AURIL2017 Annual Conference
5th and 6th October 2017


Bristol Marriott Royal
College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TA 

Contact: Fiona Lees
  0141 548 4754


Engaging with Professional Bodies

How many Professional Bodies do you engage with during the course of delivering your role? I’m writing this blog as a Director working in a strategic role and reckon that I interact with around 20 different organisations. Is this too many or not enough? 

If you don’t engage with Professional Bodies how are you going to keep up to speed with an ever changing external environment and also bring the intelligence back into your institution?

Having said this, I will be going through my ever increasing list to see if I actually need to engage with all of the bodies personally, or is this responsibility something that could be shared out. Seems like a great way to develop staff and get them listening to different viewpoints.

AURIL is a major knowledge exchange organisation, we all know that.  A key aspect of AURIL Council’s work is to influence the other Professional Bodies representing higher education; ARMA, ASTP-Proton, CBI ICARG members and PraxisUnico.

I am fortunate to work at the same institution as the Chair of ARMA so it makes it easy for me to interact with their Chair, but all of the AURIL Council work hard to represent you across a wide range of professional organisations.  

We felt this activity was worthy of inclusion in our Strategic Plan focusing on:

  • promoting AURIL’s distinctiveness as an Association of practitioners who work at the interface between industry and universities, but with a wider appeal for those involved in knowledge exchange/knowledge transfer in general;
  • actively maintaining a regular and productive dialogue with a number of other professional bodies;
  • collaborating in delivering specific activities where we see there is mutual benefit to our organisations, members and the sector in doing so.Of course this all sounds great but Council didn’t want our strategic ideas to just sit in a document on our website.  This is why I worked closely with Alasdair and other Council members to bring the Plan to life by developing Key Actions for each of the Strategic areas.  In terms of engaging with Professional Bodies we are committed to meeting with other professional bodies on a regular basis; holding strategic meetings with HEFCE, BIS and InnovateUK and to utilise our relationship with ASTP-Proton to seek greater engagement with the European Commission.

There will always be the strategic relationships that you have to be part of but inevitably there will be relationships that whilst they aren’t at the strategic level, still bring insights and fresh ideas into your work.

You may be reading this thinking, ‘who do I need to engage with?’, ‘how do I approach Professional Bodies?’ and of course you must ask yourself, ‘does this add value to me and my job?’  If not then you can, like me, cut down your list!  A good opportunity to ask these questions is of course at Conference, during our great networking opportunities.  I hope to have the chance to speak to many of you in Edinburgh later this year.

AURIL, as a professional body itself, would love to hear from you and I would encourage you to get involved. 

Carole Barron (AURIL Chair)
Director of Innovation and Enterprise
University of Kent