Anthony Shephard, associate director at Mustard, shares his knowledge in Quality Assurance and, as Mustard’s Quality Management Representative, explains the benefits of working with an ISO 20252:2012 approved agency.

At Mustard we thrive on delivering a seamless service to our clients and we work hard to do this. 

As a market research agency, we adhere to the Market Research Society (MRS) Code of Conduct, Regulations and associated disciplinary procedures. This has been the foundation of good research, and sets out clear professional standards that all research practitioners must maintain.

Quality AssuranceAside from adhering to the MRS, and as part of our commitment to quality, we operate a Research Process Management System in line with our industry quality standard, ISO 20252:2012(E).

I have been the Mustard QMR or ‘Quality Management Representative’ since 2013 and although getting excited about quality may seem a bit dull it really does please me to be able to say that for the last 3 yearly assessments we have passed them all with flying colours (with no minor or major discrepancies in our quality management system observed).

So what are the benefits to our clients of working with an ISO 20252 approved research agency? Here is the lowdown:

1) We work in partnership with our clients to ensure that the research and consultancy services we provide fully meet their needs and expectations.

2) Delivering a high quality service is embedded in everything we do.  We have procedures in place that cover every aspect of our service to our client, from the initial enquiry to the briefing meeting, right through to research design, fieldwork, analysis and reporting.

3) This ensures consistency and traceability across the organisation, and enables us to review our effectiveness and continually identify opportunities for improvement.

4) We recognise that quality is the responsibility of every employee. We are focused on creating a culture that promotes high quality performance, innovation, a “can-do” attitude, and attention to detail amongst all of our staff and associates.

5) We invest heavily in staff training. We want to ensure our staff grow and stay on top of their game. We want to be able to offer our clients all the latest services and we actively encourage staff to develop specialisms in areas they have a genuine interest in. 

6) We like to work with partners that also have the highest quality standards. Many of our fieldwork partners are also ISO 20252 agencies. We like to ensure that our high standards are continued through every aspect of the work we do. We also have an approved supplier list and procedures in place to monitor the quality of who we work with.

7) We adopt a systematic and pragmatic approach to risk management when undertaking research projects on behalf of clients. We are realistic and understand that sometimes things don’t always run smoothly. We risk assess potential issues and look to identify them before they occur. We have preventive action and contingency plans in place.

8) We never rest on our laurels. We are continually looking at how we can improve our service quality, whether this is via the implementation of brand new processes or by looking at how we currently work and finding ways to work more efficiently.

9) We measure ourselves on how well we embed our quality procedures, both through our post-project client satisfaction surveys, and the team’s bi-annual appraisals / performance reviews.  

10) Above all we care. We care about delivering the best service possible. We care about the outputs we deliver and we care about leaving a good impression on our clients and other stakeholders that may come into contact with our work.

If you want to talk quality or have anything to add contact or call 0161 235 5270