Risk for National Security Practitioners

National Security College | Professional course
Risk for National Security Practitioners


Risk judgements are critical to informing decisions about Australia’s national security. In an age of turbulence, disruption and interconnectivity, thinking about risk in a broader, more holistic context is vital in order to successfully navigate the complexities and challenges.

#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

A fee of $2,250 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,700 (GST ex).

Course overview

Astute risk identification, assessment and management are central to the work of Australia’s national security community. In an age of turbulence, disruption and interconnectivity, thinking about risk in a broader, more holistic context is vital in order to successfully navigate the complexities and challenges. When risk is well understood, significant unintended consequences can be identified and addressed.This course will equip you with tools and strategies to think critically about risk in the national security context.

The national security space is increasingly complex and demands upon officials to identify risks across a wide range of fields can be significant. As well as being able to identify relevant risks, national security practitioners also must have an appreciation of government and public expectations and appetite for risk (risk tolerance), and for risk mitigation measures. This program will explore how risk in national security is considered, the evolving global risk landscape, and how options often must be weighed against competing national policy priorities – to help you provide good risk advice.

Scope and content

In this course, you will explore approaches to thinking about risk and making risk judgements in the national security context. You will consider strategic risk, but also organisational (or enterprise) risk, as it is relevant to national security agencies, and reputational risk in the international and domestic contexts

In a democratic society such as Australia, national security objectives often need to be balanced with other important objectives. This course will provide you with tools to think laterally to identify risks, and to think critically about risk tolerances and competing national policy objectives, as minimising risk for one policy objective can have unacceptable consequences for another.

Key topics to be explored during this course include:

• dealing with risk in the Australian national security context
• the key types of risk relevant to national security agencies
• thinking about risk tolerance and resilience
• weighing policy options: balancing national security risk mitigation with other important policy objectives, such as the right to privacy, freedom of movement and association (civil liberties), or economic and trade priorities
• useful tools and strategies that can be employed to make better-informed risk judgements in the national security policy context.

Who should attend / target audience

This course is designed for those who assess, analyse or consider risks to national security, or are responsible for developing complex policy options in the national security context.

Course details

• Two day non-residential, fully-catered program.
• An ANU parking permit will be supplied.
• Course Timings 9:00am - 5:00pm

Please click here to register or contact us at epd.nsc@anu.edu.au for further information.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Ryan Young

Dr Ryan Young is the Senior Advisor, Policy Engagement and Futures Hub. Prior to the NSC he spent almost 5 years in strategic policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) where he worked across all areas of public policy, including cyber security, counter terrorism policy, infrastructure, innovation, school funding and early childhood education. He has a particular focus on new approaches to making effective policy decisions and integrating long-term insight and research into policy making. He has worked across multiple Departments in the Australian Public Service and has held Visiting Fellow and/or teaching positions at the University of Leipzig, Germany, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra. Ryan has a PhD in philosophy and logic from the Australian National University.

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Updated:  17 November 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator