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MSPA Code of Professional Standards and Ethics Agreement

The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) is dedicated to improving service and promoting excellence in the mystery shopping industry. A fundamental aim of the Association is to ensure that standards are maintained. To improve the value, reputation and stimulate the use of mystery shopping services, it is important that information about mystery shopping services is accurately communicated to both the business community and the public at large, while complying with applicable government laws, regulations and ordinances.

MSPA expects members to follow principles of honesty, professionalism, fairness and confidentiality to guard the interests of the public and our clients in order to promote good business practices.

The Mystery Shopping Providers Association's Code of Professional Standards is established to ensure that MSPA members conform to the following principles:

  • Commit, in principle, to the purposes of the association: improving service and promoting excellence in the mystery shopping industry;
  • Conduct mystery shopping services in an honest and ethical manner;
  • Conduct mystery shopping services according to industry procedures and regulations set forth and agreed to by MSPA members;
  • Instill confidence in mystery shopping and encourage public cooperation;
  • Instill confidence in the business community that mystery shopping is performed in a professional and fair manner;
  • Respect our clients, their employees, our employees, fellow MSPA members, and the general public.

In addition, we agree to the following Rules of Ethical Conduct in that we will not:

  • falsify or misrepresent reports;
  • mislead shopper applicants on actual job opportunities regarding mystery shopping;
  • ask or encourage anyone to break confidentiality agreements with other firms for whom they conduct mystery shopping assignments;
  • use any MSPA media to publish complaints against shoppers, vendors, clients, or other mystery shopper providers;
  • refuse to pay, or make a deduction from a shopper's pay, for failure to perform any function which was not explicitly described in written instructions.

If, after a thorough investigation, a member is found to be in violation with our Rules of Conduct, membership in our Association may be withdrawn or other disciplinary action may be taken.

This agreement must be adhered to by each member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association as well as employees of members.


*The MSPA is the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. With over 260 member companies worldwide, our diverse membership includes marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Our member companies work with their clients to establish mechanisms to measure and improve levels of service.