Choosing a good fieldwork agency

It is apparent from the preceding sections of this chapter that whether the research being conducted is a quantitative survey involving several hundred respondents or a qualitative survey requiring specialist qualitative interviewing skills of group moderation, industrial or depth interviewing, better quality fieldwork is likely to be achieved using professional and experienced interviewers. This therefore involves the selection of an appropriate agency to carry out the fieldwork. As with buying most services, it makes sense to ask for quotations from two or three companies to give a basis for comparing both procedures and prices. The first step is to determine which two or three companies should be invited to quote. In making the selection a number of other factors must be considered and the procedure suggested should give a pretty clear idea of an agency's ability to handle the work required and of the quality of work they are likely to produce.

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