Comprehensive guide ISO 31000

A comprehensive guide to the risk management standard ISO 31000 Risk management — Guidelines

If a company wants to ensure long-term success, it must have the foresight and ability to stay ahead of its competitors by constantly improving its information security capabilities, processes and resilience. In addition, they need to be able to take unpredictable events into account in order to manage risk effectively - that's why it's important to know and understand the ISO 31000 standard and how to integrate it into your risk management strategies.

In this guide, we'll take a look at what ISO 31000 is all about, its benefits and key components, so you can better understand how this standard works. That way you can develop an ISO 31000 compliant risk management system that will help you achieve high security in the long term.

What is ISO31000?

ISO 31000 is an international risk management standard that provides organizations with guidance to help them develop and implement effective risk management strategies. It helps organizations understand, assess and manage the risks they face to achieve their goals. Developed in 2009 by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 31000 offers an integrated approach to risk management, guiding how to identify, analyze, assess, treat and monitor risks. It provides a detailed framework for implementing, designing and maintaining enterprise-wide risk management.

By following ISO 31000 standards, companies can streamline their processes to assess and mitigate potential risks while improving their overall performance. In this way, they can remain competitive in the long term while ensuring the safety and security of their employees and customers.

The latest version of ISO 31000

In 2018, the International Organization for Standardization ISO made an update to the 31000 standard for risk management. This was a major overhaul to make it more flexible for companies of all sizes and industries. The new version of ISO31000:2018 details the "effect of uncertainty on objectives". It highlights that unknown risks can have significant implications for organizations and their operations if not properly addressed. Using this newly enhanced framework, businesses are now better equipped to create detailed risk management plans that meet their unique plans and goals.

The ISO 31000:2018 update highlights four main changes:

  1. Overview of risk management principles that are key criteria for success.
  2. Leadership must be placed at the forefront of management to ensure an acceptable risk organizational culture. It must ensure that risk management is embedded in all activities, with governance as its foundation.
  3. Risk management should be seen as a continuous process requiring continuous refinement and re-evaluation of strategies, actions and controls based on newly acquired experience, knowledge and data.
  4. Streamlining risk management strategies with greater emphasis on maintaining an open systems model.

On their official website, you can learn more about the ISO31000:2018 risk management standards and their latest revisions.

The trinity of the ISO31000 risk management standard

The ISO31000:2018 risk management standard consists of three interrelated components: principles, framework and processes. Let's take a look at each and see how they create ISO 31000 compliant risk management systems.

Principles: ISO 31000 includes four risk management principles that are essential for successful implementation. These include establishing context, engagement and communication, understanding risk and providing assurance. Each of these principles helps guide an organization's approach to risk management.

Framework: ISO 31000 offers a step-by-step framework for understanding and managing risk. It includes:

  • input data such as targets,
  • context and assumptions
  • activities such as analyzing, evaluating and monitoring
  • documents such as risk registers, reports and policies
  • and outcomes such as treatment, plans and controls.

Processes: ISO 31000 outlines six key processes that must be followed to create a comprehensive risk management system. They include:

  • understanding of the organization and its context;
  • establishment of the risk management policy;
  • identification of risks;
  • their analysis, assessment and treatment;
  • monitoring and review from time to time;
  • and communication with stakeholders.

Combining these three components of ISO 31000 offers a comprehensive risk management and threat mitigation system. How to implement the ISO 31000:2018 risk management standard

Implementing ISO 31000 in your organization is a multi-step process that will take time, planning and the right resources. Here's a quick guide to help you get started:

Understanding ISO 31000:2018

Before developing an ISO 31000 compliant risk management system, you need to understand what ISO 31000 is and how it works. Ensure that all members of your team have a good understanding of ISO 31000 and its principles, framework and processes.

Identification of risks

The next step is to identify the risks. This includes looking for internal and external sources of risk, understanding the impact of those risks on an organization's operations, and assessing the likelihood of their occurrence.

Policy development

The ISO 31000 standard requires organizations to create a risk management policy that outlines the objectives, objectives, scope and responsibilities of the risk management program. This policy should also include a process for monitoring, reviewing and improving the system over time.

Example policies include the following:

  1. Risk Appetite Policy: Determines the acceptable level of risk and determines what risk the organization is willing to take.
  2. Risk Assessment Policy: Outlines the risk assessment process, including their identification and analysis.
  3. Risk Treatment Policy: Describes the risk mitigation process in detail, including the selection and application of treatment.
  4. Risk Communication Policy: It governs how risks are to be identified, communicated and reported.
  5. Risk Monitoring Policy: Defines how risks should be monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Implementation of ISO 31000:2018

Once you have your policy in place, it's time to start implementing the ISO 31000 risk management standard. ISO 31000 implementation includes the following:

  1. Creation of risk registers: A risk register is a database that records all the risks associated with an organization and provides a structure for analyzing and evaluating them. It also serves as a repository for risk-related information and documents.
  2. Development of controls: ISO 31000 requires organizations to have controls in place to reduce risk. Controls must be tailored to each individual risk and may include administrative, physical or technological measures.
  3. Create a risk management plan: ISO 31000 requires organizations to develop a comprehensive risk management plan that outlines how the organization will monitor, review and continuously improve the system over time.
  4. Create reports and dashboards: ISO 31000 requires organizations to document risks and provide regular updates. Reports should be tailored for internal stakeholders, board members and external parties.

Monitor compliance with ISO 31000:2018

Finally, ISO 31000 requires organizations to periodically monitor and review their risk management system. This includes:

  • Regular assessment of new and existing risks.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of controls.
  • Update reports and dashboards.

The ISO 31000 standard also requires organizations to review their risk management policy and ensure that it is up-to-date and compliant with ISO 31000.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your organization is ISO 31000 compliant and can make informed decisions about risk management. The ISO 31000 risk management standard provides a reliable framework that organizations can use to streamline risk management strategies and keep up with current best practices.


If you want to improve your risk management strategies, follow the ISO 31000 standards. ISO 31000 is a reliable standard that offers comprehensive guidance to help organizations keep up with current best practices. Using experts from IS Consult Service, you can easily streamline your ISO 31000 compliance process and ensure your organization is ISO 31000 compliant. Get started today by contacting us via the contact form!