AMSRO launches trustmark to ensure standards

AMSRO has launched a new trustmark to ensure standards across various areas such as privacy, ethics and quality.

The announcement: 

In an Australian-first, Australia’s peak body for the market and social research industry, the Association of Market & Social Research Organisations (AMSRO), has today launched the AMSRO Trustmark.

The Trustmark is a seal of endorsement that ensures AMSRO member companies are compliant with the highest ethical standards, particularly in regards to privacy. It also guarantees companies that their data is protected.

AMSRO President Nicola Hepenstall said: “At its heart, the AMSRO Trustmark reduces risk for both buyers of research and people who engage in research. A company working under our Trustmark confirms that they adhere to the new privacy laws, are externally audited to an accredited quality system and abide by the Industry Ethics code.

“The new Privacy Amendment Act, which came into effect on March 12, together with the redevelopment of AMSRO’s own Privacy Code, means that it is the right time to launch our Trustmark. The appetite for data from business and government to guide critical decision-making has never been greater, so it’s more important than ever that buyers of research are assured they are working with legitimate research professionals they can trust.”

There are three criteria AMSRO member companies must meet to qualify for the Trustmark: adhering to the Market & Social Research Privacy Code and the AMSRS Code of Professional Behaviour, and holding the International Standard for Market, Opinion and Social Research certification (ISO 20252).

AMSRO members are awarded the Trustmark as part of their membership once they have met the strict criteria. To maintain the Trustmark, AMSRO member companies will take part in an independent ISO audit, must comply with AMSRO’s co-regulated privacy code and participate in ongoing member training.

AGL Manager – Insights Stephen Paton said: “The introduction of the AMSRO Trustmark provides me with a simple way I can demonstrate to my non-research colleagues the quality and credentials of the research suppliers I recommend.   I can assure them we are buying research from an ethical company that stands up to regular and independent auditing and one with stringent operational policies.  We can be sure AGL will be represented in a highly professional manner and that we can rely on the results that we receive.”

AMSRO’s announcement of its Trustmark follows the redevelopment of its own privacy code for members, the Market and Social Research Privacy Code 2014, recently issued for public consultation.

The new code sets out how the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act are to be applied and complied with by AMSRO members in relation to the collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal information about research subjects.

“AMSRO pioneered its own, additional privacy code for members in 2003, which won an Australian Privacy Award in 2009. With the introduction of the new Privacy Act it was important that we revised our own code to reflect the new laws and be ready for those changes,” Hepenstall said.

“Our industry is unique because AMSRO members are co-regulated under the privacy code with AMSRO as the administrator and the Privacy Commissioner as the adjudicator of the code. The fact that we have a 10-year record without a privacy breach demonstrates the success of AMSRO in protecting the industry.

“We have worked collaboratively with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at every step. The public consultation is the final step in having our code approved by the Commissioner and ready to go.”

A copy of the consultation draft is available at www.amsro.com.au. Interested parties can make submissions on the draft Code by Wednesday 30 April 2014.

Submissions should be addressed to amsro@amsro.com.au

The Trustmark was launched at the AMSRO Leaders Forum in Sydney today.

Source: Third Avenue media release


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