Farm Business Risk Assessment Instruction Sheet

Downloads (see below for instructions):

  • Risk Assessment Spreadsheet – download
  • Risk Management Action Plan Template – download
  • Resource Links and Contact Information – Canada | Ontario

Steps to completing your risk assessment

  1. Open the Risk assessment Spreadsheet (Excel file)
  2. Save the file to your computer’s hard drive so that you can easily access it at a later date to make updates and track your level of risk over time.
  3. Scroll through the risks listed in Column A. If you would like to add a risk that is not already listed, click in the “[optional]” cell and simply type in the additional risk. If some of the risks are not relevant to your operation, simply leave them blank. Note: any light orange coloured cells are editable.
  4. Starting at the top with “Equipment Safety” assign a score in Column B for “Frequency of Risk”. Rank the risk from 1 to 5, with 5 being “always”, 3 being “occasionally”, and 1 being “rarely”.
  5. Now move to Column C and assign a score between 1 and 5 for “Magnitude or Exposure to Risk”. This refers to the level of potential impact of the risk. Five (5) indicates a “severe impact”, 3 is a “moderate impact”, and 1 is “negligible”.
  6. As you populate these fields with numbers, you will notice Column D automatically calculating the “Degree of Risk”.
  7. Now move to Column E and assign a score between 1 and 10 for “Preparedness.” This refers to how well you feel you are prepared to manage this risk. A ranking of 10 indicates you are “very well prepared”, 5 “somewhat prepared”, and 1 “not prepared”.
  8. As you populate these fields with numbers, you will notice your results are automatically plotted onto the colourful graph to the right of the spreadsheet. This is your “Farm Business Risk Priority Matrix”.
  9. Here is how to read the “Farm Business Risk Priority Matrix”
    1. RED quadrant – high risk, low level of preparedness = very high priority
    2. ORANGE quadrant – low risk, low level of preparedness = high priority
    3. YELLOW quadrant – high risk, high level of preparedness = medium priority
    4. GREEN quadrant – low risk, high level of preparedness = low priority
  10. In Column F, you are asked to indicate your “Current Risk Management Method”. Simply type in a few words that describe your current practice.
  11. Reflecting on the results that you see in the “Farm Business Risk Priority Matrix”, decide whether you should change your existing risk management practice. You can record this in Column G by selecting “Yes” or “No” from the drop-down menu. (The menu image appears when you click in the cell, click the arrow down image to reveal the menu options)
  12. If you indicated “No” in Column G, Reflect on how you will do things differently and indicate your new strategy for managing this risk in Column H.
  13. Now proceed to the next risk in Column A and continue through the risks until you have evaluated each one.
  14. You now have an at-a-glance picture of the risks facing your operation – which risks need attention and which risks you are well prepared to handle.
  15. Open the Risk Management Action Plan Template (PDF) and record your priorities for action in order to build your contingency plan.

If you have questions or need assistance completing your assessment, contact:

Farm Management Canada
300-250 City Centre Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario