Risk assessment

The objective of risk assessment is to clearly identify and classify biosecurity risks and to provide data to assist in the evaluation and treatment of these risks.

Risk assessment involves consideration of the sources of risk, their consequences, and the likelihood that those consequences may occur. Factors that affect the consequences and likelihood may be identified and addressed via risk mitigation strategies.

Pest risk assessment process used in industry biosecurity plans

Step 1 Clearly identify the pest • generally pest defined to species level
• alternatively a group (eg family, genus level) can be used
• sub-species level (eg race, pathovar, etc) may be required
Steps 2-4 Assess likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread • assessment based on current system and factors
• negligible, low, medium, high or unknown ratings
Step 5 Combine the potentials for entry, establishment and spread • using a qualitative risk analysis matrix, the entry, establishment and spread likelihoods are combined to determine likelihood
Step 6 Assess the likely consequences • primarily the economic impact on the industry, but can also include impact on service industry providers, stakeholders in the supply chain and local communities, environmental and social consequences
Step 7 Derive an overall risk estimate

• combine the likelihood and consequence ratings
• may be done mathematically for numerical data, but could also include ‘decision rules’

Step 8 Review the risks • risks may change over time with changes in technology, practices, legislation and policy


More information is included in the document Pest risk assessment for industry biosecurity plans