This study aimed to better understand the current situation of risk assessment and identify the factors associated with competence of emergency responders in public health risk assessment. The participants were selected by a multi-stage, stratified cluster sampling method in Heilongjiang Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The questionnaires that measured their perceptions on risk assessment competences were administered through the face-to-face survey. A final sample of 1889 staff was obtained. Of this sample, 78.6% of respondents rated their own risk assessment competences as "relatively low", contrasting with 21.4% rated as "relatively high". Most of the respondents (62.7%) did not participate in any risk assessment work. Only 13.7% and 42.7% of respondents reported participating in risk assessment training and were familiar with risk assessment tools. There existed statistical significance between risk assessment-related characteristics of respondents and their self-rated competences scores. Financial support from the government and administrative attention were regarded as the important factors contributing to risk assessment competences of CDC responders. Higher attention should be given to risk assessment training and enhancing the availability of surveillance data. Continuous efforts should be made to remove the financial and technical obstacles to improve the competences of risk assessment for public health emergency responders.