The Office
St Mary's Crescent
Uttoxeter
Staffordshire
ST14 7BH


Tel: 01889 564739
Fax: 01889 568972
www.weresearchit.co.uk
enquiries@weresearchit.co.uk



We Research It Ethics

This page gives information about the ethical context in which we work. It includes sections on the ethics of our research methods and of the company, and our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.

Social Research Ethics

 

These are a set of basic ethical principles related to research. They can be adapted as appropriate for different projects.

Adopting these ethical principles will provide an ethical foundation for the research. However, social research often creates unique ethical dilemmas for those involved. Each of these should be addressed through reflexive working by individuals and open discussions between people. It is not always possible to find a solution to an ethical dilemma which is completely satisfactory for everyone concerned. In such cases, the aim should be to establish a well-balanced consensus of views and act accordingly.

Participation

As a minimum, the research project should be overseen by a small steering group including representatives of any group who may be affected by the outcome of the research. Wider consultation should be carried out through other groups and agencies as the research progresses.

Participant Choice

Those who are asked to become involved in any way, whether to participate in a steering group, undertake data collection or analysis, or simply to contribute data, should be fully informed about the purpose of the research and should be given the opportunity to ask and receive clear answers to any questions they wish before they decide whether they want to be involved. Nobody should be persuaded or coerced into taking part.

Anonymity/Confidentiality

Data collection should preserve the anonymity of those who agree to participate. Interviews should be confidential. No names should be collected with any data. Data that could identify its originator should not be used unless identifying details can be changed without altering the meaning of the data.

Value of Participants

Those who agree to give their time and input to research, and who are not otherwise being paid for their time, should be given a meaningful token of appreciation such as a pen (for completing a questionnaire), a gift voucher (for being interviewed) or recompense appropriate to the needs of the individual and the time and effort they contribute (for taking part in activities such as steering group meetings or data collection).

Accountability

The findings of the research should be made available, as soon as is reasonably practical and in a suitable format, to all those who have participated in the research and, where possible, to all those who could be affected by its outcome. Commissioners of research should bear in mind that they may not like the findings. This is not a good reason to suppress them.

Corporate Ethics

 

We take a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), as you can see from our CSR policy. Since 2001, we have given the equivalent of at least 1% of our pre-tax profits to charity each year.

We are a business in the private sector. We have to make a profit, to plough back into staff training, software updates etc, in order to survive. The ultimate aim of all our work is to improve conditions for the users of public services and their carers. These two imperatives may seem to conflict; we don’t think they need to. We aim to demonstrate this by our charging policy; for more information, please see the Charges page.

Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

 

We are proud to hold ISO 9001:2000 certification as a demonstration of our commitment to quality. However, we don't stop at the requirements of this certification. It is not a requirement of ISO 9001:2000 to have a corporate social responsibility policy. Nevertheless, We Research It Ltd is committed to making as little impact as possible on the physical environment, and to making a positive impact on the social environment. In line with the principles and practice of quality assurance, this commitment is documented here to ensure compliance, and this policy will be implemented and reviewed as part of the company’s quality management system.

Physical Environment

The office is non-smoking.

Cleaning products should be environmentally friendly wherever possible. No insecticides, air fresheners or other unnecessary chemical products will be used in the office; environmentally friendlier alternatives (e.g. flypapers, essential oils) may be used instead.

Paper that has only been printed on one side, and is in good enough condition to go through the printer again, will be kept for scrap. Documents printed out for use solely within the company should be printed on scrap paper whenever possible.

Paper that cannot be used for scrap should be recycled, with confidential papers being shredded first. Glass and cans should also be recycled. Plastic bottles will also be recycled as soon as local plastic recycling facilities become available.

Office products should be made from recycled materials wherever possible. If used office products, such as printer cartridges and mobile phones, can be sent for recycling, this will be done.

Any battery-operated equipment should use rechargeable batteries.

We Research It Ltd will investigate the corporate social responsibility policies of companies they may use as suppliers, and will take into account the breadth of their commitment to corporate social responsibility in deciding whether or not to purchase from them.

We Research It Ltd will use local suppliers wherever possible, and will take into account the distance an item would have to be carried in any purchasing decision.

If wooden items are purchased, care should be taken to ensure that they are made from sustainable timber.

Food and drink purchased by the company for its staff shall be organic and fair traded whenever possible.

Compostable material, such as tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit peel/cores and cardboard, should be composted.

Electrical equipment and lights should be switched off when not in use.

When employees are travelling on the company’s business, they should use public transport or low-impact transport (e.g. foot, bicycle, moped) whenever practicable.

We Research It Ltd will keep abreast of developments in technology and use renewable sources of energy when this becomes practicable.

Social Environment

We Research It Ltd will always consider ethical options when purchasing financial products and services. Where an ethical option meets the needs of the organisation as well as any other option, the ethical option shall be selected.

We Research It Ltd operates fair and flexible employment policies. The company is committed to the continuing professional and personal development of its employees. These policies and commitments are spelt out in more detail in the company’s employment contracts, Procedure for Resources, Terms and Conditions of Employment, and Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

We Research It Ltd is also aware of the wider environment within which it functions. Staff aim to maintain good relationships with neighbours, clients and others by being polite, considerate and helpful when meeting people during working hours, whether in the office or elsewhere.

We Research It Ltd is particularly committed to supporting the voluntary and community sector. Each member of staff is encouraged to do voluntary work, and wherever the company’s workload permits, any time given by the employee is matched by time given by the company up to 2 hours per employee per week. The company also offers free support to voluntary and community sector agencies preparing to commission, or fund-raise for, consultancy or social research work. Further, the company will offer free support and advice to service user groups wishing to conduct their own research.

We Research It Ltd gives at least 1% of its pre-tax profits to charity each year, as a tangible measure of the company’s commitment to its social responsibilities.