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United Kingdom Interdepartmental Liaison Group on Risk Assessment (UK-ILGRA)

Risk Assessment and Risk Management:
Improving policy and practice within government departments.

Annex 1

Summary of Collaborative Initiatives

Project Description Departments involved
Developing consistent methodologies
Risk Assessment and Toxicology Steering Group Sub-group of ILGRA chaired by MAFF. Aims are to review current practices for toxicological risk assessment; identify areas where it is likely that research will yield better estimates of risk and improved assessment procedures; generate consortia to fund such research; and evaluate the outcomes. DETR, EA, DH, MAFF, HSE. BBSRC, MRC and NERC are also involved.
ILGRA Sub-Group on the Setting of Safety Standards Examines the approaches to standard setting through departmental case studies. The first case study looked at standard setting for environmental issues in DETR. Co-ordinated by Treasury. First study involved DETR.
Valuation of Benefits of Health and Safety Control Research to develop and use methodologies to elicit values for loss of life and detriment in four risk areas - transport, fire, radiation and occupational health. HSE, DETR, HO and HMT.
Adopting common approaches on international negotiations
Negotiations on Risk Assessment at International Level Research Study Study to compare the approaches adopted to negotiations; review the desirability of consistency and convergence of policy objectives in UK Government Department's negotiating briefs; and review whether a more consistent framework on risk assessment might be beneficial and, if so, how this might be achieved. Case study approach, concentrating on negotiations on a range of directives. HSE led and funded. Case studies involved MAFF, DETR, DTI and HSE.
Risk Communication
Risk Communication Benchmark Study Research project to develop benchmark principles for risk communication and methodology for evaluation. Included literature survey, survey of public relations consultants and case studies to test and develop principles. Main output has been a guidance document on risk communication for policy makers. HSE led. Co-sponsors DETR, BRU, MoD, DH, MAFF and HMT
Research on Social Amplification of Risk Initial scoping study summarised the literature of social amplification and set out the scope for exploiting the framework in future research. Further research has been commissioned on whether the framework is applicable to the UK and how it might be used to improve government risk communication. HSE, DETR, MAFF, DH, EA, CAA, BRU, HMT. ESRC are also involved.
ILGRA Sub-Group on Risk Communication A sub-group of ILGRA, set up to encourage the dissemination of good practice on risk communication. DH Chairs
Improving collaboration between departments
Database of Government funded risk research A list of risk related research projects currently in train within Departments. To be reviewed regularly. MAFF co-ordinating contributions for all Departments.

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Summary of Departmental Initiatives

Project Description Lead Department
Research on Expert Judgement A small exploratory research project to examine the protocols used in the exercise of expert judgement in decision-making with the aim of extracting common approaches to making robust, consistent and explicable judgements. HSE
Guidance on Environmental Risk Assessment and Risk Management Review of DETR Guidance on Environmental Risk Assessment and Risk Management. DETR
Risk Ranking Review A critical review of methods which have been used to compare and rank risks and assessment of the current status of risk ranking as a decision-aiding tool. Circulated to ILGRA. HSE
DH Group on the Economic Appraisal of the Health Effects of Air Pollution An expert group of health economists appointed in September 1997 to look specifically at the valuation of health outcomes from the Air Quality Strategy. The group will advise on whether monetary valuation of the health effects of air pollution is appropriate, and, if so, the best approach to use in deriving estimates. Issues to be covered include alternative approaches to monetary valuation, risk perception issues, the valuation of mortality and morbidity and healthcare costs. Report due in January 1999. DH
Research on the Optimisation of Consumer Safety A multi-disciplinary literature based review of the valuation of human life in the context of standards for consumer safety. DTI
DH initiatives on risk communication Generic departmental guidance on principles of risk communication and a framework for scanning which has been circulated through ILGRA to other departments; workshops; case study seminars. DH
Chief Medical Officer's Conference on Risk Communication A conference hosted by the CMO on the theme of risk communication. Participants included academics, public interest groups, the media and government departments. DH

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Summary of International Initiatives

Project Description Lead Department
FAO/WHO Consultations on Risk Analysis in Food Safety Consultations have been held on Risk Analysis, Risk Management, Exposure Assessment and Risk Communication. The overall Risk Analysis scheme for food safety has been endorsed by Codex Alimentarius as the underpinning philosophy for international standard setting in food and is also being discussed as an appropriate model for the UK. MAFF
IPCS/ OECD Project on Terminology Joint OECD/IPCS project to harmonise generic and technical terms in chemical hazard/ risk assessment terminology. DH
OECD Risk Thesaurus/Dictionary The Risk Thesaurus/ Dictionary is a computerised database of key risk assessment terms and processes under development. HSE
Updated 2009-10-12