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Code of Conduct

EthicsSAMRA aims to ensure and maintain quality, professional research practice in Southern Africa, amongst SAMRA members and the broader research industry. We provide guidance and information related to ethics and encourage professional ethos amongst SAMRA members, who all have to adhere to the SAMRA Code of Conduct.

The SAMRA Code of Conduct has three parts:

  1. SAMRA adopted the international ICC/ESOMAR Code of Conduct and Guidelines at the Annual General Meeting in 2008, and the 2016 revised ICC/ESOMAR Code of Conduct and Guidelines at the Annual General Meeting in 2017.
  2. SAMRA members also abide by additional requirements as contained in localised SAMRA Guidelines.
  3. In addition to the international Code of Conduct and Guidelines mentioned above, SAMRA also applies a localised Complaints Procedure.

In addition, the SAMRA Ethics Committee and the SAMRA Board applies the SAMRA Code of Conduct Guideline for Sanctions and Remedial Action when adjudicating a case, to guide the discussion.

When considering a complaint, defence, statements, and evidence, as well as recommendations by the Ethics Committee and by the Appeals Committee, while mindful of the fact that SAMRA is a voluntary membership association, and that the processes to enforce the SAMRA Code of Conduct, the Complaints Procedure and Guidelines are thus also voluntary processes determined and adhered to by SAMRA members, rather than judicial proceedings, the SAMRA Board acts in good faith to:

  1. Protect the public, by considering complaints in terms of the Code of Conduct requirements and doing so swiftly.
  2. Protect SAMRA members, by requiring all members, without fear or favour, to adhere to the Code of Conduct, and doing so consistently.
  3. Ensure a fair and just process by applying their minds when considering the complaint, defence, statements, all available evidence, the recommendations of the Ethics Committee as well as the recommendations of the Appeals Committee, while protecting the right of all parties to be heard.

What types of complaints do SAMRA handle?

Anyone, including members of the public, can lay a complaint against any organisation or individual who is a SAMRA member. Complaints should be lodged in terms of identified requirements in the Code of Conduct and/or the Guidelines, and must be directly linked to the SAMRA Member, irrespective of whether the member is an individual or organisation. SAMRA adheres to the principles of transparency, to encourage open discussion and to truly enhance quality and standards in the industry.


Types of complaints that fall outside SAMRA’s mandate

  • Complaints against non-members: SAMRA may contact the transgressor  in an effort to improve standards across the industry, but we can only discipline SAMRA Members. Contact the office to find out if the organisation or individual you have interacted with, is a SAMRA Organisation, SAMRA Associate or SAMRA Independent Member.
  • Complaints that fall outside our legal mandate: Problems with contracts, payments, employment conditions, etc. fall outside our mandate, except where a member has been found guilty through relevant legal or commercial remedies. For example, SAMRA does not collect debt, prosecute thieves and fraudsters, make representation to the CCMA, etc. However, we can take disciplinary action against a member that has been found guilty of fraud, non-payment, etc.

For queries and information, contact

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