Risk is inherent in any activity, and in any sector including universities, which undertake teaching, research, consulting and perform a variety of activities across a diverse spectrum of disciplines, fields, & environments. The variety of functions and activities in universities make their functioning complex. Therefore, the Risk Management (RM) in universities has become a central part in their management. However, the Risk management in practice is being adopted by a few top educational institutions.
As such, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), a public, reputed, and oldest university in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. focusses on building the students’ skills by using outcome-based education methods.
The university is passionate in adopting global best practices therefore gave importance to the RM which has been discussed in university’s strategic plan. It desires to include RM in its administration and activities. While implementing RM, it found the importance of electronic incident reporting therefore developed it as a risk management tool.
Keeping the purpose of system in view, the system has been named Hemaya (حماية)-an Arabic phrase meaning ‘to Protect’. Hemaya has been launched on March 17, 2020 in the University, amidst lockdown situation in Saudi Arabia.
Lots of challenges has been encountered besides lockdown during the process of developing electronic incident reporting system which are worth to mention as:
- Bringing right people on the board to develop the function as passion
- Developing adequate knowledge on risk management – RM handbooks
- Making related knowledge available in English as well as in Arabic to benefit the native users.
- Identifying risk categories by bench-marking with global institutions. Indeed it took 6 months to consolidate knowledge on RM and to find key risk categories. At last identified seven categories of risks
- Organizing workshops on RM in colleges to build risk management culture
- Conducting barnstorming sessions in the colleges to identify various risks faced
- Conducting in-depth desk research on RM in HEI
- Developing an electronic incident reporting system to capture the events from various entities of IAU
- Putting the system on trials and further tests (by RM Units and IT units)
- To avoid blame game culture, it has been decided to keep the reporter’s identity confidential.
The advantage and benefits of Incident reporting system ‘Hemaya’ are as-
- System will build a culture of safety and security across the university thereby reducing any deviations thereby protecting people associated with the university (students, faculty, clinicians, administrative and supportive staff and visitors) from possible accidents or injuries as well as protect facilities or properties of latter from loss or damage.
- System ensures a consistent reporting, investigation and help in preventing the re-occurrence of incidents
- System will encourage self-criticism and prevent re-occurrence of risks
- System is a best practice in managing the risks.
Video conference via Zoom
An interactive training session has been organized by DQAA (Deanship of Academic Accreditation) of IAU through Zoom App. This enhanced the interest on knowing Hemaya and its use in the campus. For more information about Hemaya: visit https://hemaya.iau.edu.sa/