At the last Committee meeting, following the resignation of Rachael Ormrod and Mike Imms, Ann Whalley was elected AQR chair unanimously, as was Fiona Jack vice chair, Liz Sykes honorary secretary and Anne Ward treasurer.

The new team aim to provide a representative and cohesive leadership, given their backgrounds. Whalley has experience of building a small business, Jack of international work, Sykes is managing director of a qualitative recruiment company while Ward is managing director of a firm within a large multinational group.

There are already a number of items on their agenda for the coming year:

  • The continued raising of professional standards

  • A drive to recruit and retain talented individuals to the industry

  • A move to adopt a more global ­ rather than international/national ­ perspective

  • The promotion of AQR outside the marketing press

Some of these issues are already being addressed. For instance, the theme of the next Trends Day has been deliberately drawn up to appeal to a wider audience, while the New Researchers’ Evening in July attracted many non-members. A new ‘global’ forum is on the cards, following the success of the QRCA/AQR Paris conference.

The soon to be published Recruitment Guidelines, meanwhile, reflect the importance of field and the start of a debate as to whether it needs a body of its own under the auspices of AQR or the MRS .

It’s going to be another busy year. You can tell.