Introduction to the ISO 20252:2019

The principal objective of international standardization within the market, opinion and social research (henceforth referred to as “research”) is the facilitation of global and consistent industry standards applicable to different national and regional markets. The intent of this document is to follow a structure to ensure that its implementation leads to continual improvement of research and to harmonize other national standards and industry codes already available.

With the emergence and general acceptance of online samples for market, opinion and social research, a primary source of online samples, online access panels, have evolved in their use and have been augmented with other online sample sources. ISO 26362:2009 has been withdrawn and incorporated into this document which now covers access panels, both online and offline.

The research business core framework is established and documented as Clause 4 of this document. The normative annexes provide the specific framework for various globally recognized research methodologies. The service provider can align their practices to the requirements as stated within each annex in order to attest conformity to the particular research methodology or functions.

The intent is to apply the requirements specified in Clause 4 as the mandatory framework for any attestation by a service provider conforming with this document, supported by at least one annex. The structure and scope of this document does not permit any attestation to this document without also meeting the requirements of at least one annex.

Regardless of whether a business undertakes research activities as an in-house or outsourced function, the service provider is ultimately responsible for ensuring that research activities meet the requirements of this document. Therefore, the scope and boundaries of the applicable disciplines need to be reflected in the statement of applicability (SoA), including the annexes with management processes in place to ensure the requirements of this document are met.

Any claim of attestation will state clearly and unambiguously which annexes conform with this document. The long-term aim is that businesses will attest the majority, if not all, of their research activities to this document.

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