By Sarah Campbell, AMSRO Executive Director and Elissa Molloy, AMSRS CEO
AMSRS and AMSRO member associations are entering into exploratory discussions and investigations about joining forces to become one association serving the Australian research profession and industry.
Over the past 60 years the two sister associations have supported our respective constituencies well and together we cover a diverse range of member services including professional development, training and conferences; networking; industry publications and member resources; advocacy, ethical and privacy compliance and advisory services; industrial relations; industry statistics and awards; and promotion.
Our peak industry bodies work well together and we have delivered a number of joint initiatives benefiting our members – including the Research Effectiveness Awards, government advocacy efforts with Market Research differentiated from Telemarketing in the revised (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard (2011),the introduction of the Do Not Call register and currently with our IPND efforts; higher education collaborations; annual industry survey; industry specific ISO standards and strategic partnerships in Asia with our involvement in the Asia Pacific Research Committee (APRC) and globally through the Global Research Business Network (GRBN).
AMSRO and AMSRS are exploring the feasibility of a merger between our two organisations for the following reasons:
– The potential benefits of being able to speak with a single, stronger voice before the public, media and government; and
– It may be possible to provide services to our members in a more efficient and effective way through a merged entity.
There have been successful mergers in other jurisdictions – including New Zealand, the UK, Canada and more recently in the USA with the announcement of the CASRO and MRA merger. These mergers will provide us with useful case studies in the investigation process.
To assist us with this exploration, AMSRS and AMSRO will be engaging the services of an independent consultant, jointly funded, to undertake a review of the 2 organisations and provide advice regarding the most appropriate structure for a merged entity and provide us with recommendations regarding timing and process.
We envisage that this investigation process will be finalised by the AMSRS National Conference in Melbourne on 8 & 9 September 2016.