Update Statement: CRIC Makes Key Decisions at November Board Meeting: Membership to open soon for industry; Canadian solution for CMRP; Standards and Advocacy
TORONTO, November 27, 2018—Key decisions were made at a November 13 Board Meeting of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) held at the Toronto offices of Ipsos Canada.
The organization continues to build up, as the nine founding CRIC Board Members voted to approve articles of incorporation, bylaws and other policies. Steps will be taken immediately to incorporate CRIC as a non-profit organization, and key direction was taken regarding important industry programs such as standards and advocacy, and the CMRP designation.
Statement of Purpose – Standards, Promotion and Advocacy
As part of the Articles of Incorporation, Board Members agreed on a statement of purpose, which further articulates CRIC’s vision and scope. The Statement reads as follows:
“CRIC’s mandate is to develop and approve market and research standards and supportive programs; provide effective promotion and advocacy for the market and insights research industry; serve as a source of information for the industry; and be a forum for collective industry action. CRIC will provide membership to research organizations and industry partners who share the purpose of the Corporation and meet criteria established by the Board of the Corporation.”
Membership – Accredited and Associate Category of Members
In an effort to broaden CRIC’s membership as soon as possible, the CRIC Board voted to open up, in the very near future, its membership to other organizations. Any interested agency that was a Gold Seal member before MRIA’s winding-down will be able to apply to become a CRIC member, and during CRIC’s initial start-up phase, will be provided a 1-year grace period to complete CRIC’s certification process. Any other organization that is interested in CRIC’s standards and advocacy services will need to undertake the certification process prior to membership consideration. This grace period for Gold Seal agencies is a limited time opportunity.
CRIC’s membership will be made up of two categories of shareholders: Class A voting shares for “Accredited Members.” More details will follow, but at a minimum, Accredited Members must be incorporated and have been accredited according to a soon-to-be-developed certification process. The Class B category for “Associate Members” will be non-voting and open to users of research, such as buyers of research, media, government, academia, etc. CRIC will also be open to suppliers to research companies, with details regarding the class of membership to be made public shortly.
CMRP – Support for a Canadian Solution
CRIC Board Members voted in favour of putting the collective weight of CRIC and their respective organizations behind endorsing a credible Canadian solution to the Canadian Market Research Professional designation, which fell to the wayside with MRIA’s closing down. As the corporate leadership of Canada’s largest employers in market and survey research, CRIC will take steps to ensure that the CMRP designation or an equivalent finds an appropriate home and continues to reflect the needs of the Canadian marketplace. In considering future employees or investing in the professional development of existing employees, CRIC Board Members agreed that it needed to take steps to ensure that any future designation should remain in Canadian control.
As previously announced, CRIC will work with Robert Wong, a Fellow of MRIA and retired Program Coordinator of the Georgian College’s post-graduate Research Analyst Program (RAP). Mr. Wong was heavily involved in the development and implementation of the certification program at MRIA and is currently consulting with research professionals who have earned their CMRP as he explores options to continue a Canadian certification program.
Standards – Canadianized Version of ESOMAR, AAPOR and WAPOR
The CRIC Board agreed that it would strike a Standards and Advocacy Standing Committee to develop the organization’s standards. As previously announced, CRIC will adopt a ‘Canadianized’ version of the most recent ESOMAR global standards. At this Board meeting, it was also agreed that CRIC would incorporate the polling standards of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the Word Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), in order to promote the highest ethics and transparency in policy-related and public opinion polling.
CRIC board members reiterated the need for the organization to be strong advocates for the market and survey research industry. In one of its first acts since it was inaugurated in August 2018, the CRIC Board intervened on the matter of Statistics Canada’s initiative to harvest the financial data of Canadians. CRIC sent letters to the federal Privacy Commissioner and the Senate of Canada’s Banking Committee, both of which are investigating the agency’s collection of data from financial institutions. CRIC believes that it can help identify innovative solutions for StatsCan that would allow the agency to work with reliable data, in a way that reflects today’s realities and evolving values. As a result of this intervention, the Chief Statistician of Canada has invited CRIC to a meeting to discuss the matter. Details to follow.
CRIC Board members also re-appointed Barry Watson (Environics) as Chair and Don Mills (CRA) as Co-Chair. Gary Bennewies (Ipsos) was appointed Secretary Treasurer.
Since its inaugural meeting on August 30, the CRIC Board has taken a number of steps to formalize the association. The decision to launch CRIC follows the demise of MRIA in July, which left a major void in the industry. The Board is aiming to hold its first open board meeting in Q1 of 2019