In response to the need for professional recognition status of research management professionals in Southern Africa, SARIMA initiated discussions with other partner organisations at the INORMS Congress in 2016 for the establishment of the inaugural International Professional Recognition Council (IPRC).
The IPRC – the first of its kind – is a body that awards professional recognition of prior learning and experience for research managers and will in due course also award continuous education points for training and other relevant events related to professional recognition. The IPRC will oversee the quality of, and standards for, individual professional recognition of RM practitioners. The IPRC is composed of active research managers representing key organisations in African and beyond, with SARIMA acting as secretariat.
The IPRC has to date developed the Council Terms of Reference and guidelines, process and criteria for two professional recognition routes. These guidelines were used in a pre-pilot phase for professional recognition of senior research managers in March 2018 for IPRC members. This feedback led to further refinement of the process and criteria. The pilot phase is being run with members of Science Granting Councils as part of the SGCI project and learning from this will further inform the process. In 2019, SARIMA will launch a call for registration applications, which will be open to SADC institutions of higher learning, supported through the StoRM project.