National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines


National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines – Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection

Risk is defined as ‘the effect of uncertainty on objectives’.

Managing risk helps governments, institutions, businesses and communities make good decisions in an environment full of uncertainty.

Good risk management identifies and protects what people and society value. The established international and Australian risk
management standard AS ISO 31000:2018 Risk management – Guidelines (ISO 31000:2018), supported by a range of  upplementary materials, provide risk managers with principles and general guidance to be considered when developing risk management frameworks and programs.

Using these standards as a guide, a nationally consistent approach to assessing emergency risks was developed and is embodied in the National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines (NERAG). It is important to note, NERAG is primarily focused on assessing emergency risks and provides general guidance on management frameworks and approaches.

NERAG was first published in 2010 and endorsed for use by Australian governments by the Council of Australian Governments Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (now the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management (MCPEM)) in November 2012.

NERAG was re-published in 2015 following a series of reviews based on the learnings from its practical implementation.

Since then NERAG has guided efforts to build capability, harmonise risk assessments and better understand the nature of those hazards that have the potential to cause harm and loss to Australian communities and the economy.

As the nation’s risk management capabilities have matured, and with the introduction of the 2015 United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (and other global agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) and Australia’s 2019 National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and associated guidance materials, new risk approaches are emerging and strategic objectives are changing.

Consequently, the methods and tools used to support risk managers are being updated.

In 2018 a revised version of the ISO 31000:2018 risk management guideline was published, providing more strategic guidance and placing more emphasis on stronger integration of collaborative risk management into organisations.

This edition of NERAG (Second edition 2015 (updated 2019)) has been refreshed to reflect those changes.

Minor revisions have been incorporated, and connections to recently developed guidance materials included where relevant.


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