Season 2 | Ep. 2: Boost Your Risk IQ: Understanding RCSA

Season 2 | Ep. 2: Boost Your Risk IQ: Understanding RCSA

January 8, 2024

In the latest episode of SRA’s Risk Intel Podcast, host Ed Vincent engages in a captivating conversation with Doug Cargnel, a seasoned professional boasting nearly three decades of operational risk management and audit expertise. The central theme of their discussion? Risk and Control Self-Assessments (RCSAs) – a pivotal component of a cutting-edge risk management program. This is part one of a three part series to better understand and discover RCSA best practices.

Insights Uncovered:

Defining RCSAs and Their Purpose:

Ed and Doug eloquently introduced Risk and Control Self-Assessments (RCSAs) as a transformative methodology for identifying potential risks that could impede a business's objectives. Doug further emphasized that RCSAs go beyond risk identification, focusing on a comprehensive analysis of controls to proactively mitigate and manage identified risks. By scrutinizing and strengthening controls, organizations can not only prevent adverse events but also enhance their overall risk resilience, and more effectively support change management.

Justifying the Investment in RCSAs:

As this episode delves into the rationale behind investing in RCSAs, Doug makes a compelling case for the long-term benefits that far exceed the initial time and resource commitment. Beyond compliance, RCSAs emerge as catalysts for driving awareness among stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of control activities. Furthermore, they highlight how RCSAs contribute to constructing a vital inventory of controls. This inventory serves as a strategic foundation for continuous monitoring and rigorous testing, ensuring that controls remain effective over time.

Consequences of Subpar RCSA Execution:

Doug's pragmatic insights shed light on the potential pitfalls of executing RCSAs poorly. The conversation underscores that treating RCSAs as a mere regulatory obligation can lead to a scenario where meticulously documented assessments end up collecting dust on shelves. This, in turn, could create a false sense of security within organizations, fostering a lax attitude towards genuine risk mitigation efforts. The podcast encourages organizations to view RCSAs as a dynamic and integral part of their risk management strategy rather than a one-time compliance exercise.

Integration with Enterprise Risk Management (ERM):

A pivotal point in the dialogue explores the seamless integration of RCSAs within the broader context of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Doug positions RCSAs as the beating heart of a robust ERM framework, emphasizing their critical role in defining and monitoring risk exposure versus risk appetite. The discussion extends to how RCSAs provide a foundational base for the development and implementation of key risk indicators (KRIs). Without RCSAs, organizations may lack the necessary groundwork to accurately assess their exposure to risks, making it challenging to align risk management efforts with strategic objectives.


The episode concludes by positioning itself as a guiding compass into the intricate topic of RCSAs. Doug's wealth of experience and insights transform this podcast into a valuable resource for organizations seeking to fortify their risk management frameworks. The narrative highlights the dynamic and proactive nature of RCSAs, offering a comprehensive understanding of their critical role in risk management. The podcast sets the stage for future episodes, where Doug will explore how an organization goes about starting the RCSA journey, delves into the tools involved, and unravels the complexities of stakeholder alignment and regulatory interactions. Stay tuned for deeper insights into this topic in future Risk Intel Podcast episodes or reach out to schedule a call for support.

RMA RIsk Maturity Framework

Powered by SRA Watchtower

Take the self-assessment today to
measure your institutions risk maturity.


Book an


discovery session

Three ways to tap into the people, technology and insights of SRA.
We're focused exclusively on the serving the financial & Insurance industries.


Schedule a 30 minute consult with an SRA Risk Management Practitioner to understand your challenges, opportunities and potential paths to success.


Look inside the SRA Watchtower platform and understand how it helps executives navigate risk and drive growth.


Learn how SRA practitioners and their clients are tackling the most important and pressing issues facing the BFSI industry today.


SRA Newsroom

RMA RIsk Maturity Framework

Powered by SRA Watchtower

Take the self-assessment today to
measure your institutions risk maturity.