The State of ERM in Canada: A Benchmarking Study

The Conference Board of Canada, 77 pages, April 15, 2019
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The purpose of the enterprise risk management (ERM) benchmarking study is to assess the state of ERM in Canada and to provide a baseline for risk management practices in Canadian organizations.

Document Highlights

The Conference Board of Canada undertook this benchmarking study in partnership with Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI). The purpose of the study is to assess the state of enterprise risk management (ERM) in Canada and to provide a baseline for risk management practices in Canadian organizations.

Based on a 2018 online survey sent to professionals who lead ERM in their organizations, this benchmarking study looked at various facets of the practice of ERM and its role within a broad cross-section of Canadian organizations. The vast majority (73 per cent) of the respondents said their organizations have some form of ERM program in place. But almost one-quarter (22 per cent) still have either no plans to implement an ERM program or have made no strides toward implementation after looking into establishing a program. As well, some 40 per cent of respondents have less than one full-time equivalent fully dedicated to ERM. This puts in question the ability of ERM teams to evolve ERM programs and the influence these teams can wield.

If ERM in Canada is to effectively protect organizations against risk, and also help seize the opportunities that may come with a rapidly evolving risk landscape, the discipline will have to further develop. This report is the first national enterprise risk management (ERM) edition of what we hope will become a regular benchmarking study in Canada, helping the discipline evolve and mature.

Table of Contents


Key Take-Aways

Executive Summary

Survey Methodology

  • Respondent Demographics

ERM Programs in Canada

  • ERM Programs Are Becoming the Norm
  • Comparing ERM in Canada to the World
  • Canadian ERM Programs Are Still New
  • Who’s In Charge?
  • Reporting to the Top
  • A Solid Reporting Line to the Centre
  • ERM Resources Are Not Growing
  • Boards of Directors Have Important Oversight Role
  • Reporting to the Board

What’s On the Minds of ERM Leaders?

  • ERM Integration: A Work in Progress
  • ERM Plays Limited Strategic Role
  • ERM and Management Compensation: The Missing Link
  • Strength of ERM Activities in Canada: A Mixed Picture
  • Evaluating the ERM Function: Sticking to the Basics
  • ERM Slow to Embrace Technology
  • Right Tone at the Top for ERM
  • ERM Implementation Still Facing Some Barriers

A Deeper Dive Into ERM Integration

  • High Integration Leads to Closer Links Between ERM and Strategy
  • High Integration and Stronger ERM Performance Go Hand in Hand
  • ERM Seen as Business Enabler
  • Fewer Barriers to ERM in High Integration Organizations
  • Use of Automated Tools Remains Low


Appendix A—Demographics

Appendix B—Bibliography

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