The reputation of the industry depends on the adherence of its members to professional standards. AQR has always pioneered their creation and maintenance and is involved at a number of different levels.
It has, for instance, created the minimum standards in qualitative research for the Market Research Quality Standards Association (MRQSA) - the industry kite-mark. AQR also supports such developments as the MRS Qualitative Research Guidelines and the MRS Code of Conduct, which were published after much public consultation in 1998.
It has a seat on the Industry Liaison Group and represents the industry at numerous conferences and seminars at home and abroad.
AQR is also involved in contentious issues in research. For example, in recent years it has been at the forefront of the debate on recruitment practices and standards. It set up a Working Party to examine recruitment practices in depth, whose findings were presented in draft guideline format at the MRS Conference in 1995. Since then it has stimulated debate on this issue - and final recommendations are imminent. It is, however, working to integrate the recruitment guidelines and the qualitative guidelines of the MRS Code of Conduct.
Alongside this has been a move towards greater involvement of the field sector in the activities of AQR.
All of this is illustrative of a more generally inclusive approach that will improve qualitative research as a product, raise its status as an industry and increase the professionalism of its practitioners.