Benefits and costs related to IQCS membership.


Fees summery

Advisory visits are £395 + inspector’s expenses. Advisory visits are not mandatory.
IQCS annual membership fee is £545. If your company is ISO20252 registered and joins as a member only company then there are no additional costs.
Inspection fees
Inspection fees generally range from £645 – £845.
They are relevant to all companies wanting to benefit from yearly audits conducted by our highly experienced inspectors. Most of our inspected members are not ISO20252 registered but some of our members choose to be inspected by the IQCS in addition to the ISO audits for all the reasons described below.
Inspection fees are based on total number of groups and/or face-to-face fieldwork days and/or telephone hours conducted, plus the number of methodologies undertaken in a calendar year. Also the number of sites to be visited are taken into consideration.

IQCS User Member Category

IQCS user members are UK based companies who do not have their own in-house data-collection, but commit to use providers who are IQCS accredited or ISO20252:2012 registered (and are inspected to verify this).
User members enjoy all the benefits of membership and have their fieldwork projects annually assessed and accredited by our independent inspectors.
For small / independent consultancies who may themselves not be ISO20252 registered, the IQCS User Membership category provides a level of reassurance to clients that fieldwork on their projects has
been undertaken by an accredited agency or to standards outlined under the IQCS /ISO20252:2012 standard.

User Membership Costs

The cost of accreditation is minimal. The membership fee is £545, and there is an annual inspection fee of £300.

What are the benefits?

Being a member of the IQCS offers exceptional value for money. We are the only quality organisation which offers members direct and active input into market research standards and tailored advice where needed. IQCS council members work for leading research companies, are often members of other quality association boards and ensure that the voice of IQCS member companies is heard in the industry. ISO 20252 standards are based on IQCS standards and IQCS council members are involved in reviewing them.

IQCS Member Benefits

IQCS company members directory

The IQCS member companies directory is a vital part of the IQCS website. Clients from all over the world use this directory to find their suppliers. More than 45% of all hits on the website are directed to the members directory. Other associations charge about the same rate as our annual membership fee just for this service in addition to their membership fee. Our members benefit from this service without additional charge.

IQCS Working Forums

We conduct working forums regularly throughout the year and cover hot topics such as changes to data protection regulations, changes to employment law, training of interviewers and supervisors, operational leadership, developments in the industry and related bodies and everything else important to our members. Members’ suggestions for working forums are very welcome and we invite high profile speakers such as representatives from the Information Commissioner’s Office, employment law specialists from leading law firms, key representatives from the Market Research Society and expert operational staff from some of the biggest research firms in the UK to conduct forums. Our members benefit from working forums without additional charge.

IQCS Networking

We always take every opportunity we can to get our members together to network and share common experiences and knowledge. At our working forums we ensure time is allocated for refreshments and socializing before or after the forum itself. We always finish off the AGM evening with a social – with wine and a delicious buffet, and we host a very well attended New Year’s party which is usually scheduled for February each year. All of these present a chance for people to meet old colleagues or new contacts in data-collection, share information on the latest issues facing us…or stories about their experience in the often challenging, frequently quirky world of research operations! Two representatives of each IQCS member company are invited to meet, mingle and enjoy fresh, healthy food and wine. No additional cost to member companies. All this is covered by the annual membership fee.

IQCS Council Advice

The IQCS council and Gill, our Administrator, have a wealth of market research experience and are very happy to advise members on everything data-collection related – from quality and operational processes to data-protection. Council members themselves work in all areas of market research, including hands on operations, quality, senior management, small business, telephone and field operations, qualitative / recruitment field, data security, risk management and other quality standards. If we can’t help, however, we will point members to someone with specialist knowledge who can.

MR Industry Connections

Council members are also very active in the industry in other areas and have representation on the MRS Company Partner Scheme (CPS), the Market Research Quality Standards Advisory Board (MRQSAB) and the Association of Qualitative Research (AQR), making sure the IQCS stays well connected within the industry.

Streamlining Processes/Reducing Costs

Our standards were designed to facilitate quality management and have been refined over the years by the operational stakeholders themselves to ensure that working to IQCS standards will most definitely help you structure and streamline processes – saving both time and money. The council and auditors are here to support applicants on the way and after they have been accepted as IQCS members. Costs of membership are easily offset by operational cost savings. The focus of the Standards is both on ensuring staff are adequately trained, supported and appraised, as well as providing assurance to clients that consistent quality is maintained. We survey our members annually to continually evaluate the Standards and ensure they are relevant and current. Feedback from members is that they feel that adoption of the Standards produces positive benefits for staff – facilitating their work, helping them feel more productive and appreciated and that client confidence in IQCS accredited data-collection leads to repeat business.

How does the IQCS keep costs so low?

We keep overheads low with the help of IQCS council members and member companies. Council members offer their services free of charge. Meeting space is usually sponsored by council members or by member companies. Auditors plan and combine audits where possible to keep travel and accommodation costs to the bare minimum. This enables us to focus on quality and on supporting our members and most importantly it helps us to keep the membership fee as low as it is now.



Phyllis Macfarlane


The IQCS has always been the benchmark for the interviewing standards to which we work here in GfK NOP, thus ensuring that we provide high quality interviewing for our clients.


John Kelly

Past President ESOMAR, Past Chairmain BMRA,
President elect Market Research Institute International.

The IQCS has led the world in setting the standards for data collection. The development of the UK BS7911 and, more recently, the worldwide ISO 20252 were based on the pioneering work of the visionaries who had the commitment and ability to establish an enduring and relevant standard.


The IQCS has recently conducted a survey asking for members’ feedback on standards and IQCS’ services.

Here are a few mentions from members:

  • Help and advice and understanding over the years. Inspectors with a real understanding of how field operates and the problems that can get in the way.
  • Summer party is always very nice. Working forums are very well organised. Audits are very detailed. Good value for money.
  • I have been actively involved with the forums and find they as well as the networking keep me abreast of the industry changes. IQCS is key in maintaining industry standards, and are always available to advise.
  • The unpaid Council Members work hard to ensure that the IQCS remains relevant to today’s MR world. IQCS provides a quality system that gives me, as a user, confidence that my work will be conducted properly and competently.
  • Able to see things from a practical point of view. Supportive of the industry
  • They are always available for questions and answer almost immediately.
  • The IQCS provides a platform for members to voice their opinions and input into the standards, ensuring these remain current and relevant. The Working Forums are very informative and facilities like the bulletin board and socials allow members to meet and discuss common problems and solutions.
  • Useful working forums at which issues can be discussed and networking opportunities across agencies.
  • Everyone is always very helpful.
  • Keeps members updated with current issues and information – particularly useful for smaller companies who do not have HR support systems.

More information on how to join the IQCS and application forms can be found here.