Principles of the Code of Conduct2.1
There are twelve guiding principles that underpin the Code of Conduct. These principles are the foundation stones upon which the specific guidelines are built. They are as follows:
I. MR subjects MUST be able to provide voluntary, informed consent to data collection and use, based upon a clear understanding of the purpose of the data collection and the use(s) to which the data will be put.
II. The rights of MR subjects MUST be observed, including rights to confidentiality, anonymity and the right to withdraw at any stage.
III. Market research MUST be kept separate from any form of promotion or selling, it MUST NOT be a vehicle for disguised promotion.
IV. MR subjects MUST be treated fairly and reasonably, with care and courtesy.
V. MR subjects MUST be protected for the duration of the study – not harmed, exposed, disadvantaged or made to feel uncomfortable in any way. Confidence in market research MUST NOT be abused.
VI. Data collection MUST be adequate, relevant and not excessive. Researchers MUST be transparent about the personal data they plan to collect, the reason(s) it is being collected and who it will be shared with.
VII. Data MUST be processed fairly and lawfully, and only used for the specific and lawful purposes for which it was obtained. Personal data must be accurate and up to date. It must be processed in accordance with the rights of individuals within national data protection and privacy legislation.
VIII. There MUST be no unauthorised or unlawful processing, loss, destruction or damage to personal data.
IX. Data can only be transferred, to a third party or overseas, when adequately protected.
X. Personal data MUST NOT be kept beyond the time required to fulfil the immediate purposes of the study.
XI. Researchers MUST behave ethically; they MUST NOT undermine or damage the reputation of healthcare market research. They MUST NOT disparage or appear to disparage competing companies or products.
XII. Researchers MUST conduct market research accurately, transparently, objectively and of appropriate quality.