Chapter Handbook/Chapter 3: How to Start a Chapter

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Starting or Restarting a chapter

An OWASP local chapter organizes OWASP activity in a given geographical area. A person or a group (the "founding group") can request to start a new chapter in a geographical area not currently served by an OWASP group. The global chapter committee should actively seen founders to start groups in geographical ares not covered by an OWASP chapter.

A request to start or restart a chapter should be submitted by the founding group to the OWASP board and should include:

  • List of the people that are founding the chapter
    • The founding group members should join as OWASP members
    • The request should in include their resumes.
  • The geographical area to be covered by the new chapter
    • The geographical area should not overlap with an existing chapter.
    • OWASP chapters promote face to face meetings and the geographical area covered should be no more than a reasonable travel for an afternoon meeting [1].
  • Recommendation by 5 current OWASP leaders
  • This requirement can be waived by the board, especially if the chapter is started in a remote area in which OWASP currently has no activity.
  • Recommendation by 5 people who practice information security in the covered geography
    • Required to complement the founding group if it is smaller than 5. If there is one founder, 4 recommendations are needed, if there are two founders, 3 recommendations are needed as so on.
    • Relevant bio details of the recommending people should be added.

The OWASP board will decide whether to grant the person of group the opportunity to start the new chapter for a trial period, but not before submitting the request for a review by OWASP leaders. The review will enable OWASP

Trial period

The founding members of the local chapter should achieve the minimum activity listed below. The global chapter committee would review the chapters activity after 3 months and after

Terminating a Chapter

Terminating a chapter should be rare. An OWASP chapter is terminated by a board decision if:

  • The chapter did not meet the minimum activity requirements
  • The chapter leadership has not followed the chapter guidelines as outlines in this manual. Critical guidelines are:
    • Operation with the OWASP charter
    • Lack of conflict of interest in running the chapter

The board will inform the chapter leadership about the decision and will allow it to correct the issues leading to the termination within 3 months.

The global chapter committee should periodically review chapters activity and if the do not meet the minimum activity requirement may recommend to the board to terminate them. If terminated, the OWASP Global chapters committee would actively seek a replacing founding team to restart the chapter.

Chapter's structure

Since chapters are based on volunteers work, there is no mandatory chapter structure. The only requirement is for chapter needs to have a chairman who is responsible to answer to the OWASP board. We do recommend that a chapter would have also a board with at least 3 members, each one having a specific role (To do: roles list).

Chapters are free to decide on the number of role holders, their titles, how they are selected and for how long. In case there is a dispute that cannot be resolved by the chapters members the following rules will apply:

  • If more than one person apply for a role, and the candidates cannot find a cooperative solution, elections would be held. The elections would be held by e-mail and every OWASP member who ....
  • A person would serve in a given role for a period 24 months.
  • Once the period ends, the

(Open issue: chapter membership)

Conflict of interest

  • Proper disclosure guidelines

Minimum activity requirements

Foot notes

[1] An open issue is country chapters. As a result of the OWASP chapters geographical area definition, they are usually limited to a city. While country chapters exist, there is currently no formal concept of a country chapter and no guidelines for the relationship between the country chapter and local city chapters. This may be of interest as some activities are national in essence such as translation of OWASP material, participation in regulatory bodies and large scale conferences.