ADD2307 Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
18 December 2018
Decision by: 
Jeremy Skinner, Interim Assistant Director, City Intelligence Unit

Executive summary

Approval is sought to commission a market research fieldwork agency, to recruit research participants for research activities at City Hall. The contract will be for 1 year, with the possibility to extend if required.


That the Assistant Director of the Intelligence Unit approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £50,000 from the GLA’s Opinion Research and Statistics team budget to commission a market research fieldwork agency on a 1-year contract.

2. The commissioned agency will be used to recruit participants to take part in qualitative research delivered by GLA researchers, such as focus groups and in-depth interviews, for policy teams throughout the GLA.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Opinion Research team regularly conducts qualitative opinion and market research with Londoners, to provide insight and evidence to the Mayor and policy teams throughout the GLA.

Research is delivered by a team of in-house researchers, though participants are usually recruited through a market research fieldwork agency. Throughout 2018 the Opinion Research team delivered 7 qualitative research projects which required commissioning a fieldwork agency to recruit participants on a project-by-project basis. This requires going out to the market each time, which can cause delays when research is required at short notice. To simplify and speed up the process of recruiting research participants, and thereby delivering qualitative research, the GLA wish to enter into a framework agreement with a single fieldwork agency.

Expenditure of up to £50,000 from the GLA’s Opinion Research and Statistics team budget to commission a market research fieldwork agency on a 1-year contract.

Following guidance from TfL Procurement, it is proposed that the contract will be awarded via a request for quotation process among market research fieldwork agencies. The contract will last 12 months, plus the option to extend on a 1+1+1-year basis. A decision on whether or not to extend for a further year will be taken at the end of the first year of the contract.

Objectives and expected outcomes


• To conduct qualitative research with a variety of Londoners;
• To engage with Londoners from a broad range of target groups; and
• To provide insight and evidence for policy teams and the Mayor.


• The Opinion Research team can carry out qualitative research with a variety of Londoners; and
• The views and experiences of Londoners, particularly those who are hard-to-reach, inform policy and decision-making at City Hall.

Equality comments

The Greater London Authority has an obligation under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty to consider how its policies and decisions affect people who are protected under the act.

Through recruiting research participants via a market research fieldwork agency, the Opinion Research team will be able to engage a broad range of demographic and socio-economic groups in research. This will allow the Opinion Research team to provide policy teams and the Mayor with evidence and insight from specific groups of Londoners.

Commissioning a market research fieldwork agency will allow policy teams and the Mayor to gain evidence and insight from hard-to-reach groups, who would otherwise be poorly represented.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues

The key risk is that the commissioned market research fieldwork agency is unable to recruit specific target groups for qualitative research. The technical evaluation assessment will require tendering agencies to demonstrate that they are capable and have experience recruiting Londoners with a range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and through a variety of channels and methods (e.g. face-to-face, online, through local community groups). The Opinion Research team will liaise closely with the appointed agency to ensure key target groups are reached.

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

‘A City for All Londoners’ aims to ensure people from all walks of life are healthy and live well alongside each other. The Mayor is committed to making sure that policy makers in City Hall are fully aware of public needs as early as possible. For this to happen, policy makers need to be able to engage with and gather insight from people from diverse backgrounds, with different perspectives and experiences – targeted participant recruitment will allow the Opinion Research team to engage with a variety of groups when conducting qualitative research.

This work has a direct link to the GLA business plan Section II – listening to Londoners encouraging the fullest participation and engagement by all of London’s communities in developing the policies and strategies to improve London.
Consultations and impact assessments

The appropriate procurement process will be followed to ensure that the successful company complies with the GLA’s equal opportunities requirements. Being able to conduct qualitative research with a variety of Londoners will ensure that the GLA involves a broad constituency of people in our work. Consultation helps the GLA to make better informed decisions and make us more accountable to the public.

Financial comments

The expenditure of up to £50,000 will be funded from the 2019-20 Opinion Research and Statistics Team’s budget held within the Intelligence Unit.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract will be managed by the Opinion Research team.

TfL Procurement has been consulted and has advised that this work can be procured through a request for quotation process. Procurement will commence as soon as is practical following this decision.

Activity table



Procurement of contract

December 2018-January 2019

Delivery Start Date

February 2019

Decision on whether to extend contract for a 2nd year

January 2020

Delivery End Date

February 2020