Risk assessment is a step in a risk management procedure. Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard).

Risk management is the general term used to describe the processes and systems used to deal with risk. So understanding risk management, not surprisingly, requires assessment of risk. 

A risk assessment careful examination of the

Risk is usually characterised by describing both the effects or consequences and the chance of experiencing those consequences (known as "likelihood").  The level of any particular risk can be expressed by combining the two considerations (i.e. the potential consequence in terms of the objectives, and the likelihood of those consequences being experienced).

Risk assessment can be used to characterise the nature an magnitude of risk to aspects of environment, human health, or infratsructure and property.

Risk assessment and risk management provides a disciplined and structured way of describing the risk,  working out what might affect that, how likely it is, defining what you want to achieve (objectives), deciding what systems and protocols to put in place to address those situations, and putting them in place. 


Risk assessment is a key process in the management of risk.  It provides a process for the consistent and considered assessment of both the likelihood and consequence of a risk.

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NZ Risk Society:


This link aims to guide environmental managers through a framework for risk assessment of contaminated sites and to provide information resources relevant to New Zealand assessors, auditors or reviewers. The site is a collaborative venture between a number of organisations.


Planning an ecological risk assessment - USEPA:


Ministry of Justice, New Zealand website

Examples of national and sector risk assessment analyses


Sector Risk Assessment For Registered Banks, Non-bank Deposit Takers, and Life Insurer.  Undertaken by Reserve Bank of New Zealand

March 2011


Key References

USEPA Risk Characterisation Handbook:

Associated Case Studies