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ISO standard for access panels aims to increase effectiveness of market, opinion and social research

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Access panels are becoming a key tool of market, opinion and social research. A new ISO standard will support this evolution by providing definitions and requirements to increase the quality and efficiency of access panels as well as providing internationally harmonized criteria to facilitate comparison of the results of access panels worldwide.

access panelsWhereas people are often reluctant to respond to research questionnaires or calls due to lack of time or concerns about security and privacy, access panels provide an innovative solution for driving market, opinion and social research forward.

Composed of a representative set of individuals who accept to complete questionnaires on various subjects, access panels often involve incentives and take advantage of the latest technology to extend their outreach. As such they can efficiently attract thousands, even millions of respondents from around the world at a cost lower than other conventional strategies.

ISO 26362:2009, Access panels in market, opinion and social research – Vocabulary and service requirements, provides definitions and guidelines for good practice, tackling issues such as recruitment, validation of identity, size and profile of panels. Its application will help address any limitations and exploit their potential to the fullest. The standard can also be used to evaluate access panels and assess their quality.

“ISO 26362 will encourage potential clients to take advantage of this innovative way of carrying out research, which is best suited to modern needs. It will also help researchers make the most of their resources to achieve consistent results” says Erich Wiegand, Convenor of the ISO working group on access panels and leader of the project.

The standard provides a lot more than just the bare minimum requirements for good research practice and adopts a flexible approach to ensure its applicability in all countries.

ISO 26362 will be used by organizations and professionals who own and/or use any type of access panels for market, opinion and social research, whether online (internet) or offline (telephone, face-to-face, etc.).

Mr. Wiegand adds “By helping to eliminate misunderstandings between organizations that order research and those that carry it out for them, as well as providing information that will help to improve customer satisfaction for goods and services, International Standards for market, opinion and social research are among the most productive ways for the industry to improve its effectiveness and market relevance.”

The standard is based on and should be used in conjunction with the more generic ISO 20252:2006, Market, opinion and social researchVocabulary and service requirements.

ISO 26362:2009, Access panels in market, opinion and social research – Vocabulary and service requirements was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 225, Market, opinion and social research. The standard is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 80 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).