It is crucial for professional bodies and scholarly societies to respond to the diverse and ever-changing needs of members and other stakeholders, while keeping pace with sector trends.

For that reason, we offer membership surveys, in-depth interviews, focus groups and desk-based membership research to provide breadth and depth on projects – using bespoke research designs and advanced methodologies to inform decision-making on such topics as:

  • Membership engagement
  • Member satisfaction
  • Training, qualifications and accreditation
  • Policy development and public engagement
  • Publications and new service development

Project types

Membership research

Including satisfaction and needs, packages and pricing, branding and communications, and cluster and segmentation analysis. We can also investigate potential new member types and recommend ways to make your offer compelling to these groups.

Policy development research

Including desk research into key issues or policy changes, research with key stakeholders, management of consultations and the creation of evidence to support new policy positions or initiatives.

Qualifications and accreditation research

Including consultations with employers, experts, learners, training providers and professionals to inform the development of professional qualifications, ensuring that these remain in line with sector needs.

Publications and new service development research

Including research into journals, magazines, newsletters, guidelines and books. We can help you to generate new ideas or revise existing services and have particular expertise in user experience and digital products.

Conference fieldwork

Shift Membership offers a unique service of research fieldwork at academic and medical congresses. We have a team of researchers we can send out to conduct research both in the UK and internationally.


We are experts in providing high-quality data and insight, and have conducted international surveys in over 165 territories, with translation into multiple languages, including Mandarin, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Each project is different and we are constantly innovating, but our main techniques include:

Qualitative methodologies

  • Focus groups, round tables and workshops (face-to-face and online)
  • Interviews (telephone, face-to-face and online)
  • Online communities
  • Co-creation workshops
  • Customer-journey mapping
  • Ethnographic studies
  • Mobile ethnography
  • User-testing and website evaluations
  • Service design
  • Delphi studies

Quantitative techniques

  • Key driver analysis: how much a factor influences satisfaction.
  • MaxDiff and conjoint: how stakeholders value different elements.
  • Cluster analysis and segmentation: evidence-based stakeholder personas for more targeted services and communication.
  • Perceptual and brand mapping: identifying perceptions in relation to similar organisations.
  • Tracking studies: changes in variables (e.g. awareness) over time.
  • Pricing techniques: including Gabor Granger and van Westendorp.
  • Other: structural equation modelling, regression, factor analysis.

Desk research

Literature reviews, social media audits, data / competitor analysis, etc.

MemberWise recognised supplier

We are proud of our long-standing place on the MemberWise Supplier Directory. MemberWise is an independent professional network that supports thousands of membership and association professionals based in the UK and overseas. Being on the directory means they recognise our experience and knowledge within the association and membership sector.

Research into the education sector is conducted as part of Shift Learning.

Research into sustainability issues is conducted as part of Shift Sustainability.

Respondent connections

We have many years of experience in speaking with membership audiences. We recruit from our own GDPR compliant panel, as well as other reliable data sources.

Digital consultancy

We are experienced in researching digital ideas and testing products with real users. We have the flexibility to offer both face-to-face and online usability tests – allowing for in-depth exploration, as well as collecting wider perspectives.