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Please include your details, the details of your complaint and who you are complaining about.

Please attach any evidence you may have (any correspondence, research proposals, etc.) in pdf format. Please specify which section of the MRSI Code you believe was breached. This all helps us to efficiently handle complaints, ensuring that your complaint gets resolved as soon as possible.

Complainant Details


Individual or company Details against who you are Lodging a complaint

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Please describe in details the issue causing you to lodge a complaint
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Which section of the code you believe has been breached?
  • Researchers must ensure that data subjects are not harmed as a direct result of their personal data being used for research.
  • Researchers must exercise special care when the nature of the research is sensitive or the circumstances under which the data was collected might cause a data subject to become upset or disturbed.
  • Researchers must remain mindful that research relies on public confidence in the integrity of research and the confidential treatment of the information provided for its success, and therefore must remain diligent in maintaining the distinction between research and non-research activities.
  • If researchers engage in non-research activities, for example promotional or commercial activities directed at individual data subjects, they must clearly distinguish and separate those activities from research.
  • Researchers must obtain the consent of the parent or responsible adult when collecting personal data from children or anyone for whom a legal guardian has been appointed.
  • Researchers must take special care when considering whether to involve children and young people in research. The questions asked must take into account their age and level of maturity.
  • When working with other vulnerable individuals, researchers must ensure that such individuals are capable of making informed decisions and are not unduly pressured to cooperate with a research request.

Researchers must limit the collection and/or processing of personal data to those items that are relevant to the research.

When collecting personal data directly from a data subject for the purpose of research:

  • Researchers must identify themselves promptly and data subjects must be able to verify the identity and bona fides of the researcher without difficulty.
  • Researchers must clearly state the general purpose of the research as soon as methodologically possible.
  • Researchers must ensure that participation is voluntary and based on information about the general purpose and nature of the research that is adequate and not misleading.
  • Researchers must inform data subjects if there is any activity that will involve re-contact and data subjects must agree to be re-contacted. The only exception to this is re-contact for quality control purposes.
  • Researchers must respect the right of data subjects to refuse requests to participate in research.
  • Researchers must allow data subjects to withdraw from the research at any time and access or rectify personal data held about them.
  • Passive data collection should be based on the consent of the data subject.
  • When using passive data collection methods where it is not possible to obtain consent, researchers must have legally permissible grounds to collect the data and they must remove or obscure any identifying characteristics as soon as operationally possible.

When using secondary data that includes personal data researchers must ensure that:

  • The intended use is compatible with the purpose for which the data was originally collected.
  • The data was not collected in violation of restrictions imposed by law, through deception, or in ways that were not apparent to or reasonably discernible and anticipated by the data subject.
  • The intended use was not specifically excluded in the privacy notice provided at the time of original collection.
  • Any requests from individual data subjects that their data not be used for other purposes are honoured.
  • Use of the data will not result in harm to data subjects and there are measures in place to guard against such harm.
  • If researchers plan to collect personal data for research that may also be used for a non-research purpose, this must be made clear to data subjects prior to data collection and their consent for the non-research use obtained.
  • Researchers must not share a data subject’s personal data with a client unless the data subject has given consent to do so and has agreed to the specific purpose for which it will be used.
  • Researchers must have a privacy notice that is readily accessible by data subjects and is easily understood.
  • Researchers must ensure that personal data cannot be traced nor an individual’s identity inferred via deductive disclosure (for example, through cross-analysis, small samples or combination with other data such as a client’s records or secondary data in the public domain).
  • Researchers must take all reasonable precautions to ensure that personal data is held securely. It must be protected against risks such as loss, unauthorised access, destruction, misuse, manipulation or disclosure.
  • Personal data is to be held no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected or used.
  • If personal data is to be transferred to subcontractors or other service providers, researchers must ensure that the recipients employ at least an equivalent level of security measures.
  • Researchers must take particular care to maintain the data protection rights of data subjects whose personal data is transferred from one jurisdiction to another. Such transfers must not be made without the consent of the data subject or other legally permissible grounds. In addition, researchers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that adequate security measures are observed and that the data protection principles of this Code are complied with.
  • In the event of a data breach containing personal data researchers have a duty of care for the data subjects involved and must follow all applicable data breach notification laws.
  • Researchers must design research to the specification and quality agreed with the client and in accordance with Article 9(a).
  • Researchers must ensure that findings and any interpretation of them are clearly and adequately supported by data.
  • Researchers must on request allow clients to arrange for independent checks on the quality of data collection and data preparation.
  • Researchers must provide clients with sufficient technical information about the research to enable them to assess the validity of the results and any conclusions drawn.
  • When reporting on the results of research, researchers must make a clear distinction between the findings, the researchers’ interpretation of those findings and any conclusions drawn or recommendations made.
  • When publishing research findings, researchers must ensure that the public has access to sufficient basic information to assess the quality of the data used and the validity of the conclusions.
  • Researchers must make available upon request the additional technical information necessary to assess the validity of any published findings, unless contractually prohibited.
  • When the client plans to publish the findings of a research project, researchers should ensure that they are consulted as to the form and content of publication. Both the client and the researcher have a responsibility to ensure that published results are not misleading.
  • Researchers must not allow their name or that of their organisation to be associated with the dissemination of conclusions from a research project unless those conclusions are adequately supported by the data.
  • Researchers must be honest, truthful and objective and ensure that their research is carried out in accordance with appropriate scientific research principles, methods and techniques.
  • Researchers must always behave ethically and must not do anything that might unjustifiably damage the reputation of research or lead to a loss of public confidence in it.
  • Researchers must be straightforward and honest in all of their professional and business dealings.
  • Researchers must not unjustifiably criticise other researchers.
  • Researchers must not make false or otherwise misleading statements about their skills, experience or activities, or about those of their organisation.
  • Researchers must conform to the generally accepted principles of fair competition.

Researchers must conform to all applicable international and national laws, and local codes of conduct and professional standards or rules.

  • Researchers must ensure that research is carried out in accordance with this Code, that clients and other parties to the research agree to comply with its requirements, and that the Code is applied, where appropriate, by all organisations, companies and individuals at all stages of the research.
  • Correction of a breach of this Code by a researcher, while desirable, does not excuse the breach.
  • Failure by an MRSI member to co-operate with a disciplinary investigation by MRSI into a possible breach of this Code, will be considered a breach of this Code. This also applies to members of other self-regulatory.
  • This Code and the principles enshrined in it should be adopted, and if it is adopted, must be implemented, nationally and internationally by the relevant local, national and international self-regulatory bodies. Researchers and clients also should familiarise themselves with relevant local self-regulatory documents on research and with decisions taken by the appropriate self-regulatory body.
  • Requests for interpretation of the principles contained in this Code must be submitted to the MRSI Professional Standards Committee.

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