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AUCSO announces first of its kind Higher Education security benchmarking in partnership with ISARR

Julie Barker

The Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) has announced a partnership with ISARR, a bespoke risk, resilience, and security management solution, to gather vital benchmarking information for its members. 

As the leading organisation for security professionals working in Higher and Further Education around the world, AUCSO is looking to further enhance security within the Higher Education sector as a whole.

The partnership builds upon the existing relationship between AUCSO and ISARR (which has been a leading sponsor of AUCSO for the past four years). With ISARR’s significant customer presence in the Higher Education sector and AUCSO’s extensive membership base, this collaboration is set to make a substantial impact and represents a significant step towards strengthening security, safety and resilience in universities, worldwide.

The partnership was born from AUCSO’s desire to add value to its members and the sector as a whole, boosting its position as a highly influential organisation across the broader Higher Education sector. AUCSO and ISARR recognised the immense value to AUSCO members of gathering benchmarking data that gives a view of the current landscape of universities in regard to size, scope of security teams, use of technology, training and areas of responsibility.

Development of the benchmarking portal will be carried out in two stages to ensure a coherent development:

Stage One, which will be launched early February 2024, will involve a comparator of all member universities to gain a baseline understanding of key differences between them. This will include factors such as university size, region, country, location characteristics, student makeup, the role and structure of security teams as well as scope of services offered.

Stage Two, which will be launched to AUCSO membership across the world later in the year after consultation with the wider membership, will involve the collection of key operational data. This will include incident statistics data from which there will be the ability to drill down and understand more detail including data on the problems, issues and incidents that security teams within universities are dealing with. This data will be used to further analyse and understand the drivers and occurrence patterns across the Higher and Further Education sector’s security landscape.

Chief Operating Officer, Julie Barker said:

“This is an exciting development for the sector, and we are delighted to be leading the way together with ISARR.

“By partnering with ISARR we are going to continue to achieve our mission of providing valuable resources and support to our members. ISAAR is a leading technology company specialising in risk, resilience and security and so there was a mutual realisation that we could work together on this exciting project.

“This collaboration will not only benefit and give value to all of our members and our wider communities as well as the Higher and Further Education sectors as a whole – it’s another important step forward in ensuring we safeguard and support our students and the wider communities that we serve.”

Chair of AUCSO, Oliver Curran, AUCSO added:

“We believe the outputs of this project will bring huge value to our members.  Benchmarking within security associations is imperative, as it allows us to continuously improve, identify good practices, optimise resource allocations, improve efficiency, evaluate performance, mitigate risks and helps with strategic decision making.”

Adrian Dennehy, Regional Chair of AUCSO who has been working on this project, said:

“The results will be presented at the AUCSO Conference in April when we are planning a session looking at the initial results and discussing any other areas of interest that we can include going forward. These additions will then be incorporated into future years’ data-gathering.”

ISARR Head of Advisory Russ Huxtable commented:

“We are proud to be working with AUCSO to develop this program and positively impact the Higher Education sector. Our expertise in this specialised area combined with AUCSO’s membership base and influence will undoubtedly lead to significant improvements in security measures.”

This partnership between AUCSO and ISARR is a testament to the power of collaboration and the commitment to making a difference in the Higher Education sector. With these combined efforts, the sector can expect a safer and more secure environment for students and staff in universities both in the UK, and worldwide.

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