We hold the view that not everyone who has good rhetorical qualities is automatically a good qualitatively oriented researcher too. On the contrary, we believe that dependable and sound results can only be assured with well-trained research consultants.
Therefore, we work solely with skilled associates (who we have partly trained ourselves), who have professional know-how and relevant expertise for the project. Basic/ formal vocational education, which is extremely diversified for qualitative researchers in particular, is not so important in this respect. What really counts are the specific professional skills that have been acquired from practical work in research firms and personally initiated further education, from reading the appropriate literature or from attending seminars/ training courses/ papers/ events.
Our previous experience has shown that there is not currently a protected job title in Germany, only few regulated training courses (fortunately they are getting more), few seminars (those there are being often quite expensive) and hardly any relevant publications.
We would like to improve this situation for the new recruits, but also for currently active colleagues, and have thus initiated a regular get-together of qualitative research consultants in our area (Rhein-Neckar-Raum), offer free workshops and coaching and support the “Arbeitskreis Qualitative Marktforschung“ of the German research association BVM.