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A leader in Australian research
In today’s competitive environment, knowledge is power. But that knowledge is only useful if it is real and accurate. Research data needs to be backed by rigorous quality processes to ensure that business and government strategies are developed on the comparable and current information.
Roy Morgan Research is the only Australian-owned firm to offer a complete research and polling service – everything from project design and methodology to fieldwork and analysis.
With a strong commitment to their client’s needs, Roy Morgan Research was the first Australian market research company to undertake ISO 20252 (Market and Social Research Standard) certification. As Alice Leczycki, Roy Morgan’s Project Improvements Facilitator explains, it was essential to prove their quality standards if they wanted to win some sizable new business briefs.
“Nowadays, especially with government departments and major financial institutions, you really need to be able to show evidence of your standards,” she says. “Plus, the company has grown so much. Without these quality procedures, we simply wouldn’t be able to function.”
Quality targets designed for research
The ISO 20252 standard is quite unique in the certification landscape. Anthea Duke, Market Research auditor with NCSI, explains, “ISO 20252 was launched internationally in 2007, specifically for the market research sector. It effectively applies well known quality management standards to market and social research operations. It’s quite straightforward in its guidance and recommendations for any research business. For example, the validation levels required for surveys are completely clear – it’s prescriptive and it’s tailored to the industry.”
Anthea worked with the Roy Morgan team in 2007 to certify their processes to both ISO 20252 and ISO 9001. Because Roy Morgan provides such a comprehensive service, every aspect of the ISO 20252 standard applies to them.
Roy Morgan Research has its own field force, design and printing capabilities, and proprietary analysis and tabulation software (ASTEROID). The software provides a simple off-the shelf product for Single-Source, its syndicated weekly research sample, as well as fully-customised quantitative and qualitative research projects of all sizes.
Despite such an extensive number of assessable processes, going through the initial accreditation was not difficult, because “we were actually 99% there already,” says Alice. “All we needed to do was tidy up the edges. The management processes we had in place were fine, but we made them more transparent to our staff. For example, our client service team spends a lot of time writing proposals. We made it easier by creating standard templates for them.”
During the certification, Alice found that quality became a core part of the business culture. “It’s now a part of everything we do.”
Ready for future growth
Alice acknowledges that NCSI provided a great deal of help during the process. “It’s a service way beyond certification,” she says. “They are so helpful – we were able to brainstorm some issues with them and they gave great feedback. Because they see so many market research firms and how they work, they have a lot of useful ideas to share. Nothing confidential, of course!”
Now that Roy Morgan has a solid framework in place, they are able to pitch for more lucrative contracts. “We now find that we need to have the certification just to be considered – they wouldn’t even send us the brief if we weren’t,” says Alice. A number of major government projects have resulted.
In addition, they’ve been able to expand their services to meet changing industry trends.
“Online studies are a huge growth area,” says Alice. “But there are issues with this – to get a reasonable sample pool you need to offer respondents a choice of how they submit their answers. We recently surveyed a group of business owners, for example – they’re time poor so a link to an online survey made it easier for them to get involved. But some people don’t have access, so you need to give them a phone option too.”
Alice expects that the ISO 20252 will need to be fluid to reflect the rapid rate of change in research technology, but she has confidence that NSCI will advise her on any changes, and support her during their yearly audit.
For more information on how NCS International can assist you with your certification, call 1300 856 554 or Request a Quote Online.