B.4 Risk Management

The Directorate’s risk management framework is based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – principles and guidelines.

Risks are identified and mitigated through the Directorate’s internal governance control structure, which includes:

  • Risk Management Framework;
  • Strategic Risk Profile;
  • school compliance reporting;
  • Fraud & Corruption, Prevention & Response Plan 2013-2015;
  • internal audit program;
  • detailed financial policies and controls, such as the Director-General’s Financial Instructions and the School Management Manual;
  • detailed financial operating procedures and practices; and
  • risk identification and analysis by senior staff.

The Directorate’s risk management functions are managed by the Chief Internal Auditor and the Director, Governance Branch.

The Directorate’s Senior Executive and the Audit Committee receive regular risk management reports, providing an overview of significant risks, mitigation strategies, responsibilities and an oversight on the implementation of audit recommendations.

The Senior Executive and the Audit Committee assist with the allocation of resources and timeframes to ensure appropriate mitigation and monitoring strategies are implemented.

Monitoring and reporting on risk management occurs through:

  • regular monitoring of outcomes by the senior executive;
  • reporting to the Audit Committee;
  • reporting to the Senior Executive Team; and
  • implementation of internal and external audit recommendations.

The Directorate manages financial risks through a well-defined financial management framework that includes:

  • clearly established ownership of internal budgets;
  • monthly variance reporting by senior management;
  • quarterly strategic review of financial performance and corrective actions as required by the executive;
  • regularly updated financial procedures and practices documents; and
  • provision of training to office and school-based staff.


The number of critical incidents for a financial year has been calculated on those incidents reported which meet the definition for a critical incident in the Directorate’s Critical/Non Critical Incident Management and Reporting Policy i.e. an event that causes severe impact, such as significant disruption to the school routine, an emergency management situation, loss of a sense of control, or threat to the safety of students and staff.

Further information on this measure can be obtained by emailing ETDAnnualReport@act.gov.au

In Term 1 2016, the Directorate experienced an abnormal number of critical incidents related to threatening phone calls. Investigation of the incidents in ACT schools identified a link to similar incidents that were experienced by education systems across Australia and elsewhere in the world. In the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, there were 27 critical incidents in ACT Public Schools. Twenty-three of these incidents related to threatening phone calls requiring school evacuation and/or lockdown.


Figure showing critical incidents in ACT Public Schools, 2011-12 to 2015-16

Source: ACT Education Directorate

For further information contact:
(02) 6205 5511

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