CIRQ, an International Standards Organization (ISO) audit and certification body that is a subsidiary of the Insights Association, has announced new leadership.

The Board of Directors for CIRQ (the Certification Institute for Research Quality) is now chaired by Craig Overpeck, CEO, Bioinformatics, Inc. and also includes Michael Brereton, Executive in Residence in the Department of Marketing at Michigan State University – The Eli Broad College of Business, and Kevin Kish, Senior Associate at Schellman & Company, LLC.

Juliana Wood, who has managed CIRQ for the past several months as Director of Certifications & Training at the Insights Association, now also serves as Managing Director of CIRQ.

CIRQ’s ISO standards also are evolving. CIRQ was established in 2010 to provide assessment and certification services to market research firms seeking certification to ISO 20252 (Market, Opinion and Social Research), ISO 26362 (Access Panel Standard) and, more recently, ISO 27001 (Information Security) Standards.

Representatives from the Insights Association together with industry associations around the world are finalizing a rigorous update of ISO 20252, combining it with ISO 26362 and ISO 19731 (Digital Analytics and Web Analyses) into a more robust and comprehensive global standard. This newly revised and expanded ISO 20252 standard is expected to launch officially later this year.

“CIRQ has been growing as more companies in the industry discover the power of ISO to improve quality, safety, and predictability,” Overpeck commented. “Every executive is looking for ways to automate and remove risk from their day-to-day operations. Market Research (20252 and 26362) and IT (27001) ISO-based systems lead you down the path of efficiency and certification recognizes your arrival at that destination.” Consequently, over the past five years, dozens of companies in the marketing research and data analytics industry have realized gains through ISO systems and certification, he added. 

“The Insights Association enthusiastically supports CIRQ and the quality and efficiency standards it promotes to improve certified company operations, differentiate their presence internationally and further the acceptance and growth of accurate, actionable insights as an essential tool of business,” said David W. Almy, CEO of the Insights Association.

The Insights Association has developed educational and informational services relating to ISO 20252, ISO 23632 and ISO 27001 to support companies wishing to pursue certification, including templates, documents, guidelines, audit preparation training webinars and other guidance for developing internal company quality programs.

A non-profit entity, CIRQ is committed to providing timely, thorough and impartial assessments of its customers' quality management or information security management systems in regard to certification to corresponding standards. CIRQ was established in compliance with all ISO requirements for certification bodies that provide auditing and certification services. To conform to its mandate of objective and impartial audits to these ISO standards, CIRQ is independently operated and managed under the oversight of an independent Board of Directors and submits to annual moderation by external authorities on ISO certification bodies.

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