In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to find internal auditors, enterprise risk management specialists, compliance officers, fraud investigators, and other risk and control professionals working together to help their organizations manage risk. Each of these specialties has a unique perspective and specific skillset that can be invaluable to the organization, but since risk management and control are increasingly being split across multiple departments and divisions, responsibilities must be coordinated appropriately to ensure risk and control processes operate as intended. Clear responsibilities must be defined so that each group of risk and control professionals understands their responsibilities and how they fit into the organization’s overall risk and control structure.
The Three Lines of Defense model provides a simple and effective way to enhance communications on risk management and control by clarifying roles and duties. It helps ensure the ongoing success of risk management initiatives for any organization. Whether an organization has a formal risk management framework or not, the Three Lines of Defense model can enhance clarity regarding risks and controls and help improve the effectiveness of risk management systems.