ISO Standards for market research


Business and society rely heavily on market research, with users including companies, governments, research institutes, consumer associations, universities, and marketing and advertising agencies. In its various forms, market research contributes to many aspects of modern life, from the products and services we buy to the way we vote and to our behaviour as consumers and citizens.

ISO 20252:2006 Market, opinion and social research – Vocabulary and service requirements applies the principles of the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO's) quality management Standards (specifically ISO 9000:2005 Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary) to market, opinion, and social research. ISO 20252 harmonises at the international level the requirements of the various national Standards and industry codes that already exist for the sector. ISO 20252:

  • provides guidance and requirements on how market research studies are planned, carried out, supervised, and reported to clients commissioning such projects

  • covers all the stages of a research study from the initial contact between the client and service provider to the presentation of results to the client.

Access panels are becoming a key tool of market, opinion, and social research. ISO 26362:2009 Access panels in market, opinion and social research – Vocabulary and service requirements supports this evolution. ISO 26362:

  • provides definitions and requirements to increase the quality and efficiency of access panels, and internationally harmonised criteria to help to compare the results of access panels worldwide

  • provides definitions and guidelines for good practice, tackling issues such as recruitment, validation of identity, size, and profile of panels

  • can be used to evaluate access panels and assess their quality

  • is based on, and should be used in conjunction with, the more generic ISO 20252:2006.

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