Risk management has become the central function of a utility manager.

Utilities provide essential public health and environmental protection services to society and those working in the sector need to be versed with the context, tools and requirements of good risk governance - meaning the analysis, management, communication and human/organisational processes for managing risk and opportunity. 

This short course aims to equip technologists with the skills to commission, appraise and review risk assessments within the utility sector, specifically for water, wastewater and solid waste unit processes and assets. It introduces the management and governance of risk within the utility sector – technical, managerial and human factors.

At a glance

Course structure

This course is delivered through a balanced combination of lectures and practical sessions. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this short course you will be able to:

  • Summarise the context of risk governance in the utility sector and explain organisational structures for risk management; relating these to corporate objectives, eg license to operate,
  • Exemplify strategic, tactical and operational risk in the water, wastewater or waste sector and their significance for a modern water utility,
  • Identify and select from key risk analysis tools and techniques appropriate to a range risk problem under study; be confident about the rules for selecting risk techniques and what level of decision support they can realistically provide,
  • Undertake reliability analysis calculations, understanding and calculating MTTF/MTBF/MTTR to obtain availability,
  • Identify critical control points and devise risk management strategies for managing risks to and from engineered systems; relating these to the development of water safety plans - the key process for ensuring preventative risk management in the sector,
  • Devise risk governance structures and debate key risk management competencies for individuals, organisations and specialists; recognising core features of a 'risk mature' organisation,
  • Scope out and critically evaluate environmental risk assessments in the context of regulatory permitting – sitting, operations and discharge.

Core content

  • Drivers for risk management in the utility sector – why manage risk?
  • Corporate risk management – structures, tools and techniques,
  • Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) analysis of utility sector,
  • Statistical RAM analysis and the most commonly used probability diagrams,
  • Risk assessment tools for the utility sector: risk matrix, Pareto analysis, fault tree analysis, event tree analysis, failure mode and effects analysis,
  • Reliability assessment tools for the utility sectors: reliability block diagram, series and parallel configurations, redundancies,
  • Utility assets, risk management and public health protection,
  • Regulatory risk assessments in support of environmental permits,
  • Communicating risk, building stakeholder confidence,
  • Risk governance in the utility sector - towards high reliability organisations,
  • Introduction to maintainability and its various measures, impact of assets condition on system reliability,
  • Workshops and case studies: work in groups to determine the risk and reliability of utility assets using various tools and techniques. 

Who should attend

This course will benefit water and wastewater engineers and utility asset managers and technicians who are or plan to be involved in risk management and reliability assessment of the utility sector. 


  • Dr Mahmood Shafiee - Senior Lecturer in Risk and Reliability Engineering
  • Professor Simon Pollard - Pro-Vice-Chancellor (School of Water, Energy & Environment)


20% discount for Cranfield alumni, 10% discount for colleagues of alumni

£1,340 - Professional/trade association discount

£1,280 - Multiple bookings*

*Minimum of five delegates

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.