Ethics Statement

Research Partners provides independent research and evaluation services to policy makers and employers in the UK and internationally. Our aim is to create high quality evidence and assess the work of others to help decision makers and stimulate debate. We see our role as providing reliable and relevant information and advice to help our clients to make the right decisions and generally promote good practice.

We are committed to a high level of expertise, integrity and creativity among our staff, who must conduct themselves at all times in a professional manner, by respecting the privacy of individuals and institutions, not placing themselves under personal obligation to clients or the subjects of research, and being sensitive to cultural, religious, gender and other differences in the research population. We are not a campaigning or lobbying organisation, and do not accept research or consultancy briefs which are aimed to ‘prove’ a case or to provide evidence for decisions which have already been taken. We will produce findings and judgements based on sound research evidence, and will never fabricate, falsify or misrepresent our evidence, findings or conclusions.

Research Partners Ethics Statement

Research Partners wishes to ensure that its work is conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards. Staff, collaborators, associates and subcontractors are expected to conform to the following standards:

  • Conducting themselves at all times in a professional manner, by respecting the privacy of individual and institutions, keeping a professional distance from and not placing themselves under personal obligation to clients or the subjects of research, and being sensitive to cultural, religious, gender and other differences in the research population, when undertaking research.
  • Protecting the confidentiality of data collected, storing data at an appropriate level of security, not divulging data that is described as confidential, and not releasing data identifying individuals or institutions to people outside Research Partners without written consent.
  • Adhering to the provisions of the Data Protection Act, and copyright rules regarding the use/acknowledgement of published/unpublished materials as specified by current legislation.
  • Producing findings and judgements that are based on sound research evidence, and not fabricating, falsifying or misrepresenting evidence, findings or conclusions.
  • Disseminating research findings in appropriate form to relevant audiences.

Research Partners guidelines on ethical and professional standards

Research Partners guidelines (set out below) on ethical and professional standards are based on the Social Research Association’s and EU’s RESPECT guidelines and cover all aspects of the research and consultancy at Research Partners.

  • Research Partners is committed to creating high quality evidence and providing reliable and relevant information to help our clients to make the right decisions and promote good practice. We conduct our research and consultancy in an independent and objective manner, and adhere to high standards of quality. We will not undertake work in conflict with these principles or with our ethical guidelines.
  • Research Partners will declare to the client any potential conflicts of interest in carrying out a particular project as soon as they become apparent.
  • Research Partners fully complies with its obligations under the Data Protection Act (DPA) and all project workers are given training on how to treat personal data. Research data will be treated anonymously, unless specifically agreed with the subject (and in accordance with DPA requirements).
  • Participation in Research Partners research is voluntary, unless otherwise explicitly sanctioned. Research participants are given prior and sufficiently full information about the project so that they can make an informed decision about whether to participate.
  • The potential consequences of any Research Partners project are considered at the outset. We seek to avoid conducting projects that may cause emotional, psychological or physical harm to either participants or project workers, and take all reasonable steps so to do.
  • We ensure that all contractors and associates conform to appropriate industry standards and to Research Partners’ ethical and quality standards (also see Research Partners’ Quality Assurance Policy).
  • Our researchers and associates have undertaken training and development to help them carry out their roles and responsibilities, including training on how to conduct research with vulnerable groups (where appropriate). The Research Partners Director is responsible for selecting a team that has the capability of fulfilling the project aims.
  • Research Partners staff, associates and consultants have had training on safe working practices and how to avoid circumstances which may put them at risk of physical danger and psychological distress. Research Partners project managers are responsible for ensuring project team members comply with our safe working procedures.
  • Research Partners is committed to the protection of its own intellectual property rights, those of its researchers and consultants, and others directly or indirectly involved in the project as well as those of the client and other third parties. The rights of all the parties directly involved in a specific project should be, where possible, identified and clarified at the outset.
  • Research and/or other material from third parties used during the course of a project and cited (explicitly or implicitly) in any project outcome will be clearly identified and attributed to the original authors.
  • The method(s) used to conduct research or consultancy by Research Partners should be clearly stated.
  • Any limitations of the research or consultancy conducted by Research Partners will be properly acknowledged in reports of findings.
  • Research Partners will not allow any report or other form of dissemination to knowingly misinterpret or misrepresent the findings of any Research Partners project.

Regular review

Research Partners will regularly review and if appropriate, update this policy in accordance with review results and any relevant changes in the law or other guidance from e.g. the Social Research Association. The Director of Research Partners will review this policy every two years.

Adopted on: 14th January 2013

Review Date: January 2021