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Gatekeeper Contract and Vendor Management Glossary

Search common contracting language and take a deeper dive to discover what each means

Risk Tolerance

Risk Tolerance refers to the actual amount of risk that an organisation is willing to accept or tolerate in its pursuit of its strategic objectives. It is a concrete measure that is usually quantified and expressed as a degree of potential loss in operational or financial terms.

For businesses, understanding their risk tolerance is crucial to risk management, business strategy, and operational planning. It sets a definitive threshold for the maximum risk exposure that a company is willing to endure, serving as a benchmark for decision-making.

Here's how businesses can prepare themselves concerning risk tolerance:

1. Risk Assessment: The first step is to perform a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential risks and their potential impact. This can include operational risks, financial risks, strategic risks, and compliance risks.

2. Quantification: Risk tolerance should be quantified in measurable terms, such as potential financial loss, to provide a clear and concrete guideline. This often involves complex calculations taking into account various risk factors and scenarios.

3. Establish Policies and Procedures: Based on the risk tolerance level, businesses should establish relevant risk management policies and procedures. These will guide how risks should be managed to ensure that they remain within the acceptable level of risk tolerance.

4. Communication: It's crucial to communicate the defined risk tolerance across the organisation. This will ensure everyone understands the level of risk they can take in their decisions and actions.

5. Regular Monitoring and Review: Businesses should regularly monitor their risk levels to ensure they are within their defined risk tolerance. This should be part of a continuous risk management process. Regular reviews and updates are also necessary to ensure the risk tolerance level remains relevant and appropriate in light of changing circumstances or strategic objectives.

6. Business Continuity Planning: Part of preparing for risks includes having a robust business continuity plan in place. This plan outlines how the company will continue its essential functions in the event of a crisis, which is a critical part of maintaining operations within the company's risk tolerance.

By understanding and effectively managing their risk tolerance, businesses can make informed decisions that balance risk with reward, enabling them to pursue their objectives while protecting their interests.