An Update on the ACSP Program

The AISA Board of Directors have made a decision regarding AISA’s continued participation in the Australian Cyber Security Professionalisation (ACSP) program, led by AustCyber. After careful consideration, AISA, has decided to withdraw from the program effective immediately.

The ACSP program, launched in November 2022, was established with the objective of solving the skills crisis in the cyber security sector in Australia. While AISA initially embraced this initiative and actively participated, we have since re-evaluated our position and made the decision to discontinue our involvement.

AISA recognises the importance of enhancing the credibility and standards within the Australian cyber security sector, however after careful assessment, we have concluded that the program does not align with the current challenges and demands within the sector and there are other areas that need attention to build an inclusive, trusted community of cyber security professionals.

Despite advancements in the field of cyber security, the industry still faces substantial barriers towards achieving gender equality and promoting diversity. It is crucial to recognise the value of diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas in strengthening the overall effectiveness of the sector. Research conducted by AISA, indicates professionalisation at this point in time, will impede diversity and gender equality.

The professionalisation of individuals, at a time where the sector is looking for more resources will drive up resourcing costs, reduce diversity, act as a barrier for people entering the sector (graduates and career changes) and extend the gender pay gap as opposed to resolving these issues.

AISA’s view is that professionalisation may be needed by 2030 as the sector matures and once gender diversity reaches at least 40% female participation (currently at 17%).

AISA firmly believes that focusing on:

  • the pressing need for the development and implementation of fit-for-purpose cyber security education and assistance programs specifically tailored for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • enhancing collaboration and building a strategic alliance between government and industry is paramount to keep Australia cyber resilient.
  • the importance of establishing clear principles and guidelines for board directors to enhance their awareness and understanding of their duties related to cyber security responsibilities.
will contribute significantly to the advancement and improvement of the Australian cyber security sector. AISA remains committed to working collaboratively with members, Government and other stakeholders to address these challenges and foster a secure and resilient digital ecosystem.