The Interviewer Quality Control Scheme (IQCS), shown in Figure 9.2, sets out minimum standards. Once selected, interviewers should be trained. For most of the leading research agencies interviewer training involves a two or three day programme.

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Figure 9.2: The Interviewer Quality Control Scheme

The first part of the training is theoretical. In this part of the programme interviewers are lectured on their importance in the research process and in the special skills they need to acquire. They are fully briefed on the dangers of bias that can be introduced by them. The second part of the training programme is practical. This involves role playing in the classroom situation followed by practice interviews in the field. Finally, for consumer interviewing, trainees accompany the supervisor who carries out field interviews, and then carry out field interviews with the supervisor present. For industrial interviewing the practical training will take the form of listening to and checking off taped interviews before carrying them out personally. The third aspect of interviewer training is that of refresher training. This takes place in three ways: first, when pilot briefings and debriefings are given; second, when personal briefings on important surveys are given; and third, through the provision of a handbook for reference and guidance. Once interviewers have been trained and are working in the field, maintenance of good interviewing practice is ensured through the system of supervision, appraisal and checking of work.

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