The Gold Seal Certification is a monitored self-assessment process that is available to all MRIA Corporate Research Agencies. Gold Seal Certification signifies that a member agency is operating according to world-class professional standards for market research.

Research Agencies which meet certain criteria may apply for the Gold Seal Agency category of membership and go through the Gold Seal Process.


MRIA's Gold Seal Certification involves:

Gold Seal Certification is one of MRIA's primary mechanisms for achieving its Strategic Objective of developing and delivering world-class professional standards and ensuring member compliance.

New Gold Seal applicants:

  • After processing your MRIA Gold Seal membership transaction in the MRIA Portal, you will be contacted by MRIA to review the benefits and terms and conditions associated with the Gold Seal certification
  • MRIA will send you a template for the two Letters of Reference necessary in support of your application for MRIA Gold Seal Corporate Research Agency membership
  • Please forward this template to principals of two existing corporate members of the Association who are well-acquainted with your firm. One of these letters must be submitted by a Corporate Research Agency member and the other can be submitted by either a Corporate Research Agency member or a Corporate Client-Side Researcher member of MRIA
  • Once each Letter of Reference is completed and signed by the Corporate member on its corporate letterhead, it must be returned directly to MRIA
  • As soon as these letters of reference are received by MRIA, they will be reviewed. Upon their acceptance by the Association, you will receive a subsequent email including the Gold Seal Certification Self-Assessment Questionnaire  - which will be completed with the oversight and assistance of MRIA's Compliance Officer - ideally within a four to six week turnaround
  • The Gold Seal Questionnaire provides a firm's senior management with an opportunity to assess how effectively their organization complies with MRIA Standards. In completing the Questionnaire, it is vital to fully complete those parts that ask for a description of "the control process which supports the existence of such information across all projects." This means a description of the procedures your firm follows to ensure compliance with MRIA Standards. In this way, the Self-Assessment Questionnaire stimulates a focus on control processes and can assist management in increasing its own comfort level, while at the same time satisfying the requirements of the Gold Seal Certification process
  • Shortly after submission of your completed Questionnaire, MRIA's Compliance Officer will contact your firm's designated management representative to schedule an interview with him/her and/or your Standards Officer. In this interview, the Compliance Officer will seek to gain assurance that the processes in place are sufficient to ensure that your organization is consistently in compliance with MRIA Standards. The Compliance Officer will ask questions that will challenge the assertions made in your Questionnaire responses, to further assess Standards compliance. The Compliance Officer may also request documentary evidence to support the Questionnaire response statements
  • At the conclusion of the Certification interview, the Compliance Officer will provide your firm with a verbal report on its compliance with MRIA Standards, including any action steps that need to be taken to address problem areas and any issues that have been noted for follow-up
  • The Compliance Officer will provide MRIA's Chief Executive Officer with a written determination as to your firm's Certification Review, at which time the Association will communicate with you about your Gold Seal Certification status.
  • In the case of a particular Gold Seal Certification Report which indicates that further action is needed, the Compliance Officer will arrange additional meetings with the Agency to review problem areas and a time frame to resolve them. A subsequent Compliance Officer's report to MRIA will confirm satisfactory completion of this activity, and provide a current determination as to the firm's Gold Seal Certification status.

The Gold Seal Certification monitored self-assessment process is mandatory for MRIA Corporate Research Agency - Gold Seal Members, when they first apply for this membership type and at least once every three years thereafter.

Reach out directly to register for the Gold Seal Certification Here.

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