I’m an individual market researcher in Canada: Which association should I join?


What’s up Canadian researchers! In recent weeks…

  • CRIC set out a statement of purpose and polices to help market research companies in Canada.
  • ESOMAR announced a partnership with CRIC to help individual researchers whose company’s are members of CRIC.

But what about students, academics, government employees, freelancers like me, and all the individual researchers from Canadian companies that aren’t members of CRIC? Where do these people turn?

Fortunately, I’ve helped provide a Canadian perspective to a lot of really great organizations over the years including:

  • ISO: I’ve been the Canadian Chair of the International Standards Association, TC 225: Market, Opinion, and Social Research committee since 2014
  • Insights Association: I was part of the MRA Research Advisory Board (2016), and worked on the MRA/IMRO Guide to the Top 16 Social Media Research Questions (2010)
  • ESOMAR: I helped with the ESOMAR/GRBN Guideline on Social Media Research (2017), ESOMAR 24 Questions for Social Media Research (2010), ESOMAR Guide to Market Research (2016)
  • AAPOR: I helped AAPOR with the planning group for council on diversity (2016), national conference planning (2018), board nominations (2015), conference code of conduct (2017)

In other words, I’ve seen first hand that these associations have decades of experience in promoting high quality standards and ethics in our industry and have been longtime supporters of the Canadian industry as well.

You will be extremely well served as an individual member of one of these four associations.

  1. AAPOR: If you’re an academic, polling geek, or into social and political research, this is a great association for you. Even better, their annual conference will be in Toronto this May. I’m helping them organize the chapter event!
  2. ESOMAR: If you conduct research around the world or want to stay in touch with what’s new and amazing in countries beyond our borders, look no further. Esomar is a great choice for you even if your company is not a member of CRIC.
  3. Insights Association: If much of your work is conducted in North America, why not say a howdy hello to our neighbours to the south sharing the same time zone as us!
  4. QRCA: Oh quallies, you’ve built something amazing here. If you’re a quallie and not already a member, correct that mistake post haste!

There are, of course, other options. But before jumping into one, do your homework. Make sure the association and association leaders you choose have a solid foundation and proven track record of promoting high standards and ethical behaviours, and are viewed as gold-standard providers by our industry leaders.

If you aren’t sure which association is right for you, talk to several of your clients or research providers. Find out which associations they know and trust. And if you’re still stuck, I’d be happy to help you out. Send me a quick message.

[Side note: MRIA-TT progress is slow. We don’t yet have an option to add to the above list.]

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