning, risk financing, claims administration, environmental health, property conservation, loss prevention, fleet management, regulatory compliance, benefits administration, captive management and other areas.

He holds a bachelor degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.