Research and standards experts representing many countries, standards industry bodies, and research associations participated in a Working Group meeting in Amsterdam this September to update and revise ISO 20252: 2012: Market, opinion and social research – vocabulary and service requirements and combine it with the ISO 26362 Access panel standard. The technical committee (TC225) participants included active members from AMSRS (Australia), ASI (Austria), MRIA (Canada), JISC (Japan), MOA (Netherlands), UNE (Spain), and MRS (United Kingdom), as well as various other observing countries and associations: ARIA (the U.S. was represented by Insights Association representatives Peter Milla, technical expert, and Jennifer Ward, MD, CIRQ), ESOMAR, and WAPOR.

The aim of the revision is to improve navigability with clearly defined, separate areas to support the various sectors within the market, social, and opinion research industry, allowing for companies to comply with and certify to only those services that they currently provide. The ISO updating process will take at least one more year, and research service suppliers working towards certification to either ISO 20252 or ISO 26362 should continue their efforts. All the current requirements will be incorporated in the new combined standard, plus new additions that reflect the changes in research practices, including leading edge technologies, since the standards were finalized in 2012 and 2009. By ensuring that the existing obligations are being met, research service providers will be much better prepared to adapt their systems to the new requirements once the revised ISO 20252 standard has been finalized.

This standard continues to cover topics such as project management requirements, proposals and tenders, and project execution for various methodological components of research such as sampling, fieldwork, observation, self-completion, data management, and processing. Over the coming months, the committee will continue to revise and refine the standard after which time it will be put forward for commentary. This improved and updated standard will be formalized, translated, and made available to the global research industry likely by the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019. Precise dates will be shared as these become available from ISO.