28 years ago, Charles Nelson AIA, LFRAIA, was given the task of researching and writing a book on risk management for the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. That was the start of a journey he's been on ever since, looking for ways for design professionals to better manage practice risk. The journey has provided opportunities to write training manuals and articles and give talks on risk management - and most importantly, it has taught him that risk is your friend, not your enemy.

When you learn how to manage risk, it strengthens your practice, and enables you to differentiate your proposals in ways that can give you a decisive edge - as well as actually lower your risk of practice. These years of research have come together in a new project developed by Charles: DesignRisk.

In nearly six decades of experience in architecture and construction, Charles has seen just about every kind of design risk imaginable, and some that nobody could have predicted - the true "Black Swan" events.

Over the last three decades, he has worked continuously to find ways to lower risk for design professionals. In 1991 he wrote Risk Management for Architects, published by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA). In 1987 - 1992 he wrote the CHECKIT! series of practice management guides, which are commonly used as the basis for architects' QM systems across Australia.

In 1992 Charles wrote a self - guided learning course for the RAIA: Risk Management for Architects: Developing and Managing a Low-Risk Practice. In the research for that program, Charles developed the concept that architects could control most of the risk elements they faced, simply by the way they practiced. The DesignRisk app is the logical extension of that methodology, rendered in today's technology.

Australia's foremost provider of ISO 9001 systems to building design professionals, and the author of McGraw-Hill's 1996 book TQM and ISO 9000 for Architects and Designers, Charles is internationally recognized as an authority on the application of ISO 9001 to the design professions.

He is the author of quality management sections in the American Institute of Architects' Architects Handbook of Professional Practice, 13th edition, and its Update 2003. He is also editor and author of Managing Quality in Architecture: A Handbook for Creators of the Built Environment, published in 2006 (Elsevier).

He advised the Design Professionals Insurance Company (now IXL), the second largest US architect/engineer insurer, on adapting its risk management training programs to comply with ISO 9001.

Charles has facilitated more than 200 workshops on project management and quality management over the past 25 years, and many conference seminars on risk management, project management, strategic alliances and design management. He has presented workshops on design and construction quality management at 12 annual American Institute of Architects National Conventions.

Charles represents PSMJ Resources, Inc. in the Asia-Pacific region, and is a regular contributor PSMJ's Project Management newsletter.

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