The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Qualitative Research Recruitment

These Best Practice Rules and Guidelines are aimed at those involved professionally in qualitative research recruitment, whether individuals or organisations, primarily research and Field/recruitment practitioners but also clients who commission qualitative research. The rules and guidelines also address the needs, interests and responsibilities of respondents, members of the public who take part in qualitative research.

Why have these rules and guidelines? They have been drawn up for a number of reasons:

  • to meet the growing need for common standards in the industry

  • to increase and maintain standards of professionalism in qualitative research and to promote the values of honesty, reliability, confidentiality and transparency

  • the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA98) requires certain standards and practices to be observed and implemented, by law. These are primarily concerned with protecting the rights of respondents

There is therefore merit in setting out existing (and new) rules and agreed standards, not only for current practitioners and users of qualitative research but also to help to safeguard the future of the industry.

These guidelines were developed in consultation with the market research profession's governing body, The Market Research Society (MRS). They define the essential aspects of the effective recruitment of respondents for market research groups. The publication of these new AQR guidelines coincides with the MRS revision of its Code of Conduct in relation to qualitative research. Copies of the Code of Conduct can be found in the Code/Guidelines section of the MRS website.