Why Seek Certification to the ISO Research Quality Standards?
The Insights Association believes that certification to the International Standards Organization Research Standard (ISO 20252:2019 - Market, Opinion and Social Research, including Insights and Data Analytics may provide tangible benefits to marketing research and analytics companies, to the clients of research companies, and to the general public.
CIRQ’s ISO 20252:2019 program is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board to ISO 17065:2012, the ISO standard for certification bodies that provide auditing and certification services.
The benefits of implementing the ISO market research standard are numerous…
ISO is recognized worldwide as the authority on quality management. The ISO Research Standard is accepted and in some cases required globally.
ISO provides a tool for managing global offices, multiple project teams, and outsourced suppliers to a level of quality consistent with company protocol.
A documented ISO quality system manages variables and delivers “proof” of adequate controls including data protection and security addressing EU-US Privacy Shield, and other requirements and client concerns.
Studies have shown that ISO 20252-certified companies experience increased productivity and improved financial performance, compared to uncertified companies. This is due to less re-work, improved employee production and greater client satisfaction.
Companies that go through implementation create a Research Process (Quality) Management System which maximizes quality and efficiency. Once certified, the processes are established and guidelines in place for anyone to follow easily, making training, transitions, and trouble-shooting easier.
Employee Morale and Training
Defined roles and responsibilities, accountability of management, established training systems and a clear picture of how their roles affect quality and the overall success of the company, all contribute to more satisfied and motivated staff and ease of training new recruits.
Supplier Relationships and Control
As more processes are outsourced for efficiency and to access data in global markets, supplier relationships and quality control are increasingly critical to producing accurate and actionable data. ISO quality certification requires a company to have procedures in place to ensure that a supplier understands the requirements of the ISO research standards.
Easier Route to ISO 27001 (Information Security) Certification
Being certified to the ISO research standard enables a company to more easily certify to ISO 27001 since both require a management system with similar components.
The ISO Research Standard requires documentation of all processes and any changes, errors and discrepancies. This ensures consistency throughout production and accountability of all staff.
All processes, from cost quotation to client deliverables, are defined, outlined and documented, minimizing error. Change management is also documented, ensuring that efficiency is maximized.
Certification to the ISO standard provides third-party proof of your quality commitment and a respected point of differentiation in the marketplace.
Role of the Insights Association in ISO
Before merging with MRA to form the Insights Association, CASRO served as the official U.S. delegate in the development of ISO 20252 and ISO 26362. In 2019, ISO 20252 was revised to include the requirements from ISO 26362 (Market research in access panels) and ISO 19731 (Data analytics). This revision allowed for a removal of duplication between the two research standards, and updated clauses that align with the GDPR and newer technologies like web analytics not present in the older versions of the standards.
CIRQ (the Certification Institute for Research Quality) was formed to provide auditing and certification services globally to market research firms in order to assess their compliance with the applicable components of ISO 20252 and make a determination regarding certification. It remains the only established certification body in the U.S. to provide these services.
The Insights Association has developed educational and informational services relating to ISO 20252 to support research businesses that wish to pursue certification. These services include templates, documents, guidelines, audit preparation tools and training webinars, and other guidance for developing internal corporate quality programs.