Ask for Research - Terms and Conditions

Acceptance of the following terms and conditions is a prerequisite for commissioning Ask for Research:

1. Market Research Society Code of Conduct

As focused market research providers, our quality procedures relate directly to market research services which are the key focus of our service provision.

The Market Research Society Code of Conduct forms the foundation of the processes in place to ensure the quality, reliability and robustness of the research undertaken.

All members of Ask for Research will adhere to the MRS Code of Conduct. As part of this Code, it is required that we ensure client awareness of the Code of Conduct and their own responsibilities.

The Market Research Society Code of Conduct provides strict guidelines for all aspects of market research activity:

  • General responsibilities and working practices
  • Responsibilities to other members
  • Responsibilities of clients to agencies
  • Confidential survey research and other activities
  • Scope of the Code
  • Disciplinary action
  • The rights of respondents
  • The professional responsibilities of researchers
  • Mutual rights and responsibilities of researchers and clients
  • Data protection.

The Market Research Society Code of Conduct requires all of our clients to also abide by the Code of Conduct. A copy of this document can be downloaded from the MRS website at www.mrs.org.uk or alternatively we would be happy to provide a copy of the document.

2. Data Protection Act 1998

We are registered with the Data Protection Act 1998, and as such it is necessary all of our clients to be so registered.

All clients of Ask for Research will agree to be bound by the 1998 Data Protection Act in respect of any personal data passed to an agency to be used in a project and in respect to any personal data received from the agency resulting from a project.

3. Category of Market Research

As detailed within the 1998 Data Protection Act, six categories of market research have been identified as follows:

Category 1: This category covers "Classic" confidential research with no feedback of any personal data unless to others involved in that specific project, provided they are already or have agreed to be bound by the MRS Code of Conduct and treat the data as for research purposes only. This would, for example, enable non-research specialists involved in a project to have access to individual respondent data.

Category 2: This applies to research projects using sample frames drawn from client customer databases or other third party owned lists. In order to meet the fourth Principle in the 1998 Act, agencies must notify the client of instances where the individual is either "no longer at this address" (but not of any new address) or has died.

Category 3: This also applies to the use of client owned customer databases for sampling. The agency provides back to the client the names, or list of identification numbers, of all those contacted solely for the purpose of setting up "do not select for research" (including those who declined to be interviewed on that occasion) markers on the customer database in order to prevent over researching individual customers.

Category 4: In this case a respondent, or the client, has requested that the interviewer(s) feed back to the client details of a specific complaint or dissatisfaction for investigation. The key points are firstly that the respondent must have given their consent - to both the principle of this feedback taking place and the content (to ensure that it accurately describes the details); secondly that the only details provided to the client are the respondents' contact details plus a description of the complaint, and thirdly that the client can only use that information to deal with the issue raised and for no other purpose.

Category 5: In this case the client (probably the market research department) receives the results from the project at an individual respondent level but with the condition that the data at this personal level are only used for research purposes. This responsibility must be part of the project contract between agency and client. This is wider than category 1 as it could apply to anyone within the organisation, not just those in the project team. An example would be videotapes from group discussions.

Category 6:This covers all projects where some or all of the data will be used by the client at a personal level for purposes in addition to, or instead of, those defined in the 1998 Act and MRS Code as confidential research.

Within all of the above categories, client organisations have the responsibility as data controllers under the 1998 Data Protection Act to ensure that any data at a personal level passed back from an agency is used solely for the purpose(s) for which the respondent gave their informed consent.

4. Project proposals/tenders/specification

Unless paid for by the client, the specification drawn up by Ask for Research for a project is the property of Ask for Research.

5. Project delay and cancellations

In the event of the client cancelling the project after commission, Ask for Research withholds the right to cost and charge the client for the work completed to the point of receipt of written cancellation.

In addition, a cost may be charged for non-direct costs. This could include for example, costs incurred in securing the work, income lost due to declining other client work in favour of this project and any committed costs to our own suppliers. In the event of any delay on behalf of the client causing us to incur additional project costs, the client will be informed of this consideration (such as the need to rearrange interviewers) and the direct cost incurred would be passed onto the client.

6. The scope of market research

Whilst confident in the professionalism and thoroughness of our approach to projects and all activities we undertake, we need to highlight the fact that market research is not a precise science, and factors can occur that mean project's objectives may not be met.

We ensure to inform clients of any difficulties or concerns with the research we undertake on their behalf as soon as this is identified, but cannot be held responsible for any factors that prevent abilities to meet project objectives, estimated costs or timescales.

7. Publication of findings

Where any of the findings of a research project are published by the client, the latter has a responsibility to ensure that these are not misleading. Ask for Research must be consulted, and agree in advance, about the form and content of publication and must take any action to correct any misleading statements about the research and its findings.

If the client does not consult Ask for Research in advance the form of publication with Ask for Research, the latter is entitled to - (a) refuse permission for their name to be used in connection with the published findings and (b) publish the appropriate technical details of the project.

8. Storage of hard copy data

Due to their impact on storage, unless otherwise requested by the client before the payment of the final invoice, all hardcopies of questionnaires (including audio/visual tapes of interviews and focus groups) produced in relation to a project will be professionally and securely destroyed after a period of 1 year from completion of fieldwork. Electronic version/s of such questionnaire data will be retained by us for a period of 5 years.

If a client would like us to retain the hardcopies of the questionnaires for a longer period then they must inform us in writing prior to the payment of the final project invoice.

9. Storage of electronic data

Generated data files of the questionnaire data, report and supporting documentation obtained through the survey will be held electronically for 5 years from receipt of payment of the final invoice.

Unless requested by the client prior to the end of this duration, Ask for Research withholds the right to destroy all of this material after 5 years from receipt of the final payment.

10. Terms of payment

In order to cover costs incurred early on in project work, such as interviewer fees, our preferred terms of payment are to raise an invoice for 50% of the project value upon commission and 50% of the project value upon completion.

Our terms are for payment within 30 days from the date of invoice.

Please note that ownership of all information, data and materials remains with Ask for Research until payment has been received and cleared in full. Dissemination of the information generated from the project to individuals or organisations other than those detailed as the client, or use of the information, is not permitted until payment has been made and cleared in full.

VAT will be charged at the standard rate to all invoices.

We were very pleased with the thorough approach adopted by Ask for Research and their flexibility in meeting restricted timescales set by the client. We were delighted with the outcomes of the survey which confirmed the expectations of our project and met the requirements of funding partners to monitor outcomes.

Colin Phillips

Regeneration Officer

Monmouthshire County Council