Risk and Control Self Assessment

Risk and Control Self Assessment

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The Risk and Control Self Assessment (RCSA) is an integral part of most operational risk management frameworks. RCSAs provide a structured mechanism for estimating operational exposures and the effectiveness of controls. In so doing RCSAs help organisations to prioritise risk exposures, identify control weaknesses and gaps and monitor the actions taken to address any weaknesses or gaps.

A well designed and implemented RCSA can help to embed operational risk management across an organisation, improving management attitudes towards operational risk management and enhancing the overall risk culture. In contrast, an inefficient or unnecessarily complex RCSA can damage the reputation of the (operational) risk function and reinforce the perception that operational risk management is a bureaucratic, compliance-focused, exercise that does not support the achievement of organisational objectives.

It cannot be emphasised enough that an effective RCSA is much more than a technical exercise. Though RCSAs can, and should, be used to help assess, even quantify where necessary, operational risk exposures. They are equally important as a mechanism for promoting open discussions about operational risk.