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quality charter
The BMRA Quality Charter

BMRA fully supports the minimum service standards of the Market Research Quality Standards Association (MRQSA) and this Charter should be regarded as a first step towards implementation of MRQSA standards for companies with a turnover of over £1,000,000 p.a.

All bmra members must subscribe to and implement the bmra Quality Charter which requires that senior management of member organisations must ensure that procedures and working methods are in place covering Executive Responsibilities (including codes of conduct, client requirements and contracts, control procedures and documentation, resources supply quality control, personnel training and supervision, and checking of accuracy of information gathered/tabulations/analysis); Data Collection Responsibilities; and Data Processsing Responsibilities.

0 Introduction

This charter has been adopted by the British Market Research Association (BMRA) and all member organisations are required to subscribe to and implement it.

0.1 Managing Quality

Senior management of member organisations must ensure that procedures and working methods are in place so that the requirements of this Charter are fully implemented and that all staff are aware of what is required in this respect.

1. Executive Responsibilities

1.1 The researchers working on a study must be familiar with, and take responsibility for, ensuring that the following codes and standards are adhered to by themselves and by all staff carrying out various stages of the research process:

The MRS Code of Conduct

The ICC/ESOMAR International Code of Marketing & Social

Research Practice

The MRS Guidelines for Handling Databases

The Data Protection Act

1.2 The member organisation is required to have a senior member of staff or director responsible for the implementation of documented procedures covering its services and adequate resources to ensure that these procedures are effectively maintained.

1.3 Client contracts must be set out in documents either to or from the client.

1.4 The member organisation is responsible for taking active steps to understand the client's full requirements/expectations on each research project.

1.5 All stages of the research process, including research design activities (e.g. proposals, questionnaires, etc.), must be monitored and controlled to ensure clients' requirements are met.

1.6 At the point of job confirmation by the client, the contract must be reviewed by a senior member of staff or director to ensure that, within the required timeframe, adequate and appropriate resources exist to fulfil the client's expectations.

Following acceptance of the commission, the member organisation must issue the client with a confirmed project timetable and responsibilities schedule. Progress against the timetable must be monitored internally and reported to the client at appropriate intervals. The client must be informed of any changes in responsibilities or delays likely to affect delivery.

1.7 Suppliers whose products or services have an impact on the end client must be controlled as part of the quality system. Poor quality sub-contractors and other suppliers must be identified and their use discontinued.

1.8 All personnel working on a project must be appropriately trained for / experienced in the tasks they carry out (including fieldworkers and other part-timers). On-the-job learning must be supervised/taught by a senior/more qualified person.

1.9 Internal procedures must include a process for identifying, dealing with and rectifying faulty work and other more general problems arising from the research process and the delivery of client services.

1.10 All projects must be uniquely identified and this identification shown on all key records relating to the project to enable them to be traced easily.

1.11 The research executive is responsible for ensuring that the accuracy of any information gathered, related tabulations and/or analysis has been fully checked for accuracy prior to being issued to the client.

2. Data Collection Responsibilities

2.1 On appointment each interviewer, recruiter and auditor shall be issued with a current copy of the MRS Code of Conduct or the ICC/ESOMAR International Code, covering at least the sections relating to the following:

- responsibilities to respondents

- responsibilities to the general public and the business community.

2.2 The member organisation must ensure all interviewers/recruiters declare that the work they are undertaking has been, or will be, conducted within the MRS Code of Conduct or the ICC/ESOMAR Code.

2.3 All interviewers and recruiters must make every effort to reassure the general public by a "thank you" or reassurance leaflet. Identity cards shall be used as appropriate.

Telephone interviewers/recruiters must give respondents:

- their name

- the name of the organisation they are calling from

- purpose of the call, reassuring them of confidentiality.

2.4 The member organisation must ensure that all interviewers, recruiters and auditors are adequately and appropriately trained/experienced to carry out all the various types of work given to them.

2.5 The performance of interviewers and recruiters must be reviewed (e.g. through appraisal) by a supervisory person adequately trained/experienced to fulfil this role.

2.6 Steps must be taken to ensure that the work of interviewers is verified for honesty and accuracy. Some form of systematic sampling of interviewers and their work is required. Appropriate verification methods include independent check-backs with respondents and questionnaire editing.

3. Data Processing Responsibilities

3.1 Specifications for data tabulation and further analysis shall be agreed between the client and DP provider and documented by one or other party.

3.2 All work carried out by CAI Scriptwriters, coders, punchers, specification writers and other data processing staff must be verified against client requirements.

3.3 All output to the client must be approved by a director or senior executive, prior to being despatched to the client.

3.4 If data are weighted, the tables shall show both a weighted and unweighted base and the weighting methods shall be documented to the client.

3.5 The member organisation shall establish and maintain procedures to ensure that computer files are clearly identified to ensure that a project can be reconstructed at a later date.

3.6 Backup and archiving procedures shall cover all information, including data processing files and other information stored on computers or computer systems. As a minimum, two copies of the back-ups shall be kept in separate locations and clearly identified. One of these copies shall either be kept off-site or in a fire-proof safe.

Drafted April 1998, Revised at AGM February 1999 (threshold raised from £500,000 to £600,000), revised at AGM May 2001 (threshold raised to £1,000,000)

Author: BMRA
Published on: 11/26/2001 1:57:12 PM

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