MRBA Matters caught up with Elaine Francis to discuss why Criteria Fieldwork became a Corporate Patron and to get her views on the association’s new bursary scheme, MRBA Skills.

“My mother was a recruiter and I started out as one too at the age of 17 in Manchester.  Eventually I moved to London and have spent my whole career in market research working both in quantitative and qualitative.  In 1996 I co-founded Criteria, an independent company providing participants for all types of qualitative projects over the UK.

“Over the past 30 or so years, I’ve experienced all the ups and downs of the economy and met lots of different people within the profession. I’ve seen that people’s circumstances can change overnight.  So, it’s so important that MRBA is there to provide support for those in our industry who are experiencing financial hardship. Read more  It recognises and understands that people, from across our sector, face financial difficulties often because of an illness, accident, bereavement or other personal misfortune.  The MRBA Committee, made up a high calibre of volunteers from our industry, does important work and tries to treat all its applicants with respect and sensitivity in a fair and decent way.

“Criteria initially got involved with MRBA by donating to the annual auction.  So, the next logical step was to become a Corporate Patron.  We also took part in the both MRBA Fundraising Weeks. We love our homemade cakes and are extremely competitive, so we organised two very successful bake sales to raise money for MRBA.  We even have our very own ‘Mary Berry’ professional– a former recruiter – who comes in specially to judge.

“I think MRBA Skills is a great initiative. The MRS Advanced Certificate is an ideal course to understand the whole research process and I’ll be encouraging some of our staff to consider taking the course and, where applicable, apply for an MRBA Skills bursary.  Please send me a copy of the MRBA Skills information or fact sheet when it’s available so I can circulate it.’

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