Complaints and Disciplinary Process
Report an issue
If you wish to report an issue or complaint, go to the complaint form. Include information on who you are, what the substance of your complaint is and whom it is about. Then, attach any evidence you may have (any correspondence, research proposals, etc). If you can, mark which article of the Code you believe was breached. This all helps us to efficiently handle your complaints, ensuring that your complaints get resolved as soon as possible.
Before you report an issue
- Look up if the person or company you would like to report is a member here. All ESOMAR members, Corporate and Individual, have signed the Disciplinary Procedures and will have to cooperate with the disciplinary process.
- Check if the company or individual you would like to report is based in the same country as you are. Is it a member of the national association in your country? In that case, the national association would be better equipped to help you. You can find the association in your country here.
- If there is no national association, or if it cannot handle your complaint, ESOMAR may assist.
What issues does ESOMAR not handle?
- ESOMAR can’t take on complaints about non-members, unless there are exceptional circumstances pressing ESOMAR to protect its members, the reputation of the sector or of ESOMAR. So if you would like to complain about a non-member, please explain in detail why you believe it is essential that ESOMAR members should be protected, or how the reputation of the sector may be damaged.
- Be aware that ESOMAR can’t take on legal issues, such as contractual disputes, non-payment, and employment issues. Those cases are better dealt with legally or through other commercial means. ESOMAR may consider taking action, only if there is evidence of a pattern of behaviour that may damage the reputation of the sector.
What happens after you report an issue
- ESOMAR’s Professional Standards team will send the other party to the complaint what you sent us, and ask them to respond. In some cases this will be enough to get an issue solved.
- In other cases, the ESOMAR Professional Standards Committee (PSC) examines the complaints lodged to determine if the ICC/ESOMAR International Code (Code) was violated.
- The Disciplinary Procedures allow ESOMAR to impose sanctions ranging from private warnings, to expulsion from membership and publication of the sanction imposed on the member. As such a sanction can seriously damage someone’s reputation, sending documented evidence supporting your complaint is necessary.
- The PSC decides which sanction to impose. If the violation of the Code warrants a sanction more serious than a private warning, the case will be referred to an independent Disciplinary Committee (DC), which is chaired by a lawyer.
- All information relating to a complaint you send to ESOMAR will be considered confidential and will only be shared with the other party, the PSC, and potentially the DC.