One of the UK’s largest independently owned risk management consultancies is celebrating 15 years in business combined with a recent announcement of a new joint venture partnership and plans to enter into new markets.
Newcastle based Corporate Risk Associates (CRA) was formed in 2000 originally with only two founding staff members – Garry Cooksley and Jasbir Sidhu – and focused purely on the nuclear energy sector. Now boasting a team of 35 across five UK locations -and with additional staff embedded in client offices in both Paris and Lyon – the consultancy prides itself on managing safety, reliability and risk across the nuclear, oil, gas, transportation and defence industries.
The company recently announced a collaboration with independent human factors consultancy Synergy to deliver – what it believes will be – one of, if not, the strongest integrated Safety, Risk and Human Factors offerings in the industry. The announcement also coincides with the newly introduced Rail System Safety Division that will capitalise on emerging opportunities in this buoyant industry sector.
Speaking about their 15 years in business, CEO and founder, Jasbir Sidhu said: “When we first entered into this sector we absolutely knew there was a market for an independent business that would deliver in – what we initially thought – would be a niche offering in nuclear energy. Very quickly though, it became apparent that the effective management of safety, risk and reliability was needed across many more sectors and – as we started to experience demand from other industries – CRA grew very quickly.”
And this certainly proves to have been the case, with the business leading on risk management projects including Human Error Reduction for a major international bank, the development of command and control vehicles for the British Army and the first nuclear power station to have been built since Sizewell B at Hinkley Point (HPC).
For Jasbir, the skill set of his team is where he firmly pinpoints the business success. “Without a doubt it is the highly skilled workforce at CRA that has enabled this business to become and continue to be a success. We work very hard to, not only, recruit and train the very best people in the risk management business, but more importantly to make sure these people get the ongoing professional development they need to remain the best in the business.”
The business now boasts – what it believes is – one of the highest ratio of female to male STEM graduates in the industry with 20% of its headcount filled with female STEM employees. This is also coupled with on-going PHD/MSc programmes at Imperial College London and Manchester University. A top award goes to CRA’s Peter Williams for attaining his Chartered Engineer status awarded by the IMEechE. Staff professional development was also recently acknowledged by the Institute of Physics, with CRA winning the Best Practice in Professional Development Award at this years’ awards ceremony.
The company was also recently shortlisted for two awards at the prestigious CIR Annual Risk Management Awards and was awarded the title of Risk Management Specialist Company of the Year at the previous years’ ceremony. The company has also been host to its own event, the ever growing CRA Risk Forum, which is now in its seventh year and sees speakers and attendees travelling from across the globe.
CRA has offices located in London, Newcastle, Gloucester, Surrey and Warrington.