AUCSO to Expand Services Around the Globe

The Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) has announced plans to expand its reach internationally. The group, based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, currently counts among its members the security staff of almost 230 institutions of higher education around the world. And the association’s new leadership, including recently appointed Chairman Les Allan and Vice-Chairman Ollie Curran, plan to focus on extending its services and benefits to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas.

“The higher education sector is a vitally important global community, one which benefits from cooperation across borders and across continents,” said Allan. “This collaboration must extend to security and safety services, too. AUCSO is already playing a vital role in making this happen, and we will now be building on that work.”

Les Allan
AUCSO Chairman Les Allan

The goal is to spread and share information about the best security and safety practices for students, faculty, and staff at colleges and universities worldwide. To help raise these standards, among other efforts, the new leadership team plans to launch a series of webinars to stream live and archive for members only. The first of these webinars will cover how different international groups handled the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring speakers from Australia, Dublin, and Belgium. The second will focus on counterterrorism and organized crime.

Allan serves as the Director of Safeguarding Services at the five international campuses of Heriot-Watt University. Curran, meanwhile, became a AUCSO board member in April 2020 and works as the Deputy Security Manager for University College London.

“There is little doubt that security teams in our sector have faced significant, unforeseen challenges and have delivered exemplary front-line services to our respective institutions over this past year,” Allan said. “We all need to build on that experience, sharing best practice, to ensure that security continues to become more professional and to evolve at pace to support our institutions. I am particularly delighted to have Oliver Curran as our new Vice-Chairman. Oliver brings a very varied skill set and vast experience to our team. Together with our Executive Committee and our wider membership, we aim to enhance our association for the benefit of all.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at