Having assessed the severity of risk and their likelihood, the next task is to begin putting them in some order. This section describes a way to rank and compare the various risks you have identified.

Using the following matrix, go through each of the risks you have identified and determine its category (A, B, C or D). Then enter these categories onto your Risk List.

Likelihood/ Severity

Almost Certain

Very Likely

Likely

Not Likely

Disastrous

A

A

A

B

Very Serious

A

A

B

C

Serious

A

B

C

D

Minor

B

C

D

D 

Categories of risk

After filling out the Risk List, you might find it easier to redo the list, grouping together each category of risk. You might also find it easier to visualise the list if you use a highlighting pen to indicate the different categories of risk - say, red for category A, yellow for category B and blue for category C.

Risk list with examples of likelihood, severity and categories

The chart below illustrates this process. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list; rather it gives a few examples of some common risks faced by organisations, the category they might fall into and their possible severity. 

Risks

Likelihood

Severity

Category

Actions

Theft of office equipment

B

C

B

Loss of hard disk data

B

B

A

Damage to vehicles

C

C

C

Injury to volunteers

D

A

D

Fire in the office

C

A

A

Breach of Anti-Discrimination  Act

B

C

B

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