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ESOMAR announces new policy for complaints on non-payment

28 March 2018

Over the last few years we have seen a rise in complaints regarding non-payment. The policy of our Professional Standards Committee (PSC) has always been that a one-off case of non-payment does not in itself constitute a breach of the ICC/ESOMAR International Code. However, a repeated pattern of non-payment may constitute a violation of the Code, in particular the requirement that researchers must conform to the generally accepted principles of fair competition, stipulated by Article 9(f).


In the past it has always been assessed on a case-by-case basis whether there was a repetitive pattern that would justify an investigation by the PSC. However, in light of the increasing number of non-payment complaints, the PSC deemed it necessary to quantify the repetitive pattern by enacting the 3-strike policy and ensuring a consistent disciplinary procedure based on trust between ESOMAR Members.

This means that once ESOMAR has received two complaints regarding the same Member’s non-payment practice, the Member will be notified that once a third complaint comes in the PSC will start an investigation. This refinement will strengthen the safeguards offered when working with an ESOMAR member.