Vendor risk questionnaires must be meticulously crafted to ensure they’re in compliance with industry regulations and best practices. The ultimate goal of the questionnaire is to make sure it’s helping you analyze vendor risk well and is assisting greatly with protecting your organization from additional risks.
4 Best Practices for Vendor Risk Questionnaires
Here are four tips to help you create a vendor risk questionnaire:
- If you’re in a regulated industry, consider your guidance when crafting the questionnaire. If you’re not in a regulated industry, review other industry guidance around risk assessments and use that as your guide. The FDIC released very informative guidance in FIL 44-2008.
- Develop a uniformed rating system. A rating system will assist with scoring vendors effectively. As a quick tip, I recommend you always have two ratings. These are the business impact risk score, which captures if the vendor is critical or non-critical, and a regulatory risk score, which shows a final risk level like high, moderate or low risk.
- Decide on the questions to include. Seek input from your internal subject matter experts (SMEs) when drafting questionnaires. They’ll have great feedback regarding the important questions to include to ensure you’re adequately covering their areas of expertise when assessing the vendor.
- Create multiple questionnaires. Not all products or services are created equal. Therefore, they won’t all be evaluated in the same manner. Group your vendors into buckets like core processors, marketing agencies, telecommunication vendors, etc. and draft a vendor risk questionnaire for each one. This will really help streamline the process.
Creating a proper vendor risk questionnaire is an extremely important factor in any vendor management program. However, it’s important to remember that your due diligence doesn’t end with the answered questionnaire. Always take it a step further and analyze the results. That’s when the vendor risk questionnaire leads to a full vendor risk assessment and sets your organization up for continued success.
Need more information on how to create vendor risk questionnaires? Download this guide.