GLOBAL RESEARCH AND TESTING IN THE CONSUMER INTEREST

OUR WORK

ICRT runs more than 50 large joint tests and numerous smaller joint tests each year. We use around 60 highly specialised laboratories worldwide to carry out research and tests on thousands of products per year. While co-ordinating tests for our members, ICRT can make savings of around 60% per test joined for our more affluent members. Our less affluent members are able to save more than 90% in some tests, and have the same quality of test results to be published in their magazines and websites.

Guidelines

ICRT develops and publishes internal guidelines for joint tests on several topics. The most recent to be produced are the guidelines for joint Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Research, a comprehensive paper presenting a variety of approaches for CSR research and assessment that aims at promoting the ethical responsible behaviour of companies.

Knowledge sharing

ICRT has created and currently runs a database containing test results and data that is used by member organisations for publications on their associated magazines and websites. ICRT develops common test procedures for large continuous tests of products such as mobile phones, washing machines, digital cameras, child car seats and tyres.

Evaluating results

ICRT developed an online calculating tool, optimised for high-volume projects with regular updates and for the delivery to member's website. This new tool makes the exchange of results and information more secure and efficient than before.

Setting high standards

Through our joint test programme, ICRT empowers consumer organisations worldwide to standardise reports on the same product, hence improving the quality of information available to consumers. ICRT facilitates a continuous exchange of information on the latest test methodology. ICRT plans and supervises specific topic networks to help the consumer movement provide the highest standard of information to consumers in the global arena. ICRT has been influential in improving car safety, from the early days of Euro NCAP crash testing, to the setting up of Latin NCAP and the launch of the Global NCAP programme.

Capacity building

ICRT co-ordinates five regional groups (Nordic, Central and Eastern European, Asia Pacific, African and Latin American), building on their cultural and regional similarities to help them to grow and become sustainable. Our latest success has been a three-year capacity building project run jointly with BEUC. The project was funded by the European Commission with a budget of > 5 million Euros. Consumer organisations in several new member states were mentored by experienced ICRT member organisations and trained in market research, product testing, evaluation and publication, as well as developing marketing and business plans. Consumers in the participating countries have gained access to reliable comparative information on a broad range of popular products, from washing machines to mobile phones. The project helped to start up or improve existing consumer magazines and websites in new EU countries and has been regarded as the most important and practical project to date for the transfer of know-how from consumer organisations of the older member states to those with lesser experience within the wider consumer movement.

Global audience

ICRT's test results are published in an average of 10 million magazines worldwide, with a potential audience of 30 to 40 million every month. Many more people are also reached by websites, books and media campaigns.