Alarm guidance documents

Alarm develops and publishes best practice guidance, research and thought leadership documents on the most current risk management topics.

Publication details
March 2018

Highways claims management manual
Following the introduction of the Well managed highway infrastructure: a code of practice, Section 2 of Alarm's Highways claims management manual has been revised to reflect the risk based approach to managing highways risks that must be adopted by October 2018.

Contents and introduction - UPDATED MARCH 2018
Section 1 - Highways liability - the law
Section 2 - Managing highway liability risks - UPDATED MARCH 2018
Section 3 - Highways claims handling
Section 4 - Managing the liability risks
Section 5 - The role of the highway authority's risk / insurance manager

While documents already exist that may cover some of the aspects, nothing is currently available that deals with all the relevant aspects from the specific perspective of the risk / insurance manager who is
responsible for managing the performance of the highways claims process. Therefore the intention
of this document is to provide a practical reference document that covers both the basis of the
highways claims function for new entrants into the sphere and also provides a source of tactical,
operational and reference guidance for more experienced managers.

November 2016 Major loss: Alarm guide to preparation and immediate response

This Guide is intended to be a quick and easy resource for Alarm Members, providing practical guidance on what can be done both pre and post incident to ensure impacts are mitigated. It is written from an insurance perspective and encourages early engagement with insurance partners to ensure that practical, procedural and financial support is accessed effectively.

This Guide has been produced in response to demand from Alarm Members for something simpler and shorter than a full BCP, providing concise practical advice and pointers.

The Alarm and Vericlaim Major loss survey 2016 (available to non-members)

In developing the Major loss guide, Alarm and Vericlaim sought to obtain the views of Members on their experience of major losses and their readiness to deal with future events. The results of this short survey are explained in this summary document and were instrumental in the creation of the best practice guidance.

A guide to business continuity management October 2016

A guide to business continuity management 

Alarm has updated its guide to business continuity management (BCM) to support Members in ensuring the resilience of their organisation.The Guide is divided into easy to access sections, including the context for BCM and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the plan, do, check, act (PDCA) cycle required to implement a BCM system and case studies and lessons learnt.

The Guide will provide Members with the ability to develop a robust business continuity infrastructure that will enable future resilience and help promote business as usual when facing an incident.

Supporting business continuity management presentation

The new Guide also benefits from this supporting presentation offering hints and tips that will work for any public service organisation looking to implement, refresh or improve their business continuity plan.

New ventures, new risks: Alarm guide to the risks arising from new service delivery models in the public sector September 2016

New ventures, new risks: Alarm guide to the risks arising from new service delivery models in the public sector

As organisations identify opportunities and facilitate the management of risks from the public sector response to ongoing austerity measures and subsequent transformation, more questions are asked.

New ways of working and in particular, new models of service delivery, whether frontline services or back office, present some of the most challenging risk management issues today. The Guide therefore discusses the opportunities that can be realised for the public sector in using a variety of service delivery models, summarises the type of models that are in use and being developed, and identifies a set of the most common risks in the specific risk categories together with insurance management considerations.

New ventures, new risks: executive summary (available to non-members)

A summary of the guidance provided in Alarm's guide to the risks arising from new service delivery models.

Children's services: Alarm guide to managing risks September 2016

Children's services: Alarm guide to managing risks
The primary purpose of this document is to assist risk managers in identifying important issues in the complex area of children's services and to provide guidance on how those issues can be managed effectively. This guide is a comprehensive collection of professional tips and information on safeguarding, child sexual exploitation and historical abuse. It spans relevant and related topics covering: media and communications, the law, claims management, documentation, strategic risk management, commissioning and outsourcing, and insurers.

Children's services executive briefing: Alarm guide to managing risks (available to non-members)
An executive briefing summarising the findings, guidance and key learnings from Alarm's guide to managing children's services risks.

December 2015

Managing the risk of highway claims: best practice guidelines for highway asset managers
A reference document providing useful guidance to highways asset managers on some of the issues to consider, and what supporting information to provide, when completing the risk management element of the Dept. for Transports' self-assessment questionnaire for the Local Highways Maintenance Capital Funding Incentive Fund.

July 2015

The risk success story: improving performance in risk management

This report tells the story of the successful development of risk management in public service organisations in the UK, based on analysis of the data from Alarm CIPFA Risk Management Benchmarking from 2010 to 2015.

Although risk managers often feel like an endangered species in a hostile and uncertain environment, the overall story is of success.The evidence shows that public sector organisations have improved their overall management of risk since 2010, despite fewer resources and more complex risks.

May 2015

Freedom of Information Act 2000: a good practice guide on handling information requests relating to insurance

This Alarm guide aims to focus on key areas where Insurance Managers may encounter Freedom of Information (FOI) and other information requests and provide practical tips needed for handling such requests.

Restructuring Risk, How to Manage Risks During Organisational Change Report December 2014

Restructuring risk: how to manage risks during organisational change
Outcomes of the Alarm Wales Seminar - 22 May 2014

A report on the Wales seminar exploring the risk and insurance implications of organisational restructuring, either internally or involving two or more organisations via voluntary or compulsory mergers. Public sector organisations of all types are facing significant challenges, including reduced funding, new technologies, shifting demographics and changes in demand for services. As a consequence, new ways of working are being sought and new structures devised to try to do more with less. These structural changes may be purely internal, involving one or more departments, or involve two or more organisations merging part or all of their functions.

Alarm RIPA Guide 2014

September 2014

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ("RIPA"): a good practice guide on the use of surveillance for the purpose of investigating insurance claims 2014

Covert surveillance is a tool that can reap benefits in defending liability claims. Recognising that managers of risk cannot use the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) guidance due to the conflicting advice given, Alarm, in partnership with practitioners and sponsors has produced this good practice guide, providing a clear understanding of how RIPA applies within this field. 

May 2014

Managing the risk of fraud: the Alarm standard for risk advisors

In 2007, Alarm published Managing the Risk of Fraud: The Alarm Standard for Risk Advisors. There have been significant changes to the way public services are delivered and Alarm have refreshed the document to take account of the emerging risks facing the public sector in these challenging times.

January 2014

Academy risk revealed

A report on the reality of life for academies in England and the risks they have to manage. From an Alarm Roundtable discussion consisting of interested commentators on academy risk.

Claims Portal Extension - Preparation and Protection. 2013 Alarm Report

June 2013

Claims portal extension advice – preparation and protection

This paper provides a foundation for internal discussions and provides clarification of the perceived threats and opportunities, tips for preparation and real world public sector examples.

2011 Alarm Salary Status Report

August 2011

2011 Alarm salary & status survey

This report is the second of its type conducted by Alarm, to gauge the salary and status of its members and the wider position of the risk management function within public services across the UK.

Opportunity Risk Management Guide 2011

August 2011

Alarm opportunity risk management guide

The purpose of this document is to provide practical and useful guidance for professional risk managers regarding the application of opportunity risk management

The Future of Risk Management in the Police Service 2011

February 2011

The future of risk management in the police service

A report on the outcomes of the Alarm Police Group meeting held in October 2010.

December 2010

Report on the outcomes of the Alarm CIPFA Risk Management Benchmarking Club 2010

What does good risk management look like in a public service organisation? While there is evidence of excellence in, and innovative approaches to, the management of risk across a range of public service organisations and functions, it has been difficult for organisations to judge the level of maturity of their own risk management measures, compared to similar organisations across the country.

This report provides analysis of the outcomes from the 2010 Alarm CIPFA annual assessment of the performance of risk management in public sector organisations.

Risk Management Adding Value 2010

November 2010           

Risk management - adding value?

This report contains the output and conclusions of an interactive workshop held by Alarm North East in October 2010.

What Makes a Good Risk Manager

July 2010

What makes a good risk manager?

This report is a summary of the workshop held by Alarm Anglia in May 2010.

Salary and Status Survey 2010

April 2010

Alarm 2010 salary & status survey

This report contains the findings of the Salary & Status Survey carried out by Alarm at the end of 2009

A structured approach to Enterprise Risk Management and the requirements of ISO31000

February 2010

A structured approach to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and the requirements of ISO 31000

A new practical guide to Enterprise Risk Management has been written by AIRMIC and produced with Alarm and The Institute of Risk Management.

Risk Management Survey 2009

December 2009

Risk management survey 2009

The 2009 risk management survey builds on previous studies undertaken by Alarm in 2006 and by the Audit Commission in 2003 and 2000.

Opportunity Knocks, Delivering Innovation by Managing Opportunities

December 2009

Opportunity knocks! Delivering innovation by managing opportunities

Discussion document based on the outcomes of the Alarm South East Opportunities Risk Workshop.

Managing Risk During the Economic Downturn

November 2009

Managing risk during the economic downturn

Outcomes of the Alarm North East Best Practice Workshop, September 2009.

July 2009

Embedding risk management in business processes

Outcomes of the Alarm North East Best Practice Workshop May 2009.

The focus of the workshop was to consider issues affecting the integration and embedding of
risk management within the business processes of member organisations, including local
authorities, fire and rescue services, police authorities, housing associations, the voluntary sector
and other public service organisations or partnerships.

March 2009

National competencies for risk managers: a discussion document

This document derives from a workshop held by Alarm in 2008, involving members across a variety of public service organisations.

The resulting document seeks to outline the competencies required of a risk management professional within a public service organisation. Specifically, it looks at the role of the “Corporate Risk Manager” or “the Chief Risk Officer”, while acknowledging that, in many organisations, elements of this role may be fulfilled by a number of persons.

January 2009

Procurement risks

Issues, Solutions and Examples of Good Practice. Outcomes of the Alarm North East Workshop on the Management of Procurement Risks, September 2008. 

Appendices to Procurement Risks Workshop.

May 2008

Partnership risks

Outcomes of the Alarm North East Workshop on partnership risks

Public sector bodies have increasingly found themselves in partnership arrangements, with the intention of generating beneficial outcomes for the wider community and for the organisations involved in the partnership. As always, however, the potential for benefits and reward also brings the potential for negative risks and much can be learned from these risks.

Appendices to partnership risks

April 2008

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

In January 2006, Alarm published the document 'Corporate Manslaughter: guidance on the 2005 draft bill’. This document focuses on the developments since 2005: the new legislation; its wider implications; and some specific implications for the public sector.

December 2007

Benchmarking risk management

A report on the results of the Alarm Risk Management Benchmarking Survey (2006).

This report reviews the current maturity of risk management in the public services.

Appendices to Benchmarking risk management

December 2007

Absence management

Outcomes of the Alarm North East Workshop on absence management.

This report shows the absence management issues facing public services today, potential solutions and examples of best practice.

Appendices to Absence Management

October 2007

Business continuity management

Outcomes of the Alarm North East Workshop on BCM

This report highlights examples of best practice in Business Continuity Management drawn from the Alarm North East workshop in May 2007.

July 2007

Managing the risk of fraud: the Alarm standard for risk advisors 

This Standard will provide best practice on key aspects and will enable organisations to test that they are reaching adequate levels of compliance in relation to the management of the risk of fraud.

July 2007

Risk management: making a difference

A review of good practice case studies from the Alarm / Audit Commission Workshops (2005)

This report considers the contemporary environment in which public sector organisations must manage risk. In particular, it focuses on the diverse ways in which risk management can enhance the performance of public service organisations and presents, in a series of case studies, success stories selected from participants
at the Risk Management: Making a Difference workshops which were run jointly by Alarm and the Audit Commission in 2005.

December 2005

Alternative risk financing

This is a comprehensive guide on the various options available to Alarm Members as possible alternatives to traditional insurance market products.

Alternative Risk Financing: Guidance on alternatives to traditional insurance market products August 2005

Business continuity management and the Civil Contingencies Act: a short guide

The impact of a disruption to services in the public sector is a risk that many have identified at a strategic level and figures largely in Risk Registers. This is reinforced by the Civil Contingencies Act which imposes a statutory duty for organisations to be resilient. The purpose of this document is to provide clear help and guidance in this area.

April 2004

A guide to managing personal safety risks at work

A comprehensive guidance document to managing personal safety risks at work.

Corporate Governance Full Report

Corporate governance - full report

Is an essential part of securing the “health” of an organisation and takes its place in the corporate governance arena.

Corporate governance - summary

Members, non-elected board members or non-executive directors in the UK public sector to develop a sound approach to risk management as part of their overall arrangements for corporate governance within their organisations.

July 1999

Shorten the odds

Produced by the Scottish Accounts Commission in conjunction with Glasgow Caledonian University and Alarm. The document provides a very useful and practical guide to risk management.