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MRS Road Show 2013. Jane Frost, CBE Chief Executive. Topics for today. The way forward Jane Frost MRS membership grade review Debrah Harding Proposed changes to the MRS Code of Conduct Barry Ryan.

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MRS Road Show 2013

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mrs road show 2013

MRS Road Show 2013

Jane Frost, CBE

Chief Executive

topics for today
Topics for today
  • The way forwardJane Frost
  • MRS membership grade reviewDebrah Harding
  • Proposed changes to the MRS Code of ConductBarry Ryan

“The “Evidence Business” is one of the UK’s major service industries generating creative and intellectual capital to solve commercial and public service issues. It asks more questions and helps supply more solutions than any other service business.

  • The UK is a world leader in the creation of this intellectual capital which is generated from marketing science, insight, research and analytics.
  • MRS represents, regulates and promotes these sectors exploring world leading training, qualifications, content and skills worldwide on behalf of it’s members at home and abroad.”

“Market Research is the bridge at which people as a whole, meet those who exercise some power over [them]”

Tony Benn

  • Prison inmates paid to collect information from homeowners for insurance companies

Prisoners Cold Call From Jail Call Centres

Oakwood and Drake Hall inmates working in prison call centres

Cold calling convicts used to soft sell

Prison jobs always cause controversy – from breaking rocks to market research

Prison inmates working at call centres set up in jail

  • Procurement
      • Government
      • ISBA
      • IPA
  • SMEs
  • Lobbying
  • EU data regulation
  • Reference organisation
      • PWC
      • Delphi
      • Data
  • “PCC had a very good core did not abide by it legally or ethically”
  • Hacked off / Leveson
where to next
Where to next?
  • Stay in business – investing in digital infrastructure
  • “Widen” access – membership – training
  • “Own” understanding consumer/marketing sciences – content
  • “Build” on government recognition and other policy successes
mrs membership grade review

MRS Membership Grade Review

Debrah Harding

Chief Operating Officer

my topics for today
My topics for today
  • Membership grades, criteria and pathways
  • Continuous Professional Development
  • Next steps
membership grade review
Membership grade review

Aim of the membership grade review is to make grades:

  • clearer
  • more accessible by a larger amount of practitioners to reflect the new evidence business landscape
  • easier to understand
  • enhanced routes for measureable professional development through CPD
honorary grades and fellows
Honorary Grades and Fellows
  • Criteria and allocation of Honorary grades remain at the discretion of the Main Board
  • Will review Fellowship criteria alongside the main membership grade review to ensure the Honorary grades complement any changes to the member grades
  • Aim to ‘open up’ access to Fellowship and this is being looked at separately by the Fellows Board
certified member
Certified Member
  • The professional membership grade
  • Widen out access – providing 10 routes to Certified membership
  • The approach will be based about qualifications, experience and Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
  • All the current routes to Full membership will continue
  • No formal entry requirement
  • Voting rights but limited in ability to serve on MRS Boards e.g. limited number of MRS Members to serve on Main Board, not able to serve on Market Research Standards Board, etc.
developing cpd for mrs
Developing CPD for MRS


  • Establishes the seriousness of the profession
  • Positive differentiation from practitioners outside the MRS
  • Improves the overall quality and skills of practitioners in the sector
  • Provides a framework for measurement of skills, training and knowledge

The proposed MRS CPD programme is:

  • To follow CPD best practice and allocate “CPD hours” to categories of professional development.
  • 1 year of CPD = 21 hours of professional development
  • MRS CPD will be non-compulsory for members but will add annual reminder to members (at renewal time) of the requirement to stay up to date
  • CPD will form a key part of the proposed new grading structure, enabling members to more easily up-grade and receive recognition for their professional development and experience
  • CPD scheme will recognise relevant non-MRS provision
  • CPD will be administered online giving power to members to maintain logs, etc

Example of Category mapping against CPD hours

proposed implementation
Proposed Implementation
  • Consultation on new member grades from now until December
  • Take on board feedback from Members
  • December 2013 MRS Main Board meeting to discuss outcome of consultation
  • Aim for an EGM in early 2014 to vote on grade changes
  • If accepted at EGM, new grades will apply from April 2014
  • MRS will assist those members wishing to upgrade quickly
  • Throughout this period MRS will be formalising the CPD system
revisions to the mrs code of conduct

Revisions to the MRS Code of Conduct

Barry Ryan,

Director, MRS Policy Unit

the code of conduct
The Code of Conduct
  • First “Code of Standards” published in 1954
  • Current version adopted in 2010.
  • Binding on all Members and Company Partners
why have a code
Why have a code?
  • Protects research from outside regulation
  • Promotes ethical and responsible research practices
  • Explains legal requirements to researchers and clients alike (about two thirds of rules are legal obligations)
building on experience
Building on experience
  • Codeline offers free confidential advice on the Code and regulated legislation
  • Over 2,000 queries on the 2010 text
  • Demonstrated need for clearer rules to prevent illegal data processing and unintended direct marketing
new challenges
New Challenges
  • Migration of interviewing from telephone and face to face to online
  • Introduction of passive data collection
  • Growth of analysis of existing (massive) datasets
  • Public concern about privacy
  • Expected changes in Data Protection law
no change
No change
  • The principles of the Code remain unchanged
        • Provide the moral framework of the code
        • Important for aligning with other research Codes
        • Importance of voluntary participation
        • Permission for interviews with under 16s
        • Prohibition of client incentives
  • Ensuring rules are technology and methodology neutral
        • Not based on “interviewer and respondent” model
        • Eliminating unnecessary repetition
        • Removing “membership” rules
        • Clarifying obligations
          • Members must ensure…
          • Members must take reasonable steps to ensure…
new definitions
New definitions
  • Participant replaces respondent
  • Anonymisationis the process of removing, obscuring, aggregating or altering identifiers to prevent the likely identification using reasonable means of the individuals to whom the data originally related.
  • Direct marketing is communication by whatever means of any advertising or marketing material, which is carried out by a direct marketer itself or on their behalf and which is directed to particular individuals
  • Plus definitions from the Data Protection Act 1998
new rules
New rules
  • 12. Members must ensure that research purposes are clearly distinguished from direct marketing.
  • Comment: Client materials, advertisements, products and services may legitimately be the subject matter of a research project. The following practices however fall within the scope of direct marketing:
    • The offering of client goods or services, or vouchers to purchase client goods or services as an incentive, reward or expression of thanks;
    • The use of promotional language in describing a client in invitations or introductions to projects;
    • The offering of materials to participants which promote a client or their products and services at the conclusion of a project.
new rules1
New rules
  • 14. Where incentives are offered, members must ensure that participants are clearly informed:
  • who will administer the incentive;
  • what the incentive will be;
  • when the participant will receive the incentive; and
  • whether any conditions are attached e.g. completion of a specific task or passing of quality control checks.
  • Comment: For further information, and rules on free prize draws, members should consult the separate MRS Regulations Administering Incentives and Free Prize Draws
new rules2
New rules
  • 16. Members must ensure that participants give their informed consent where information is collected directly from a participant.
  • 17. Members must ensure that they have a fair and lawful basis for the collection and processing of personal data from sources other than the data subject themselves.
new rules3
New rules
  • 27. Members must take reasonable steps ensure that anonymisation is effective, with reference to developments in technology and the data environment into which data are released.
  • Comment: This rule applies to anonymisation undertaken by members and to anonymisation of data sets undertaken by clients prior to analysis by members. Members are referred to the ICO’s Anonymisation Code of Practice.
new rules4
New Rules
  • Comment: Members should be particularly careful that they do not inadvertently identify participants. For example this may arise
  • where sample sizes are very small (such as business and employee research);
  • where data contains sufficient contextual information to permit identification (such as attributes or descriptions of participants);
  • where data can be matched with publically available information (such as social media profiles); or
  • where data can be matched with other sources (such as transaction histories held by clients).
  • Consultation runs until December 2013
  • MRSB will review comments and feedback, before recommending final version.
  • Approval by Main Board
  • New Code will be published in early 2014 and come into force three months later.
thank you
Thank You

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