Quality for All – FAQ2023-10-30T12:28:33+00:00


Where can I get more details about ISO and CIRQ?2022-03-30T23:12:51+00:00

Visit cirq.org or reach out to Juliana Wood, CIRQ managing director, at Juliana.wood@cirq.org or 202-370-6318.

What is CIRQ?2022-03-30T23:12:28+00:00

The Certification Institute for Research Quality (CIRQ) is a subsidiary of the Insights Association, and was established in 2009 to provide audit and certification services to market research, insights and data analytics firms seeking certification to ISO 20252:2019 Market, opinion and social research, including insights and data analytics. CIRQ also offers audit and certification services for ISO 27001 Information technology – Security techniques – Information security management systems. A 501(c)(6) non-profit entity, CIRQ is managed with oversight from an independent Board of Directors. CIRQ is fully accredited by the American National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and undergoes annual assessments to ensure ongoing conformity and compliance to ISO requirements for certification bodies.

What is ISO?2022-03-30T23:12:02+00:00

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies, recognized globally as the authority on quality management. ISO members are national standards organizations that collaborate in the development and promotion of international standards, including those for the insights and market research industry.


Brands and clients aren’t demanding that my company be ISO certified. So why should I bother?2022-03-30T23:42:39+00:00

We’re all affected by the steady decline of consumer trust in our industry. By ignoring this trajectory, we are effectively saying that quality doesn’t matter. It is our responsibility — to our own companies and our industry as a whole — to change that story. Of course ISO certification is not the only path. But it has been proven effective around the globe as a way to force brands and clients to demand higher quality insights, rather than settle for high rates of fraudulent data.

I’ve already agreed to a code of conduct (such as Insights Association’s, ESOMAR’s and GDPR 40). Isn’t ISO redundant?2022-03-30T23:42:18+00:00

No. Agreeing to these codes are important. In doing so, you publicly demonstrate your commitment to organization-approved definitions of workplace ethics. But your compliance is monitored by the honor system. ISO certification is different: It’s a third-party validation of your best practices. Note that if you do already adhere to an industry organization code, you are likely much closer to ISO certification than you think. The only way to find out is to contact Juliana Wood at Juliana.wood@cirq.org or here.

I don’t have a panel. Can I still get certified?2022-03-30T23:41:54+00:00

Yes. The panel-specific standard (ISO 26362) was retired in 2019. The new, broader standard for insights and market research (ISO 20252:2019) covers the entire project life cycle. To earn certification, businesses do NOT need to adhere to every annex in the standard. CIRQ works with you to create a customized program that suits your product lines.

Do I need to align my processes to the ISO standard?2022-03-30T23:41:35+00:00

No, you don’t. Becoming certified is a choice. However, companies that go through the certification process have been proven to reap the cost benefits of streamlined procedures, as well as having a competitive advantage during the RFP process. What’s more, these companies are better prepared to withstand disruptions to the marketplace, from quick-changing industry trends to a catastrophic pandemic.

Do I need to hire someone to manage the certification process?2022-03-30T23:41:15+00:00

Maybe, but likely no. Most companies are able to successfully manage certification and sustained compliance using internal resources.

Isn’t the certification process very expensive?2022-03-30T23:40:55+00:00

The cost to become certified is affordable and on a sliding scale, based on your business’ specific needs. It’s quite possible your company already has much of the necessary benchmarks already in place. The only way to know is to start a conversation with Juliana Wood at Juliana.wood@cirq.org or here.

How will I fit the certification process into my business’ current workload?2022-03-30T23:40:34+00:00

Certification is less time-consuming than you think—in most cases, the actual commitment is significantly lower than the perceived one. Why? About 80% of businesses already have 80% of the required benchmarks in place! And remember: The level of effort required to become certified is well worth the efficiencies you gain.

Will ISO make my business a cookie-cutter of my competitors?2022-03-30T23:40:12+00:00

No. ISO is not a one-size-fits-all solution. CIRQ works with you to customize your program and protect your competitive advantages.

Does ISO require my business to rewrite my entire system?2022-03-30T23:39:50+00:00

No. ISO 20252:2109 is flexible. It bends to fit your existing system. You don’t change your processes to achieve certification; you organize, enhance and streamline. ISO gives you the framework and benchmarks you need to ensure your current practices are best practices.


Is the #QualityForAll initiative set in stone?2023-10-27T12:23:15+00:00

Definitely not! In fact, the initiative is already on its second iteration since its launch in April 2022. #QualityForAll will evolve as the story around quality evolves. We expect and welcome feedback and ideas to strengthen our messaging and increase our reach. If you have any comments or questions, please share them with us here!

Who can support the #QualityForAll initiative?2023-10-27T12:24:55+00:00

Everyone! #QualityForAll is by industry professionals for industry professionals, businesses and organizations.

How will the #QualityForAll initiative measure success?2023-10-27T12:24:17+00:00

The #QUALITYFORALL initiative’s mission is to increase awareness of ISO certification as a pathway to increasing brand demand for quality and consumer trust in our industry—this is what metrics will track. While not a measure of success, demonstrated interest and conversion are also being tracked.

Who is funding the #QualityForAll initiative?2023-10-27T12:26:23+00:00

Online insights provider Full Circle Research, is funding the #QualityForAll initiative in partnership with CIRQ. This includes R&D, programming, marketing and more. #QualityForAll Endorsers are also generously supplementing the initiative’s ad buys with in-kind opportunities, such as social posts and webinar hosting, as are other initiative supporters, including MRweb and WIRe.

When did the #QualityForAll initiative start, and who started it?2023-10-27T12:27:10+00:00

While it would be a few weeks until the initiative was named, the concept of #QualityForAll was conceived on January 27, 2022—the day Full Circle CEO Adam Weinstein returned home from the Insights Association’s CEO Summit. Read the full story here.

CIRQ provides audit and certification services for both ISO 20252:2019 and ISO 27001. Why doesn’t #QualityForAll include the 27001 standard?2023-10-27T12:27:34+00:00

The ISO 27001 standard is for information security management systems, specifically. ISO 20252 is for best practices in data quality throughout the entire insights and market research project life cycle. What’s more, it’s the easier of the two standards to achieve, thereby decreasing barriers to compliance.

#QualityForAll asserts that increasing the number of companies certified to ISO will increase consumer trust in our industry. How?2023-10-27T12:28:48+00:00

As more businesses become certified, the divergence between those that have proven best practices, and those that have not, will widen. Clients’ expectations will increase, and by default, brands will be forced to follow suit. The fact is that shifting consumer perception of our industry won’t happen unless there’s a shift in the product we deliver. And we can’t shift the product we deliver if we don’t clearly and methodically identify what market research and insights providers need in order to increase their quality output.

What is the problem that the #QualityForAll initiative seeks to help solve?2023-10-27T12:29:16+00:00

While it’s obvious that consumer trust in the data and service quality we provide is at an alarmingly low level, it’s not clear is how to reverse the trend. The first challenge is that our industry has no universal definition of quality. What’s more, there exists no clear path to establishing the parameters required to craft that definition. Factor in inconsistent demand from brands for high levels of service, and we’re in a perfect storm. One that threatens to undermine our entire profession.

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