Compliance at M3

Our focus on compliance has led to the award of the ISO 20252 standard for our physician panel, confirming our dedication to delivering high quality data which goes beyond basic guidelines. Privacy and data protection are key principles of this commitment, underpinned by legal requirements including GDPR obligations. Internationally recognsided, ISO 20252:2019 (market, opinion, and social research) is a comprehensive framework that supports best practice and effectiveness, and its award helps clients assess and choose suppliers of access panels with confidence.

As part of the M3 group we operate with the transparency required of a publicly-traded company. We are audited annually by PwC, and are proud to hold ISO 27001 certification, evidencing our commitment to stringent information security. The scale of our proprietary panels reflects our commitment to quality; our outsourcing of completes is an industry-leading low of only 2%.

Certified Quality
ISO20252:2019 Certified
ISO 20252:2019 Certified

M3 Global Research is certified to ISO 20252:2019 for organisations conducting market, opinion and social research. This certification covers the operation and management of healthcare projects in the USA and Europe to ensure data quality to clients.

ISO27001 Certified
ISO 27001 Certified

M3 Global Research’s operations are ISO 27001 certified in both the US and UK. ISO/IEC 27001 is an internationally recognised program that requires an organisation to implement and maintain a structured information security and data governance framework.

Imperium Data Quality Certified
Imperium Data Quality Certified

M3 Global Research has been Data Quality Certified by Imperium. Imperium is the leading provider of data quality and anti-fraud solutions to the marketing research industry and beyond.

ESOMAR 28 Questions

Company Profile
M3 Global Research has offered targeted market research programs for the healthcare marketplace since 1999 (first as MDLinx and now as M3). M3 Global Research is an ISO certified data collection partner offering the most comprehensive physician and allied healthcare professionals panels to provide you with the best healthcare market research support globally. M3 utilises multiple recruitment methods to fulfill both quantitative and qualitative healthcare market research. M3’s project management and delivery, programming, and world-wide presence round out its ability to provide the industry standard in service.
Sample Sources and Recruitment
Respondents sign up to M3 Global Research’s panel through a double opt-in process.

Respondents may learn about M3 Global Research through the company’s presence at conferences, where members are recruited. Physicians may also sign up after being referred by colleagues. HCPs may learn of M3 Global Research through other services they recognize M3 from—such as in the UK, which is an M3 company and well-known physician community.

Physicians under M3’s ISO 20252 certification will be subject to verification protocols of their identity and qualification before being invited to market research surveys. All of M3’s panel members are managed through a patented, internal, proprietary system, which has been annually audited and quality certified since 2011.
M3 Global Research seeks to meet all its sampling needs through its proprietary panel. M3 Global Research may work with partner panels where appropriate; in such instances, clients are aware and multiple safeguards are employed to ensure data integrity. This includes on-the-spot deduplication using digital fingerprinting technology, as well as sharing of exclusion lists.
M3 Global Research panel members are invited exclusively for participation in market research, observational research, and non-interventional research.
M3 Global Research adapts its recruitment methodology based on geographies and target groups. For some target groups, a pure online recruitment approach may not suffice or may not be appropriate, such as for hard-to-reach patient targets. In such instances, other recruitment approaches—such as phone-to-web—may be more appropriate.

M3 Global Research transparently advises its clients on the recruitment methodologies planned for each project.

M3 Global Research has in-house capabilities for telephone recruitment across its locations spanning over 10 markets. In addition, M3 Global Research works with trusted local partners, educates them on all relevant quality standards, and works with these partners to reach hard-to-reach audiences.
M3 Global Research follows an extensive partner vetting process, which meets ISO 20252 International Standard requirements. All partners are carefully selected and presented the standard as well, to ensure all recruiting parties provide the best possible service to the clients. Partners are reviewed by project staff on each project as well as regularly audited by M3 GR’s dedicated team.

M3 Global Research provides notification to clients in advance when using third party providers.
Sampling and Project Management
M3 Global Research does not use the term ‘representative’ when it comes to healthcare panel.
No, M3 Global Research does not employ a survey router.
Not applicable – M3 Global Research does not use a router.
Not applicable – M3 Global Research does not use a router.
Not applicable – M3 Global Research does not use a router.
Firstly, at the point of registration to M3 Global Research’s panel, basic information is collected from the potential member to allow for verification where applicable.

Basic Information for Verification for HCPs under M3 GR’s ISO 20252 certification:
  • Name (first, last)
  • Country
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Profession
  • Medical specialty
  • Medical subspecialty
  • ME/DEA number or country equivalent
  • Age

Secondary profiler questions are also asked, but not required. The following information is collected as secondary profiler questions, which allows for better targeted invitations for market research studies and is included for HCPs:
  • Secondary profession
  • Secondary specialty
  • Employment type
  • Number of beds in hospital
  • Type of practice
  • Role in current place of employment
  • Board certification year
  • Year of graduation
  • Percent of patients covered by different types of insurances
  • Number of patients seen per month
  • Highest level of education
  • Location of employment
  • Gender
  • Languages spoken
  • Willingness to take part in different types of research

Profiling data differs based on the target group, such as between HCPs and patients. All M3 Global Research members can update their user data and answers to profiling questions at any time by logging in to their M3 Global Research accounts.

For low incidence projects, M3 Global Research does not rely solely on online panel recruitment, and alternate recruitment options such as targeted telephone recruitment and custom recruitment are considered. In cases of low incidence rate projects, the M3 Global Research project manager will work with the client to form an action plan, which can include the aforementioned alternate recruitment options, utilization of partner panels to extend outreach, or custom advice on screener changes.
Only panelists who opted-in to receiving market research invitations will be invited to participate. Respondents are chosen to participate in a survey based on their country of work and their medical specialty in the case of HCPs. Should any further invitation profiling be required—such as targeting a specific setting—the client will be informed.

An audience is selected and invited through M3’s proprietary sampling system. Respondents are invited to take part via email, and are also able to log in to their M3 accounts to access surveys they have been invited to via their market research dashboard. For mobile-enabled surveys, a text message invitation can be considered.

The process of audience selection and invitation is handled primarily by an M3 project manager who has undergone training and has a clear best practice manual to follow.

For qualitative studies, respondents may also be called directly to invite them, given they have consented.

All invitations follow a template that meets industry standards – this includes;
  • Subject and purpose of the survey
  • Methodology and approach
  • Location and duration of fieldwork
  • Date and time of fieldwork
  • Reimbursement offered – both the nature and the rate of remuneration
  • Adverse event and product complaint reporting obligations if appropriate
  • Option to unsubscribe (for online invitations)
  • Links to M3 Global Research privacy policy and terms of use (for online invitations)
  • Contact details for M3 Global Research’s dedicated support team
Participating M3 Global Research members are awarded monetary compensations for successfully completing a survey. Compensations are appropriate to the time involved, tasks fulfilled and target group. M3 Global Research is compliant with relevant laws and guidelines, such as necessity of compensations in Spain being in cash, or in Sweden not exceeding 2.5% of the current KPI.

All payments by M3 Global Research are only paid out to the participant and are fully tracked.
All available information about a project will help in providing accurate feasibility, for example:
  • Study topic
  • Physician or HCP specialty/subspecialty
  • Sample size
  • Disease state or other survey target
  • Countries (or other geographies) involved
  • Type of interview (online, phone, face-to-face, etc.)
  • Length of survey
  • Estimated incidence
  • Expected fielding timeline
M3 Global Research conducts quarterly member satisfaction surveys. Results of this survey are not publicly available however can be discussed upon request.

M3 Global Research also has a dedicated support team for respondents covering multiple languages which respondents can contact at any stage.
M3 Global Research issues Certificates of Compliance to clients after completion of each project.

Upon clients’ requests, M3 Global Research may provide the number of respondents who started a survey, number of respondents who screened out, number of respondents who went over quota, number of completes, and average length of interview, as well as other reasonable data requested by M3’s clients, with the exception of personal data.
Data Quality and Validation
M3 Global Research performs multiple steps to ensure quality data. M3’s sampling system tracks completions and automatically flags duplicate entries. Should a duplicate entry be identified, this response will be removed from the data set and M3’s client informed. M3 also ensures avoidance and / or removal of duplicate entries between its own panel and partners’ through the sharing of exclusion lists. Relevant partner agreements are in place with all of M3’s partners.

On projects where M3 Global Research is programming, at regular intervals, the full data set is reviewed. This ensures both the correctness of the programming and validity of respondents. M3 staff are trained on data review and look for poor open-ended responses, flatlining, and speeding.

Internal audits are conducted twice (2) times a year, as per M3’s ISO accreditation, which will choose random projects undergoing higher levels of scrutiny. Results of the audits are tracked, and any actions required as a result are undertaken.

Should a respondent be removed from a data set due to their data being deemed below par, this will automatically add a flag to the panelist's M3 account and action may be taken, including permanent removal of the respondent from future invites for market research.
M3 Global Research does not rely solely on email invitations. Panelists can review available surveys at any point via their market research dashboard when accessing their account.

Specific targeted reminders on individual surveys via email or telephone are decided upon by the M3 Global Research project manager with regard to frequency, which will be appropriate to the specific project.
M3 Global Research’s proprietary sampling system allows inclusion or exclusion on a number of factors, including time period of last participation. Any such limitations are carefully discussed between M3 Global Research and its clients, as particularly with niche target groups, exclusion based on recent participation may influence feasibility and possible sample sizes.
M3 Global Research collects behavioral and participation information about an individual, then applies panel rules to that information. M3 Global Research also uses the participation information to drive predictions of future interest in studies for feasibility. The technology used for this predictability is within a patented feasibility. General history of participation information can be provided to clients upon request excluding any personal data.
M3 Global Research uses a multi-step verification process before, during, and after a market research study.

All M3 panel members are verified prior to their participation which includes verification procedures pertaining to their medical specialty for physicians under M3 Global Research’s ISO 20252 certification, as well as mobile phone verification. It may also include verification on individual projects, such as desk research or medication verification for patients on individual projects.

M3 Global Research also uses technological safeguards against fraudulent respondents, such as relevantID™, fraud score capabilities, and anti-bot technologies.

All clients are informed if fraudulent responders are found and they are replaced at no cost to the client.
Policies and Compliance
All M3 Global Research panel members explicitly opt in to receive market research invitations through a registration form and putting a checkmark where they are asked if they are interested in participating in market research studies.

M3 Global Research considers the privacy of its users to be of utmost importance and works to protect it. M3 Global Research’s privacy policy is readily available and links to M3’s privacy policy are included on the registration page, on the website, and in invitation letters.
M3 Global Research considers the privacy of its users to be of utmost importance and works to protect it. M3 Global Research has a dedicated global compliance team as well as a designated data protection officer and is in compliance with data protection laws (incl. the GDPR) and guidelines are built into all processes followed and technologies used.

Additionally, M3 Global Research is ISO 27001 certified. This is an internationally recognized standard that requires an organization to implement, maintain, and continuously improve a structured Information Security and Data Governance framework. The guiding principles are designed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data within our information systems. The framework includes 114 comprehensive information security control requirements developed for data protection and data security. This certification demonstrates M3’s capability to provide an ongoing and systematic approach of managing and protecting company and customer data. Compliance with this standard is independently audited by a qualified third party and is continuously monitored by our IT Internal Audit staff that measures our ability to meet or exceed the control requirements.
Decisions on research design and content are made between the research sponsor and the market research agency.
M3 Global Research holds both ISO 20252 (Market Research Standards) and ISO 27001 (Information Security Standards) and applies the quality management system covering all control requirements for both frameworks. Quality managers are appointed at M3 Global Research’s offices in the US and in Europe, who have authority and responsibility to manage the research process management system and perform detailed internal audits to confirm compliance with both International Standards.
M3 Global Research holds both ISO 20252 (Market Research Standards) and ISO 27001 (Information Security Standards) and applies the quality management system covering all control requirements for both frameworks. Quality managers are appointed at M3 Global Research’s offices in the US and in Europe, who have authority and responsibility to manage the research process management system and perform detailed internal audits to confirm compliance with both International Standards.