Codes and Guidelines

We offer you a rich library of guidance to boost the quality of your activities. From our standard-setting ICC/ESOMAR Code and guidelines or practical documents to help you get the most out of your data-driven projects.


Members benefit from additional custom support via our helpdesk and community hub.

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The ICC/ESOMAR Code

Cover of the ICC/ESOMAR International Code

Since 1947, ESOMAR, in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Global Business Research Network (GRBN) and a network of 60+ national and international associations, has established the baseline international standards for data-driven projects. You can use the Code to ensure your projects stay on the right side of the ethical lines, wherever they are conducted.

One of the ESOMAR Member benefits is the free support service to help you apply the Code requirements to your current projects.

Guidelines for Research

The guidelines, developed in collaboration with our network of partners, including the ICC and Global Business Research Network (GRBN), set the international standards for ethical and professional conduct when carrying out data-driven projects to help you meet key expectations.

Guideline on Duty of Care
Protecting research subjects from harm. Issued with GRBN.
Guideline for Researchers and Clients Involved in Primary Data Collection
Your responsibilities when directly collecting data for your projects. Issued with GRBN.
Guideline When Processing Secondary Data for Research
Your responsibilities when re-using pre-existing data in your projects. Issued with GRBN.
Guideline on Research and Data Analytics with Children, Young People, and Other Vulnerable Individuals
Your key requirements when working with these groups. Issued with GRBN.

Practical Guidance

This collection of practical guidance aims to ensure you are asking the right questions at the start, during and after your data-driven projects so that you and your organisation can make use of the best insights.

Questions for Users and Buyers of Online Samples
Briefing questions for buyers and users sourcing samples online
Data Protection Checklist
Translating complex data protection laws into your key requirements

Hot Topics

Responsive to your needs, the community and its experts frequently update our core guidance documents with emerging practices and issue guidance on specific, emerging hot topics.

Artificial Intelligence
Exploring the potential for groundbreaking technology
Diversity and Inclusion
Contributing to efforts to make research inclusive
COVID-19
Guidance and support for the research community

Opinion Polls and Published Surveys

ESOMAR has guidelines for professionals to maintain trust and confidence in opinion polls. These guidelines are drafted with the World Association of Public Opinion Research (WAPOR). Use our guide to ensure your opinion polling project meets international norms:

Guideline on Opinion Polls and Published Surveys
Issued with the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR)
Can you trust polls?
Our expert tells you everything you need to know about polls

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are responsible for collecting and analysing personal data, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation by the European Union encourages you to review your practices to ensure you remain compliant continually.

Allow us to help you on top of these requirements. Our guidance translates the complex legislation in the context faced by insights and analytics professionals and organisations: