NEWS24 June 2016

MRS issues new draft guidelines following polling inquiry

News Public Sector UK

UK — Two new sets of guidelines have been issued for consultation by the Market Research Society’s Standards Board (MRSB) following the report of the inquiry into the pre-election polling

The first provides guidance on age bands within sample frames; the second collates advice for non-researchers on how to interpret opinion polls.  

Though the existing MRS Code of Conduct ( 2014 ) outlines rules that address the issues raised by the inquiry’s findings, these latest actions have been voluntarily initiated by the MRS to support its members in implementing the recommendations. 

The MRS is also in talks with the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) to review and update the CIPR/MRS/RSS Best Practice Guidelines on Using Statistics in Communications. The guidelines will be passed to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) for its input once they have been updated. A new version is expected to be published later this year. 

“These actions are part of our ongoing commitment to supporting our members’ professional development and providing them with the tools they need to uphold the highest standards," said Jane Frost, chief executive of the MRS. "With our guidance on interpreting opinion polls we’re also looking to support anyone who uses polling results in their work – from policy-makers to journalists.

“The new guidelines will sit alongside the existing MRS Code of Conduct ( 2014 ), which remains the ethical standard by which all MRS members must abide.”