Requirements for FIRST Steering Committee members

FIRST SC members (being duly-elected representatives of a volunteer organisation) undertake to perform certain duties upon accepting the role. Detailed below are the responsibilities (minimum requirements) and the expectations (optional requirements) of the role of a FIRST SC member.


  • A FIRST SC member should be an individual with a legitimate interest in computer security incident handling, who is willing to adhere to and to uphold the FIRST Operational Framework.
  • A FIRST SC member shall serve as a member of the Steering Committee by voting (in person or via proxy) at SC meetings and FIRST.ORG board meetings, on motions raised by SC members.
  • A FIRST SC member shall liaise with the FIRST membership, and represent their views and desires to the SC.
  • A FIRST SC member shall follow through on communications received from the membership regarding FIRST's activities by representing membership views to the SC.
  • A FIRST SC member shall communicate any corrections that need to be made to the minutes of FIRST SC meetings upon receipt of drafts from the FIRST secretariat.
  • A FIRST SC member shall advise the SC and/or Chair on matters of mutual concern to both FIRST and the FIRST SC at such times that the SC is unable to convene a meeting.
  • A FIRST SC member should expect to spend 4 weeks a year at face-to-face meetings and to spend approximately 5 hours a week performing other duties.
  • A FIRST SC member shall attend 75% of teleconference calls; held monthly (where a face-to-face meeting is not scheduled) or on an as-needed basis.
  • Travel costs can be reimbursed for all required meetings. Reimbursement for other travel is decided on a case by case basis.
  • Each Steering Committee member is required to have full access to the Internet, including email and web services. A Steering Committee member must be able to maintain confidentiality of FIRST information, and must be able to send, sign, and receive PGP-encrypted email.
  • The SC (as a whole) shall communicate to the membership any relevant issues or business which in their judgment affects them or the organisation in a strategic way.


  • A FIRST Steering Committee Member will be requested (but are not required) to become members of the board of directors of First.Org, Incorporated. This California, USA, based Non-Profit corporation was set up to provide legal recognition to FIRST, and to handle funding and Annual Conference matters. Officers and directors of First.Org, Inc., are protected against liabilities that result from acts that they perform on behalf of First.Org, Inc. Potential Steering Committee candidates need to consider whether their work circumstances permit them to become officers of the corporation; these issues are discussed in an FAQ document.
  • A FIRST SC member should be prepared to represent FIRST's best interests in internal and external dealings.
  • A FIRST SC member should be prepared to promote FIRST's profile internationally, and encourage interest in FIRST membership from non-FIRST member organisations and individuals.
  • A FIRST SC member should be prepared to promote interest in FIRST activities within the membership by encouraging support from the membership for FIRST projects.
  • A FIRST SC member should be prepared to propose projects, encourage communication, and solicit resources so as to promote and recognize the mission and goals of FIRST.
  • Based on projects proposed by FIRST SC members, the SC may wish to make proposals (which may need to be ratified by the FIRST.ORG board of directors) regarding the business of the FIRST organisation and the financial or other resources needed to carry out their duties.
  • SC members are encouraged, but not required, to provide information for use in the FIRST newsletter or other publications of the organisation.
  • A FIRST SC member is expected to assist at major FIRST events such as TCs and the annual conference they attend.
  • A FIRST SC member is expected to assist the SC Chair in preparing the agenda of meetings by supplying agenda items for consideration.
  • A FIRST SC member is expected to assist the SC Chair in prioritising FIRST's involvement in any ongoing projects or any proposals for consideration, including budgetary considerations and
    relevance to FIRST's mission statement.
  • A FIRST SC member is expected to assist the Chair of the SC in supplying information for preparing and administering FIRST's budget by the CFO.
  • A FIRST SC member is expected to assist the SC in determining whether recommendations originating from FIRST membership are substantive, and require a motion by the SC.
  • When necessary, A FIRST SC member is expected to assist in revising and proposing changes to FIRST's Vision and Mission statements in light of membership feedback and organisational direction requirements.
  • When necessary, A FIRST SC member is expected to assists in revising and proposing changes to FIRST's Operational Framework in light of membership feedback and FIRST organisational requirements. (OF changes may only be approved by votes of the General FIRST Membership.)
  • In the absence of other voluntary FIRST activities, a Steering Committee member can expect to spend two to five hours weekly on FIRST business. This does not include the time involved with attending Steering Committee meetings. In general, Steering Committee members have the flexibility to determine how best to fit their Steering Committee commitments into their schedule. Some commitments require prompt review and response in order to meet deadlines and contractual requirements. Otherwise, an SC member is expected to respond to requests from other SC members within one or two days.
  • Some FIRST documents are circulated as Word, Excel, HTML, PDF or Postscript originals. The ability for an SC member to handle such documents is useful, but not essential.
  • FIRST Steering Committee Members need to be aware of upcoming FIRST events, and so they need to be able to follow FIRST-related e-mail traffic.
  • A FIRST SC member is expected to be responsive to requests from the membership and from other Steering Committee Members.
  • Potential candidates need to consider whether their employers will permit them to spend the requisite amount of time, travel and funding to serve fully. Candidates should make prior arrangements for support from their management to spend the requisite amount of time, travel and funding to serve fully.
  • FIRST SC members are expected to, wherever possible, formulate initiatives and activities with respect for language and cultural sensitivities.

Expectation of the SC Chair

  • provides pro-active leadership.
  • works in close collaboration with the FIRST Secretariat.
  • interacts with SC in decision making and with regard to resources necessary to complete FIRST business. Eg the conference and TCs.
  • initiates meetings and activities and serves as the Chairperson of meetings and as member of the Steering Committee.
  • maintains contact with Steering Committee Members, advising and providing guidance on any initiatives in progress, proposals and issues related to the function of the FIRST SC.
  • represents the SC to both the FIRST membership and to outside groups.
  • manages an action list of current initiatives/projects of FIRST and the SC including:
    • a summary of the status of the current projects being undertaken by the SC or FIRST membership.
    • any new or revised project proposals for consideration by the SC.
  • In the absence of other voluntary FIRST activities the SC Chairperson can expect to spend eight to twelve hours a week without travel.
  • The position requires prompt response by telephone related to the organization of events, especially the annual conference, usually starting eight weeks before the conference.

SC Meeting Procedures

  • The FIRST SC shall adopt a standard meeting process (following basic procedures as per Robert's rules of order).
  • At each SC meeting (whether face to face or teleconference) the following elements shall be addressed:
    • The Chair shall ensure that the current action item list is addressee; especially with regard to any high priority items, and asks the SC for discussion on any action items whose priority should be changed.
    • The Chair addresses the current agenda items (welcoming motions as required).
    • The Chair summarises any new items as a result of the meeting.
  • The FIRST SC shall adopt the below decision-making life-cycle for any new proposals brought before them.

Life-cycle of a proposal brought before the SC

  • Recognition - an idea (put forward by an SC member, directly by the membership or by the membership via the proxy of an SC member) is verified as coming from a reliable source (ie a FIRST member or someone with a vested interest in FIRST activities) and recognised (through discussion) as being in support of FIRST mission and goals.
  • Consideration - a debate by the SC regarding the merits of the proposal then follows in which the value of the idea is determined.
  • Notation or Action - following the consideration (during which a motion may be made), a proposal is delegated for simple notation (to be considered at a later time or not to be considered at all) or for action at which time the proposal needs to be assigned a priority.
  • Notation - simply leads to minuting the proposal and the decision process which resulted in the proposal not being actioned.
  • Action - leads to the planning of a project or task, including the determination of objectives, the scoping and marketing (i.e. the gathering of sufficient support in human resources and skill),
    probable timelines and then the allocation of resources (both financial and human) once support has been gained.