MRS is committed to providing the research practitioners with the necessary tools to ensure inclusive research, insight and data collection. In line with this, the following guidelines and updates are available or currently being worked on.

Already available:

To address some of the legal and privacy concerns MRS has issued new guidance:

Supplementing the privacy guidance, MRS has two existing best practice documents on researching age as well as sex and gender:

MRS Best Practice Guide: Age bands for researching over 65s: this guidance addresses the importance of introducing additional older age bands into demographic screening questions. Practice has tended to treat participants aged 65 and over as a single homogeneous group. However those aged 65 and over can cover two separate generations, who will have different reference points and life experiences.

MRS Best Practice Guide: Collecting data on sex and gender: this guidance helps practitioners to legally and ethically collect data and ask questions on biological sex, gender and gender identity. This guidance includes advice on questions, response options and other methodological issues. 

MRS has produced several further documents to support the inclusive research agenda:

MRS is liaising with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Harmonisation team in the development of this new guidance to ensure that the MRS guidance complements the ONS and the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) strategy Statistics for the Public Good supported by the work of the Inclusive Data Taskforce (IDTF). The IDTF report, Leaving no one behind – How can we be more inclusive in our data?, was issued in September 2021 and is available here.

MRS is aligning its guidance with the IDTF recommendations to ensure that the research and statistics sector has a single cohesive approach to gathering inclusive data.

Update to the MRS Code of Conduct

The final strand is the update to the MRS Code of Conduct which will require increased transparency when reporting sampling parameters. The MRS Code update, which is being undertaken throughout 2022, will require the inclusion of sampling characteristics which have been used when providing or reporting ‘National Representative’ or ‘City Representative’ samples. This requirement will be provided as a Note expanding and interpreting the current MRS Code of Conduct (2019) requirements as specified in rules 58 and 58:

  1. Members must ensure that data include sufficient technical information to enable reasonable assessment of the validity of results.
  2. Members must ensure that reports include sufficient information to enable reasonable assessment of the validity of results.

This update is planned to come into effect by the end of 2022.

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