MRS has developed a CPD programme for the following reasons:
To establish the seriousness of the profession
To provide positive differentiation from practitioners outside MRS
To improve the overall quality and skills of practitioners in the sector
To provide a framework for measurement of skills, training and knowledge
To expand the entry route to MRS Certified Member status
To provide members with a tool for recording and tracking their learning and development as they progress through their careers.
To provide members and Company Partners with a professional development tool to assist in managing professional development within their organisation e.g. developing competency standards, identifying training needs, logging individuals’ learning and achievements, assisting with appraisals, etc.
All members can access the CPD programme, irrespective of their grade. The CPD programme is a pathway for enabling members to upgrade their membership. However, its application is much wider than this; for example any members wishing to log their professional development, plan their future learning needs, structure their career development, the MRS CPD programme is an invaluable tool.
The MRS CPD programme is not mandatory. Neither current MRS Certified Members nor those that achieve Certified Member status, via one of the CPD upgrade pathways, need to continue with CPD. However, we would recommend that members use the system for its benefits supporting professional development, career planning and as part of life-long learning.
MRS members wishing to use CPD to contribute towards upgrading their membership will need to complete a minimum of 21 hours (14 of these must be formal hours, the remaining 7 may be composed of either formal
or informal hours) in a 12 month period.
MRS members that wish to use CPD for other purposes – e.g. as a formal log of their learning – there is no minimum or maximum limit. The 21 hours is MRS’s recommended annual minimum CPD in order to stay fully up-to-date as a professional; in practice, many members may exceed this figure in order to achieve their development plan.
In line with other professional bodies MRS believes it is important to set a minimum number of hours of CPD per year as a benchmark for gaining Certified Membership. Eligibility for MRS Certified Membership and the use of the designation ‘CMRS’ is not simply an indicator of hours completed. It is an indication to the profession and the wider sector that a Certified Member adheres to the MRS Code of Conduct and other Ethical guidelines, meets the MRS 12 Benchmark Standards of membership, and has demonstrated their professional knowledge, understanding and experience. The requirement for 21 hours plus is in line with the requirements of other professional bodies.
MRS Benchmark Standards provide a standard which individuals can be measured against for eligibility for Certified Membership of MRS.
The Benchmark Standards demonstrate what being an MRS Certified Member means in terms of the competency of practitioners, and the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected at this level. Some of the standards have more weight than others, although all of the standards are important.
In order to become a Certified Member, within the 21 hours you will need to demonstrate a minimum of 1 hour of CPD (informal/formal) against the mandatory standards – 1, 2 or 3, 7, 8, 9 & 10.
STANDARD 1: Ethical and legal considerations governing the conduct of MRS members
STANDARD 2: Research within its broad political/economic social/ technological context
STANDARD 3: The role of research in decision making within an organisation
STANDARD 4: Client and supply relationships in research
STANDARD 5: Project management (including planning and the use of resources)
STANDARD 6: Oral and/or written communication skills
STANDARD 7: Awareness and evaluation of research methodologies
STANDARD 8: Conducting all or part of a research project
STANDARD 9: A nominated specialist area in research
STANDARD 10: Quality control and assessment in research
STANDARD 11: Commitment to your own personal and professional development
STANDARD 12: Commitment to the development of others and or the profession
Formal CPD is the undertaking of any formal learning activity designed to meet a specific learning outcome within a Personal Development Plan (PDP). An example of this would be attending a one day training course to understand Statistical Methods.
Formal Learning includes, but is not restricted to:
attending a training course, seminar, workshop or conference
studying for an examination
writing an article or book
speaking or contributing to
This would include any form of delivery e.g. online, face to face, etc.
Informal CPD is any informal activity an individual considers has met a learning outcome within their PDP. This might include reading a publication e.g. Impact Magazine or the International Journal of Market Research that includes an article on a topic for which they have a development need.
MRS CPD system allows you to allocate CPD hours for all MRS provision (both
formal and informal) plus any provision that has either been accredited or
formally recognised by MRS. The MRS CPD Handbook
will provide guidance as to likely learning hours and provide clarification
regarding whether other provision meets MRS requirements, is informal or
formal, and the allocated CPD hours. You
can also call the MRS CPD Advisory Service, a dedicated telephone and email
service for MRS members undertaking CPD.
MRS will give you access to an on-line Professional Development Framework Tool which will help you determineyour professional development needs against the MRS Benchmark Standards. This will form your Professional Development Plan, and the on-line tool will help you planhow you can best meet your needs, create an action plan/list and evaluate how successful your activities have been in meeting your needs.
For your CPD to meet the criteria for being recognized for upgrading to Certified Member status, in addition to meeting the 21 hours, it must also clearly match to the seven mandatory MRS Benchmark Standards (see question 10 for more detail of these standards). You will need to ensure that all the mandatory benchmark standards are covered by the learning you undertake, in addition to meeting the required number of CPD hours for upgrading your membership. The number of CPD hours required will depend on which route to Certified Membership is applicable to you. Each route is based on pre-existing qualifications and experience.
For those members using the CPD system for other purposes – such as professional development planning tool – there is no requirement to meet any specific benchmark standards. However, these standards should help you in planning your professional development needs, in line with membership requirements.
MRS has an accreditation programme for employer provision, granting the status – ‘MRS Accredited Training Provider’ – for those organisations where training meets MRS requirements. In such cases the employer training provision will automatically be recognized for CPD purposes.
Yes. MRS has adopted a very broad brush approach
to its CPD programme. If external
approved third party provision is relevant to one of the 12 Benchmark Standards
and the MRS Professional Development Framework, it will receive recognition
within the MRS CPD programme. Approved third party provision will be easily recognisable
as it will display the MRS badge denoting the number of hours.
MRS will also recognise provision relevant to the Benchmark Standards from The CPD Certification Service www.cpduk.co.uk. The CPD Certification Service provides an independent accreditation service compatible with global CPD principles.
Yes. MRS will accept any relevant recognised formal CPD achieved up to 1 month prior to registration on the MRS CPD Programme. Prior recognition is only recognised as part of Year 1 CPD. Please make the CPD Advisory Team member aware that
you wish to have recognised prior achieved learning at your point of CPD
Once you have successfully completed a qualification, for example on of those offered by MRS, this is recognised as a pathway towards achieving MRS Certified Membership. The actual completion of an exam, test or assessment does not count towards your CPD hours. However, the learning and revision undertaken in preparation for an MRS (or other recognised provision) exam, test or assessment can be included, once successfully passing the qualification.
Yes, providing the content of a regional event meets identified learning need(s). For example if you attend a speaker night on a research related topic. However social or networking events, quiz nights and so on would not be recognised for MRS CPD purposes.
No, not at present. We are working towards this, and will communicate details once this is available. At present you will need to record your attendance at MRS training courses, workshops, Labs, webinars, Members Evenings and conferences. This also applies for non-MRS provision, informal provision and provision where MRS may not necessarily be able to confirm attendance (for example some regional events).
CPD really does not take much time over and beyond your daily routine. Once you begin to identify learning opportunities, record them and then reflect on how you have applied them, it should become an automatic part of your professional development planning. You access the online tool, which sets out a simple to use procedure of planning, recording and reflecting, which you can save and go back to at any time.
If you are endeavouring to upgrade your membership, you must complete the necessary 21 hours per annum.
If severe illness, maternity leave, redundancy or other extenuating circumstance results in a break from CPD, inform the MRS CPD Advisory Service as soon as is possible. It may be possible to suspend your CPD and arrange for your completed hours to be accrued for up to 12 months.
For those members that are using the system for non-upgrade purposes, such as professional development planning, there is no problem if you do less than 21 hours a year, although MRS recommends this level of learning per year.
MRS will select for moderation CPD records from all members using the CPD programme as a pathway to upgrade their membership. A random sample of 10% of contributing members using the system for non-upgrade purposes will be selected each year for moderation, to ensure adherence to and compliance with the programme rules.
All cases of suspected malpractice are investigated thoroughly by MRS. An Appeals Procedure is also available, please refer to Sections 9 and 10.
Authorised MRS Staff will have access to individuals CPD records, for administration and moderation purposes only. It is your responsibility to keep securely your username and password for the on-line CPD system