In October 2001, IARS was informally established by Dr. Theo Gavrielides as a charitable, International NGO. Professor Gavrielides set up IARS in his kitchen with no funding or powerful contacts. IARS was set up as a user-led and user-focused membership organisation and it remains as such.
On 31 January 2005, IARS was incorporated as a non-profit company limited by guarantee. It was established under a Memorandum of Association, which defined the objects and powers of the company, and is governed under its Articles of Association.
On 19 June 2008, Dr. Gavrielides stepped down from its Board in order to register IARS with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. He remained as its Executive Director and recruited a Board of Trustees.
In February 2020, Dr. Gavrielides stepped down from his role as IARS Executive Director and re-joined the Trustee Board. Dr. Claire Bonham was recruited to run IARS as its new Director.
IARS have been awarded the Youth Mark and the ESC Quality Mark, indicating that all our policies and procedures and the structures we have put in place take into consideration the needs and realities of all young people. As an Institute we are an EU-wide recognised accrediting body including the issuing of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accreditation and YouthPass.
Legal and HR structure
The company has a non-executive committee, known as the Board of Trustees, of at least two individuals. The Board of Trustees meets quarterly to make decisions and receive the report of the Executive Director who is managed by the collective Body of the Board. In addition the Youth Advisory Board, will be represented by one of its members on the IARS Board of Trustees.
Meet our trustees
The Executive Director is responsible for the operational side of the company, and line manages IARS’ staff team who manage interns and volunteers. Project associates work independently and remotely most of the time and are also line managed by the Executive Director. They are encouraged to involve interns with specific interest in their projects and to consult with the advisory groups as appropriate.
The user engagement model
Since its inception in 2001 by Professor Gavrielides, IARS has been a user-focused organisation, and we have always involved our users in the design, development, delivery, monitoring and quality control of our projects and services.
The User Engagement Groups will carry out regular checks to ensure that the systems we have in place are appropriate and up to date (e.g. recruitment, engagement and retention).
To ensure that all its services are user-led, IARS has adopted evaluation and monitoring systems that user-proof each stage of delivery including outcomes.
The user engagement model includes, but is not be limited to, the following advisory groups:
IARS began as a pan European networking and idea sharing platform for young people. IARS is committed to empowering young people to influence policy and practice. It is for this reason that IARS regards the role of young people within the organisation as crucial.
To accommodate this ideology, IARS has created an independent body of young people who will take on responsibility for evaluating and steering the work of the organisation. The YAB consists of young people from different backgrounds and circumstances who are aware of the problems facing young people in today’s society and who are interested in an opportunity to do something positive about these issues.
Their tasks include inspecting IARS services and policies; monitoring the quality of its youth projects; carrying out research and responding to youth consultations; advising on specific youth projects; reviewing and updating the volunteer and user engagement policies, the Equal Opportunities policies and any other IARS policy impacting on its young users.
They also receive free training on digital skills and other areas according to their interest. The YAB has proved to be an excellent opportunity for young people to get their voices heard and to address issues that are important for them. One example of this is the launch of the 99% campaign aiming to make society more inclusive responsive to young people’s views and realities.
IARS supports the 99% Campaign and all YAB activities by financing the dissemination activities, providing office resources, working with the media and by holding events. The 99% Campaign uses a dedicated website, social media channels and a printed magazine to promote positive stories and dispel negative stereotypes.
The YAB will consist of no more than 20 members with a quorum of 3 members who will meet, at a minimum every three months. Most decisions are made by consensus. There is a steering committee who coordinate the activities and act as chief editors of the 99% publications.
Meet our current steering committee
One of the key principles of the WAB is to scrutinise the social impact of our projects from a gender perspective, ensuring that all outcomes are of high quality and responsive to the specific needs of its target groups. Also by participating in these activities we hope that members of the group will be further empowered themselves to speak out on issues that matter to them and will improve their communications skills to do so in a professional environment.
Their tasks will include, but not be limited to, inspecting IARS services and policies; monitoring the quality of its gender-focused projects; proposing and championing new gender-focused project ideas; reviewing and inform IARS research and funding applications; reviewing and updating the user engagement policies, the Equal Opportunities policies and any other relevant IARS policies.
The steering committee consists of 5 women from diverse backgrounds to reflect the wide variety of women’s perspectives. For specific projects an ad-hoc group will be created to advocate for the rights or refugee and asylum seeking women or women who have been victims of abuse.
Meet our current steering committee
The IARS International Institute is committed to high research ethical standards and to producing only high quality publications that conform to internationally accepted research rules. Therefore, the IARS Academic & Editorial Board exists to act as a sounding board for IARS’ publications, research projects and reports.
The roles of the Academic & Editorial Board include: quality control of IARS’ academic outputs and accreditation programmes including IARS books, publications, evaluation reports; solicit contributions; identify suitable reviewers (when appropriate); participate as reviewers; provide input on the content and direction of issues; promote IARS’ extensively within their own institutions and externally; develop editorial policies to guide the content, scope, purpose and style of IARS publications.
Within the Academic Board, there is a standing Research Ethics Committee, which reviews research ethics applications from IARS and external applicants.
The roles of the Research Ethics Committee include: to ensure that IARS research programmes comply with COPE and international research ethics standards; to review research ethics applications; to approve conducting fieldwork as per research ethics standards; to ensure that human rights, data protection and other relevant legislation are respected when approving applications for fieldwork.
The Research Ethics committee consists of the Editor-in-Chief and at least two independent members from the Academic and Editorial Board.
Decisions will be reached by majority vote and only after the production of constructive feedback to the applicants. Only applications that complete the Research Ethics Application Form and are submitted to the Editor-in-Chief will be eligible for consideration.
Meet our current members of the academic board