Professional standards

Market and social research is built on professional standards, including quality assurance, ethics and professional development. Buyers and users of market and social research want a good understanding of professional standards and understand what to expect in the research that they buy or use. At the same time, people who participate in research need assurance that researchers are committed to protecting their interests, especially their privacy.

AMSRO and AMSRS are strongly committed to working to uphold the standards for excellence in professional behaviour in market research within Australia. There are standards applying to both companies and individuals.

1. Quality management systems for companies

There are two international standards relating to market and social research available in Australia: ISO 20252 and ISO 26362.

a. AS: ISO 20252: Market and social research standard

This Standard establishes the terms and definitions as well as the service requirements for organisations and professionals conducting market, opinion and social research of any type.

b. AS: ISO 26362: Access panels in market, opinion and social research

This Standard specifies the terms and definitions as well as the service requirements for organisations and professionals who own and/or use access panels for market, opinion and social research. It develops the criteria against which access panel providers can be evaluated and against which the quality of access panels can be assessed.

It applies to all types of access panels whether recruited or used online (eg via the internet) or offline (eg vie telephone, postal or face-to-face).

We encourage all buyers and users of market and social research to purchase, or at least be familiar with, both Standards.

Industry Quality Committee

An Industry Quality Committee looks after the quality assurance interests of the market and social research industry in Australia. It is supported by Joint Council.

The terms of reference for the Committee are available here.

2. Professional standards for individuals

There are two standards for individual researchers in Australia: the Code of Professional Behaviour and the professional development certification Qualified Practising Market Researcher (QPMR).

I. Code of professional behaviour

The Code sets out the basic principles that must guide the actions of those who carry out or use market research. Individuals and organisations that subscribe to it must follow not just the letter but also the spirit of these rules.

It covers three key areas:

  1. Responsibilities to respondents
  2. Researchers’ professional responsibilities
  3. Researchers’ and client’s mutual rights and responsibilities

2. QPMR

The Qualified Practising Market Researcher (QPMR) accreditation is a scheme that demonstrates an industry wide commitment to continuous professional development and raises the professional standards of market and social research.

The QPMR program was designed with a number of long term objectives in mind. They are to:

  1. Define the marketing and social research profession by achieving a balance between experience and conceptual competence
  2. Ensure that the market and social research profession continues to advance with expansion of knowledge and information
  3. Demonstrate that market and social researchers have, and are committed to maintaining, high professional standards over time
  4. Provide assurance to research buyers that those with QPMR can provide quality advice across all aspects of market and social research

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