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Writing about Risk

Reviewing thousands of reports over the past decade, I’ve seen first hand how often organisations miss clear opportunities to improve.

Too often, risk statements are unclear and poorly worded, focusing on control failures or symptoms, rather than root cause. They undermine a team’s work, reporting and the unit’s reputation as a whole.

An accurate, clearly worded risk encourages appropriate control and meaningful action. The opposite – which is all too common – leads to wasted time, money and effort. Worse still, it can mean that the real risk remains unmitigated.

This practical, hands-on course encourages discussion and reflection. It includes small-group exercises based on real-life examples and case studies.


Who should attend?

The course is relevant to people at all levels, from trainee to director, and particularly those working in compliance, risk and internal audit.



This course develops attendees’ awareness of how to assess and describe risk in their organisations. Afterwards, they should better understand:

  • types of risk facing different organisations;

  • the relationship between risks and controls;

  • how to get to the root cause of risks, rather than the symptoms; and

  • how to communicate risks clearly and constructively

Course Programme

What is a risk?

  • Definitions and standards

  • Common responses (individual and corporate) to risk

Risks and Controls

  • Risk and control assessments or evaluations (including reassessing risk in response to change)

  • Risks vs failed controls

  • Risk, symptom or root cause?

Reporting risk

  • Your audience and its appetite

  • Materiality

  • Writing the risk: making it count and making them care


Sara I. James

With over 30 years' teaching, writing, publishing and corporate experience in the US and Europe, Sara provides report-writing training worldwide through her business, Getting Words to WorkTM. She has written numerous articles on language and reporting, and spoken at national and international conferences. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors’ Technical Guidance Working Group, Sara provides resources for members in the UK and abroad. She recently published Radical Reporting: Writing Better Audit, Risk, Compliance, and Information Security Reports with CRC Press (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). 


For more information, please visit



Sara I. James


Day : 23/10/2023

13.30 - 17.00 (with 15 min break)

Deadline to register: 15/09/2023

CPE Credits : 4


Member 700 EUR 

Non-member 775 EUR





IIA Luxembourg office

4 Op de Leemen L-5846 Fentange

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