First-ever SME winner headlines the honours at Vero’s RM Advancer Awards

Friday, 28 October, 2016

The Armidale School has won the first-ever RM Advancer award for SMEs, with Flinders Clinical Trial Services, The Salvation Army (Eastern) and UnitingCare Queensland taking out the other major prizes at a gala Ceremony hosted by Vero last night.

Flinders Clinical Trial Services won the Property Risk Management Award, The Salvation Army (Eastern) won the Liability Risk Management Award, UnitingCare Queensland won the Motor Vehicle Risk Management, while The Armidale School won the new Enterprise Wide Award for SMEs.

A special commendation was also awarded to the Victorian-based TTi Group in the Enterprise Wide category.

The eleventh edition of the Vero’s awards to recognise excellence and innovation in risk management was staged at Alto in Melbourne on Thursday, 27 October.

Vero also marked the occasion to announce that the RM Advancer Awards would continue to expand in 2017, with the introduction of a fifth category rewarding risk management achievements in workers’ compensation.

The Enterprise Wide Award was added this year to recognise the increasing numbers of SMEs investing in risk management.

“Thanks to the support of our broker partners, we are seeing more and more organisations make risk management a fundamental part of their standard business procedures,” said Mr Darren O’Connell, Executive General Manager, Suncorp Group.

“Our aim is to promote this as the benchmark for all organisations, whether they are a start-up, a not-for-profit or a listed corporation. This was one of the main reasons we introduced the Enterprise Wide Award this year.

“This aim is also driving our continued expansion to recognise workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is typically the biggest insurance cost for an organisation, so risk management can have a tremendous impact.

“All of tonight’s winners and finalists, along with their brokers, are making a huge contribution to establishing greater risk management benchmarks. We’d like to congratulate them and offer our gratitude for their efforts.”

The RM Advancer Awards were established in 2005 to reward and promote the best risk management achievements of Vero customers during the previous 12 months.

Award winners receive a choice of 200,000 Qantas Aquire points or risk management consulting hours from Vero’s renowned team of risk engineering professionals.

Next year’s event will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Thursday, 26 October 2017.

Details about the winners follow.

Flinders Clinical Trial Services won the Property Risk Management Award for a risk management program that has resulted in 20 years without an insurance claim.

Adelaide-based Flinders Clinical Trial Services provides clinical trial drug storage and distribution to Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

The organisation moves a high volume of stock in and out of their facilities each year and appropriate conditions must be maintained for the drug trials.

Flinders has installed quality-control systems to monitor the stock and machinery and minimise the impact of situations like incorrect temperatures. When machinery has malfunctioned, the staff have followed rapid-response procedures to effectively manage the situation.

As a result, Flinders Clinical Trial Services has never lost any ambient or chain stock in storage due to the loss of temperature range in more than 20 years of operations.

The Salvation Army (Eastern) won the Liability Risk Management Award for its efforts to minimise the risks to its workers in potentially dangerous situations.

The Salvation Army has operated in Australia since 1880, and provides a range of community services and support activities, such as aged care, crisis homelessness, substance abuse rehabilitation, emergency disasters, humanitarian aid and suicide prevention.

The Eastern Territory has 500 Officers, 4,400 employees, and over 15,000 volunteers.

The Salvation Army workers provide support to some of the most-suffering and disadvantaged people in Australian society, including people affected by mental illness, substance abuse and severe violence-related issues.

Managing the risks inherent in these challenging circumstances is absolutely critical in order to continue providing these services. The Salvation Army has taken significant steps to reduce its liability risk costs during the past few years, employing workplace health and safety risk strategies, procedures and training as key preventative tools.

UnitingCare Queensland won the Motor Vehicle Risk Management Award for its use of anti-collision devices and smartphone apps to promote a road safety culture.

UnitingCare Queensland has 24,000 staff and volunteers providing health and community services to people from all walks of life, including older people, people with disabilities, children, families and Indigenous Australians.

Since 2007, UnitingCare Queensland has been cultivating a road safety culture within its organisation.

Their approach to risk identification and mitigation has been evolutionary, using data collection and analysis to improve each year. The latest stage of this evolution has included the use of vehicle technology, such as new anti-collision devices designed for trucks and busses, and mobile apps to monitor driver behaviour.

The Armidale School won the Enterprise Wide Award for its holistic program to manage the risks associated with everything from its heritage-listed buildings to the introduction of co-education earlier in 2016.

The Armidale School is an independent day and boarding school located in Armidale, northern New South Wales. It was established in 1894 and currently caters for approximately 580 students, from kindergarten to year 12.

The Armidale School’s risk management strategy goes beyond a simple set of polices, it is a core part of the organisation’s operations.

For example, the maintenance program for the school’s heritage-listed buildings, involves an innovative strategy to replace the outdated heating and electrical systems with an environmentally suitable solution. This not only produces a safer environment for students and staff, but also reduces the school’s carbon footprint and reduces running costs.

Additionally, The Armidale School used risk management strategies to become fully co-educational at the beginning of 2016, incorporating girls into what has been an all-boys boarding school since 1894.

A risk review conducted by Vero in 2014 saw the school’s risk management rating upgraded from Gold to Platinum.


For further information contact:

Rob White
External Relations Manager
Commercial Insurance
Suncorp Group
Ph. +61 2 8121 0467
Mob. 0411 881 887

Jake Krausmann
Senior External Relations Adviser
Commercial Insurance
Suncorp Group
Ph. +61 2 8121 0469
Mob. 0411 409 074

Michael Mills
External Relations Adviser
Commercial Insurance
Suncorp Group
Ph. +61 2 8121 0492
Mob. 0405 805 489