How to join

We are accepting member applications throughout the year and we are very happy to schedule an advisory visit in for you. Please contact Gill to discuss this and any questions you may have.
Anyone who can demonstrate they have been working in the spirit of the standards for at least three months is able to apply for inspection and membership.

A current copy of the IQCS Benchmark Standards is available here . Please do not hesitate to contact IQCS if you have questions. Gill, our administrator, and the IQCS council are here to support you.

Current membership comprises a range of companies of all sizes, and from all over England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

IQCS user membership

Please visit our user members info page.


IQCS supplier membership. Choose between full membership and member only membership

Full members, enjoy all the benefits of membership and have their fieldwork annually assessed and accredited by our independent inspectors. Some of our full members are also ISO 20252 registered and opt to be inspected by the IQCS in addition to this. Benefits are a thorough inspection by very experienced auditors, advice on how to improve procedures, detailed feedback, a clear flag in the members directory and a much more quality focused team. Member companies take IQCS inspections very seriously and feed auditors’ comments back to their teams.

Member Only companies, who enjoy all the benefits of membership, but are not assessed by the IQCS. Member only companies are ISO 20252 registered, audited by an independent body such as the MQA and do not want to be inspected by the IQCS. Some of the biggest players in the industry are and have been members for many years and for good reasons.

Both tiers of membership provide the unique opportunity to input into the standards and help maintain the currency and relevance of these to the contemporary fieldwork environment.

Advisory visits:

Companies new to quality standards often opt for an advisory visit before they officially apply to IQCS membership. In order to help prepare companies for the initial inspection and membership, we can arrange an advisory visit to provide advice and assistance on what is required in order to meet the IQCS benchmark standards. Feedback from members has been very positive in relation to advisory visits and we do strongly advise anyone new to IQCS or ISO20252 to take advantage of this facility as an initial stage towards interviewer administered data-collection quality control procedures.

The Inspection process

Full Member companies are audited annually by one of our elected inspectors, all of whom have years of market research operational experience behind them, and proven professional competence. They are able to bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to bear throughout the inspection process.

All inspection reports are submitted to a judging panel of IQCS Council members. These reports are in an unattributed format to maintain individual company anonymity and the panel review the inspectors’ comments on the inspection and make a final decision on grading.

By having all inspections reviewed by a central panel, the IQCS Council is able to identify any common trends or shortfalls across the inspected companies, and recommend any necessary amendments to the existing standard or changes to the inspection process as a result.

How are the inspections structured?

      The auditor:

    • Discusses any points in the Application Questionnaire which need clarification with the company representative responsible for quality
    • Asks if anything on your Application Questionnaire has changed
    • Asks for a list of all jobs, with a fieldwork element, which have been completed since the last inspection
    • Randomly selects a variety of jobs to inspect


For each job selected, the Inspector will ask to see the following, as and when relevant:

    • the job number
    • fieldwork dates
    • the number of interviews achieved/respondents recruited/groups conducted/audits or mystery shops/observations undertaken
    • names of interviewers/recruiters/auditors/mystery shoppers (hereafter referred to as “individuals”) used
    • briefing documentation
    • a copy of the questionnaire or interviewing /recruitment guidelines used (if a paper copy exists)
    • the MRS Code of Conduct declaration signed by individual (if signing at the end of each interview is your chosen method)
    • if group discussions involved: a copy of the invitation issued, and moderator feedback
    • If hall tests: that appropriate supervision if accompaniments conducted
  • Validation (including remote monitoring in central telephone locations):
    • that a systematic and representative method was used to select work to be validated
    • that validation was conducted by appropriately trained people
    • the method(s) used, number attempted and number achieved is adequate
    • the results for a number of selected individuals whose work was validated
    • feedback given and action taken, if discrepancies found start and end dates of validation exercise
  • Appraisals (including Performance Feedback for Mystery Shoppers and Auditors)
    • individuals will be selected from the jobs chosen for inspection
    • for each individual selected, the Inspector will ask to see records of any appraisals conducted so far this year (January to December) and may also ask to look at their accompaniment/appraisal history.
    • the Inspector will also ask to see records of Supervisor appraisals
    • if a full time member of staff who spends the majority of their time carrying out supervisory tasks then their appraisal records shall be available for inspection
  • Training:
    • the Inspector will select a number of new individuals trained since your last inspection and ask to see their application forms and training records
    • the Inspector will also ask to see training records for one or more new Supervisors or assistant Supervisors trained since your last inspection
  • Finally, the Inspector may ask to see any of the items shown on the check list which have not already been seen.

Would you like to discuss membership with us?

Please feel free to contact IQCS Gill, our IQCS administrator via email or call her on 07935057275. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.

Application forms and supportive documents

IQCS Application for membership

Download (DOCX, 52KB)

IQCS Application for Inspection

Download (DOCX, 56KB)

IQCS Info on Fees

Download (DOCX, 52KB)

IQCS How inspections are conducted

Download (DOCX, 61KB)

IQCS Appeals process

Download (DOCX, 53KB)