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FAQs - For Respondents to the Profession and Business Study 

From where did you get my name and email address?

One or more of the firms that subscribe to the Professions and Business Study (Study) supplied beaton with your details. These firms provide beaton with this information so that beaton can impartially and independently collect your feedback on these firms' brand and performance.

Is the fact that my name and email address were supplied to you a breach of the new Australian Privacy Principles?

The current Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) came into force in March 2014. APP 6 states that disclosure of personal information, e.g. client contact details (your name and email address only), is permitted in instances where disclosure for secondary purposes is related to the primary purpose for which personal information was collected (6.2.a.ii). On this basis, there is no privacy issue that precludes firms from providing their clients’ contact details to beaton as their research agency for the express and sole purpose of running a client feedback survey.

 

This is because:

  • The firm is disclosing your contact details to beaton for the (secondary) purpose of collecting feedback on the firms’ service provision to you, which is related to the (primary) purpose of the firm providing services to you.

  • Notification of use or disclosure for these purposes is not required under APP 6.2.a.ii.

 

At the conclusion of the research, all identifying personal information is removed from the survey data and your personal information is destroyed.

Is the fact that my name and email address were supplied to you a breach of New Zealand Privacy Principles?

New Zealand Privacy Act states that disclosure of personal information, e.g. client contact details, is permitted in instances where the purpose for which the information is used is directly related to the purpose in connection with which the information was obtained (10.e) and also if the information is going to be used for statistical or research purposes and will not be published in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify the individual concerned (10.i).

On this basis, there is no privacy issue that precludes firms from providing their clients’ contact details to beaton as their research agency for the express and sole purpose of running a client feedback survey. This is because:

  • The firm is disclosing your contact details to beaton for the purpose of collecting feedback on the firms’ service provision to you, is directly related to the purpose of the firm providing services to you in the first place.

  • The disclosure is for research purposes. At the conclusion of the research, all identifying personal information will be removed from the survey data and your personal information will be destroyed.  All results will only be reported in aggregate and you will not be able to be identified in any way.

Can I be identified through my answers?

No. Individual responses are not reported. Data is reported in aggregate form only or completely de-identified and thus no findings of the research will be attributable to any individual.

 

What is the purpose of the survey?

beaton undertakes this research with the support of professional associations and professional service firms. The main purpose of the Study is to provide feedback to professional service firms to enable them to improve their performance and client service, recognise excellence, and thereby raise the standing of the profession. 

 

How will my survey data be used?

beaton undertakes this research with the support of professional associations and professional service firms. Specifically the data is used in the following ways:
 

  • a report for participants in the Study;

  • confidential reports for professional services firms listed in our questionnaire;

  • reports for magazine, scholarly journal articles and blogs (aggregate findings); and

  • various awards.
     

You may be privy to the results directly or indirectly through one or more of the above channels.
 

The privacy of participants and the confidentiality of their responses is maintained at all times and no individual respondent will be identifiable in any of these outputs.
 

Is the email invitation SPAM?

The SPAM Act refers to unsolicited messages of a commercial nature; it does not refer to email invitations to legitimate market research.

 

The email invitation sent to you is a legitimate request for you to participate in the Professions and Business Study by providing feedback on professional service firms with which you have worked. You have been sent the email invitation at the request of a professional services provider and thus it does not constitute SPAM.

Will I receive a copy of the results?

A summary report of the Professions and Business Study for respondents will be published in March 2020 on the beaton blog.

Why was I screened out of the survey?

Based on your answers to the initial questions we determined that the rest of the survey would not be appropriate for you to answer. Therefore, you have in fact completed the survey.

Can I have a hard copy of the survey to read through first, or for my files?

No, as the survey is conducted online, there is no hard copy, as such. The complex skips in the survey also mean that different respondents often complete quite different paths through the survey. 

Is the survey not relevant to me because I don’t live in Australia or New Zealand?

The survey gathers feedback from clients and users of Australian and New Zealand firms; it does not matter if you don’t live in either Australia or New Zealand. Your responses are still valuable and useful.

Parts of the survey sounds like a marketing activity – is this just a big advertisement?

The Study is an independent review of the professional services markets in Australia and New Zealand. The firms shown in the Study are independently selected to provide a comprehensive picture of the markets. Some firms support the research and use the aggregate findings to improve their services. beaton restricts use of data from the Study for advertising or marketing purposes.

Who sees the results of the Study?

Only relevant subscribing firms are provided with the findings of the professional services section of the research. These subscribing firms are only allowed access to data that is relevant to the firm and the industry in which it operates. All data is reported only in aggregate and individuals who have responded to the survey are not identifiable in any way.

Some data highlighting high-level findings at a profession aggregate are publicly available, but these results do not identify individuals, client organisations or firms listed in the Study.