Fair Data


The Fair Data mark is a consumer facing mark which appears on corporate materials as a guarantee that an organisation meets the Fair Data principles.

By signing up to be a Fair Data organisation, you agree to:

  1. Adhere to the Fair Data principles
  2. Use the Fair Data mark in  all relevant dealings with customers and participants

If you are an MRS Company Partner you can sign up straight away to the Fair Data scheme, as you already follow the MRS Code of Conduct and are therefore compliant with the Fair Data principles.

If you are not an MRS Company Partner, but you are a research supplier or client interested in using the Fair Data mark, you will be asked to undertake an initial advisory visit by MRS to ensure your organisation has appropriate processes and procedures in place to be compliant with the Fair Data principles.

If a complaint is received about a Fair Data organisation then MRS Disciplinary Regulations applies and the most senior member in the organisation would take responsibility. The Investigation outcome may include undertaking a Fair Data audit.


  • Initial advisory visit £1,000 per day
  • If you fail initial visit and need another £500 per day
  • Cost of accreditation £350 per year
  • Audit fees will be determined on a case-by-case basis

Further information
>> Read our Fair Data FAQs
>> Find out more about The Market Research Society
>> The MRS Company Partner Accreditation


April 2019

The new Fair Data Principles, come into effect on 1 April 2020 (after a twelve month transition period from 1 April 2019).

During the transition period, current Fair Data organisations must adopt their processes to the new requirements and demonstrate adherence to the new Principles. In line with this a Fair Data checklist must be completed by all organisations and submitted to MRS Fair Data team upon their Company Partner and/or Fair data 2020 renewal.

New organisations seeking Fair Data accreditation will be assessed against the new Principles from 1 April 2019.

The new Fair Data Principles are:

Principle 1:

We will ensure that all personal data is processed in line with the reasonable expectations of individuals of our use of their personal data.

Principle 2:

We will only use data for specified purposes and be open with individuals about the use of their data, respecting individuals’ wishes about the use of their data.

Principle 3:

We will make sure that individuals have easy access to their personal data that we hold, and that we tell them how we use it and how they can exercise their rights over it.

Principle 4:

We will only collect personal data that we need and will protect it and keep it secure, removing personal data as soon as it is no longer needed.

Principle 5:

We will ensure staff and all persons involved with our organisation understand that personal data is just that – personal – and ensure that it is treated ethically and with respect.

Principle 6:

We will ensure that the vulnerable and under-age are properly protected by the processes we use for data collection, use and management.

Principle 7:

We will manage our data supply chain to the same ethical standards we expect from other suppliers.

Principle 8:

We will ensure that ethical best practice in personal data is integral to our procurement process.

Principle 9:

We will ensure that all staff and persons involved with our organisation who have access to personal data are properly trained in its use.

Principle 10:

We will ensure that privacy vulnerability is risk assessed and controls to protect privacy are embedded in the design and development of all our processes including our software, systems and services for the collection and use of personal data.

Principle 11:

We will ensure that we can adequately resource and demonstrate our responsibility for compliance with data protection requirements.

Principle 12:

We will only use personal data if we are confident that the Fair Data Principles have been applied throughout our organisation.

Members and Company Partners are regulated under the MRS Code of Conduct. This Code covers the collection and use of personal data and emphasises the need to protect all participants from harm - particularly the young and vulnerable. The core principles of Fair Data work in tandem with the MRS Code of Conduct.

Further information

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