This Strategic Plan guides decision-making and actions until 2024 to ensure the delivery of the IARSA mission for its members. It shapes the programmes we deliver, the services we provide and the management of our business and finances to grow a sustainable, successful Education Research Society.

For each of the five Strategic Priorities we have developed an Implementation, identifying our priority actions, our timeframes for delivery and our anticipated outcomes.

Measuring and Monitoring

In order to manage and improve our performance, we must measure and monitor our impacts. We will identify key performance indicators relevant to each of our Strategic Priorities and will use a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine our performance and inform improvements.

Communicating and Reporting

Communication of our Strategic Plan and Priorities and regular engagement with our members, external stakeholders and partner organisations is critical to our success. We will raise awareness by creating and implementing a robust and comprehensive communications strategy which will clearly identify:

  • WHO we engage with;
  • WHAT we engage on;
  • WHY we are engaging;
  • HOW we will engage; and
  • WHEN we will engage.

Performance will be approved and monitored by the Governing Council and reported to the membership and our stakeholders through publication and dissemination of our Annual Report.


An appropriate level of resources will be made available to ensure delivery of our Strategic Plan. This includes financial investment but also will include the management of staff and volunteer time, staff training and development and the application of appropriate organisational management and governance processes and procedures.


  • Enhance value of member experience while growing membership
  • Expand organisational capacity to fulfill mission and address strategic priorities
  • Build external relationships to enhance contributions to knowledge, policy and practice
  • Grow membership numbers and diversity
  • Engage in continuous improvement
  • Build and strengthen external relationships
  • Enrich organisational culture and positive member experience
  • Demonstrate accountability
  • Leverage relationships to enhance contributions to knowledge, policy and practice
  • Enhance service portfolio (offerings and benefits)
  • Strengthen human resource management
  • Advocate for research support, knowledge-based practice and policies and intellectual exchanges


Strategic Priority 1:

Excellence for the Individual

    1.  Deliver and continuously improve core professional tools and resources (Research    Programmes, Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, etc).

1.2       Review existing member services to maximize opportunities that reflect emerging trends in education, research and administration and support members’ career development.

1.3       Review and revise education, research and professional development programmes delivery to access digital resources to maximise promotion and delivery of programmes.

1.4       Develop a “Researcher’s Development Framework” and “Pathways to Education Research” career routes to promote the knowledge and skills base of the profession and facilitate career progression.

Strategic Priority 2:

Excellence for the Profession

2.1.      Ensure that professional standards are recognised, understood and valued by members and the wider research profession such that education, research and administration is respected and valued. A communications and marketing strategy will be developed to facilitate engagement with the media to promote IARSA and the credentials of our members’ profession.

2.2       Promote the value and quality of the profession of education research to other professions.

2.3       Be an active voice for our members, engaging with them for subject-matter expertise and working with the sector to advocate and lobby for changes that support excellent education research management practices.

2.4       Ensure all IARSA event leaders and facilitators are trainer certified.

2.5       Ensure Professional Development Programmes, International Conferences and Annual Conference Programmes are aligned to the professional standards of the IARSA qualifications and proactively and innovatively address changing research environments.

Strategic Priority 3:


3.1       Work in partnership with other research associations and institutes, particularly through participation in notable international conferences across the globe

3.2       Align IARSA accreditation with international frameworks (e.g. European, Australia, Asia, USA, etc).

3.3       Reach emerging research markets (e.g. China, India, Middle East, South America).

3.4       Develop MOUs with other international research institutions in emerging markets to support education and training, innovation and excellence, and communities of practice.

3.5       Ensure that an international outlook is integrated into the IARSA modus operandi.

Strategic Priority 4:


4.1       Maintain, develop and enhance resources that support member networking, idea sharing, problem solving and adopting best practice, through events and virtual interactions.

4.2       Increase and diversify the number of IARSA members.

4.3       Through membership diversification, identify greater opportunities to expand member resources.

Strategic Priority 5:


5.1       Develop and implement operational strategy and enabling policy that will ensure financial and organisational sustainability. This is characterised by robust governance practices (efficient and effective), strong business planning, mission and strategic priority delivery and organisational management.

5.2       Develop an Executive Office with a strong Enterprise Risk Management approach that underpins the management, operation and strategic direction of the other Strategic Priorities.

5.3       Enhancing research and research training activities, demonstrating high levels of performance against national and international benchmarks;

5.4       Attracting and retaining world class researchers and intellectual property policies;

Strengthening the association’s systems infrastructure through the complete implementation of replacement human resource and learning management systems, the introduction of a new research management system and determining future arrangements for the Council, staff and members information system;

5.5       Enhancing internal communications and increasing the profile and reputation of the Association among key constituencies internationally;

5.6       Improving the overall unit-of-resource funding through in particular, achievement of the Association’s 2019 international fee revenue targets;

5.7       Demonstrating first class management systems and processes, including plan driven incentive-based budgeting, complete but tailored internal quality assurance mechanisms, annual staff performance reviews and strategic risk monitoring and reporting; and

5.8       Prudent financial management and effective compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements.