ISO 20252 for Market Research Industry

ISO 20252 standardizes the requirements for market research worldwide, encouraging consistency and transparency in the way surveys are carried out, and confidence in their results and in their providers.

Business and society rely heavily on market research, with users including companies, governments, research institutes, consumer associations, universities, and marketing and advertising agencies. Market research contributes to many aspects of modern life, from products and services we buy, to the way we vote, and to our behavior as consumers and citizens.

ISO 20252:2006, Market, Opinion, and Social Research – Vocabulary and Service Requirements, applies the principles of ISO’s quality management standards (specifically ISO 9000:2000, Quality Management Systems – Fundamentals and Vocabulary) to market, opinion, and social research. ISO 20252 harmonizes the requirements of the various national standards and industry codes that already exist for the sector.

The intention was to develop an International Standard that sets out guidance and requirements relating to the way in which market research studies are planned, carried out, supervised, and reported to clients commissioning such projects. Therefore, ISO 20252 covers all the stages of a research study: from the initial contact between the client and service provider, to presentations of results to the client.

National standards have been developed in many countries over the last ten years, fostering awareness of the importance of quality in market research. Nevertheless, there are cultural, social, and behavioral differences between countries concerning products and services.

Consequently, ISO 20252 is necessary in order to regulate these differences and permit cross-border multi-country research studies to be carried out with the assurance that working procedures are homogeneous and comparable. In addition, it will enable clients to obtain globally compatible feedback and make better informed choices of service providers.

ISO 20252 is expected to perform a vital role by helping the market research industry build a reputation for global compatibility, traceability, and continual improvement. And, it can heighten awareness of the value of professional market research activities in helping organizations make well informed decisions.