Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron, NER-NY-153

Civil Air Patrol - The official auxiliary of the United States Air Force

Operational Risk Management (ORM)

CAP ORM Principles

Four principles govern all actions associated with risk management. These continuously employed principles are applicable before, during and after all tasks and operations.


1) Accept no Unnecessary Risk: Unnecessary risk comes without a commensurate return in terms of real benefits or available opportunities. All CAP missions and our daily routines involve risk. The most logical choices for accomplishing a mission are those that meet all mission requirements with the minimum acceptable risk. The corollary to this axiom is “accept necessary risk” required to successfully complete the mission or task.


2) Make Risk Decisions at the Appropriate Level: Making risk decisions at the appropriate level establishes clear accountability. Those accountable for the success or failure of the mission must be included in the risk decision process. The appropriate level for risk decisions is the one that can allocate the resources to reduce the risk or eliminate the hazard and implement controls. Typically, the commander, leader, or individual responsible for executing the mission or task is:


a) Authorized to accept levels of risk typical of the planned operation (i.e., loss of mission effectiveness, normal wear and tear on materiel).


b) Required to elevate decisions to the next level in the chain of command after it is determined that controls available to him/her will not reduce residual risk to an acceptable level.


3) Accept Risk When Benefits Outweigh the Costs: All identified benefits should be compared to all identified costs. The process of weighing risks against opportunities and benefits helps to maximize unit capability. Even high-risk endeavors may be undertaken when there is clear knowledge that the sum of the benefits exceeds the sum of the costs. Balancing costs and benefits may be a subjective process and open to interpretation. Ultimately, the balance may have to be determined by the appropriate decision authority.


4) Integrate ORM into Planning at all Levels: Risks are more easily assessed and managed in the planning stages of an operation. Integrating risk management into planning as early as possible provides the decision maker the greatest opportunity to apply ORM principles. Additionally, feedback must be provided to benefit future missions/activities.


(Note - Go to the 'Safety - Training Links' page to access CAP ORM training)



U.S. Navy - Operational Risk Management


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