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SERMO is fully committed to building and maintaining a world class panel. From the moment a panellist is invited to join our panel to the time they actually participate in the survey, SERMO follows strict quality guidelines designed to deliver reliable data. This allows you to spend time focused on results rather than being concerned about panel integrity. The following is a description of our proven quality framework which represents the highest quality standards in the industry.

The SERMO Quality Management Framework

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  • Outbound telephone or

  • Verified online registration where it is safe

  • Multi-layered deduplication
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Fieldwork Partners
  • Full Transparency & Accountability

  • Vetting of quality standards/ethics

  • Comprehensive data review
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Sample Integrity
  • RelevantID© deduplication

  • GeoIP & Fraudscore™

  • Panel History/Quality Profile
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Panel Management
  • Two strike exclusion policy

  • On-going monitoring & cleansing

  • Deep profiling
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Hosted Surveys
  • End-to-end QC process

  • In Survey Quality Measures

  • Comprehensive data review


  • SERMO samples are recruited via telephone or through online registration and are verified using a 2-step process
    • Firstly, an automatic credit check is conducted using verified healthcare databases to ensure that the registrant is a valid healthcare professional
    • Secondly, an automated check is conducted working alongside third party verification tools to double check that the respondents is who they are claiming to be
  • In markets where it is not possible to 100% assured by this validation, all registrants are investigated by a manual verification process to confirm their credentials as a healthcare professional


  • SERMO also operates a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that only the right respondents join the panel:
    • De-duplicate any new members against existing membership
    • Ensure that new respondents have not previously been black-listed
  • Using digital-fingerprinting techcnology (Relevant ID™ by Imperium) combined with SERMO-implented business rules, we have the ability to identify respondents regardless of any personal detail they provide to us (e.g. email, name, address etc).


  • Sampling is conducted by independent survey invitation
  • SERMO does not conduct River Sampling or use Survey Routers
  • All survey invitations and survey links contain a copy of the SERMO Privacy Policy


  • Our digital-fingerprinting technology, Relevant ID™ allows samples to be du-duped across multiple sample sources

Additional Security Checks

  • As part of Relevant ID™ solution, a number of useful data points are generated
    • GeoIP – this captures the location that the survey is being accessed from. Compared with where the respondent is claiming to be located, this can be an important indicator of potential concerns
    • Fraudscore – additionally a number of flags indicating inconsistencies in the browser setup and an associated score are returned (from Fraudscore™) to further assist in identifying concerns.

Ongoing Validation

SERMO employs rigorous quality control processes to survey programming, translations and data checking with dedicated quality control teams. We implement three key measures:

  • End to End Quality Control Process

    • Questionnaire review
    • Login Checks
    • Random Data Generation
    • Survey testing
  • In-Survey Quality Control

    • ‘Speed Bumps’ - speed between questions is measured and speeders are reminded of the importance of thoughtful answers
    • Instructional Questions - ask respondents to give a specific answer to one question within a grid to ensure respondent attentiveness
    • Consistency Checks - options include pairs of reverse worded items on the same scale to simple calculations (e.g. years of experience vs year of graduation)
    • Soft Validations - questions that re-confirm/review the respondents answers
  • Data Review

    • Flat-lining, Inconsistent answers, Random/pattern answers, Poor/invalid open ended, Duplicate respondents, In-depth speeding checks, Cross- country consistency checks.

Panel Management

  • SERMO believe in actively managing our panel and we employ the following quality measures:
    • Remove data quality offenders - ‘Two strikes’ policy
    • Score panel on an on-going basis to enable data cleaning
    • Monitor activity levels
    • Regular de-duplication
  • In the highly unusual event that a bad respondent is identified, it is critical that they cannot get in under a different guise. To safeguard our panel we use Triple-Lock Blacklisting
    • Email Address blacklisting
    • Personal Identification blacklisting
    • Relevant IDTM blacklisting

Fieldwork Partners

  • SERMO has a high quality network of trusted partners who are all bound under NDA’s
  • We insist upon transparency, disclosing the need for and name of partner agencies
  • Where possible, all partners must have MR and/or healthcare industry accreditation (ESOMAR, BHBIA, CASRO, EphMRA, MRA, MRS)

SERMO still check the data and apply our quality controls

  • RelevantID® screening – ensuring duplicates are avoided between proprietary and partner panels in addition to providing recruitment exclusion lists
  • Ongoing data checks (for ‘straight-lining,’ speeding, illogical answers, etc.) for all SERMO-hosted surveys

Adverse Event Reporting

  • SERMO provides full Adverse Event Reporting services in line with all Global MR regulations including both data checks (of open-ended and closed survey data) and monitoring activities (daily checks, reconciliation and verification processes)

SERMO’s commitment to quality:

  • Dedicated Quality Management team representing nearly 10% of all employees
  • Uniquely robust methods and systems for panel recruitment and quality control, leveraging innovative technologies and quality enhancing feedback systems
  • End-to-end quality management process, embedding quality measurement and enhancement into survey set-up and execution and detailed data reviews
  • Engagement with industry bodies, such as PBIRG, CASRO, EphMRA and the BHBIA