QRCA Ethics and Practices

Taken together, the QRCA Code of Member Ethics and Guide to Professional Qualitative Research Practices are recognized in the industry as one of the most comprehensive efforts by any professional research association to address the issue of ethics and best practices. They provide a solid foundation for maintaining high standards within the profession, and members of related disciplines have taken them as models.

Code of Member Ethics

QRCA believes strongly that its members must uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior, not only in their work, but in their relationships with clients, field suppliers, colleagues and respondents. All members therefore agree to abide by the following principles:

  1. To conduct qualitative research in a professional manner, and to strive at all times to ensure that respondent recruiting, analysis and report preparation meet high standards of excellence.

  2. To avoid discriminatory practices in respondent selection. Unless clearly justified by the research project, members will not arbitrarily exclude participants based on age, sex, race, religion or physical appearance.

  3. To represent honestly their professional credentials, academic degrees, research experience and client lists when such information is made available to clients.

  4. Not to misrepresent their credentials in order to secure or maintain membership in QRCA, nor to assert or imply that QRCA membership is evidence of accreditation or endorsement.

  5. Not to offer or accept kickbacks or other favors in return for research business.

  6. To respect client and respondent confidentiality, and not to reveal proprietary research findings to others without explicit client approval.

  7. To use qualitative research procedures only for legitimate research purposes, and not, for example, as a ruse for product promotion.

  8. To treat respondents with respect and consideration, and at all times to conduct themselves in such a manner as to reflect favorably on the profession which they represent.

  9. To support the QRCA Charter and Bylaws, and to endeavor to further QRCA’s key objective: to enhance the professionalism of qualitative research.

  10. Not to engage in professional misconduct or inappropriate conduct, including but not limited to, engaging in business or professional conduct deemed detrimental to the Association, or engaging in conduct prejudicial to the aims or reputation of the Association.
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