There is a lot of talk in these pages about consent, but why is it so important? What is it anyway? And how do you go about getting it? When research – any sort of research – is conducted using human participants, it is the University’s policy, and in some cases a legal requirement, that a consent form must be in place prior to the research commencing. In addition, it’s just plain good practice to have one in place. Getting the consent form correct at the start of the project can save a lot of hassle later on.
The consent documentation should comprise three elements: a project information sheet, an informed consent form, and a debriefing sheet. But in order to get those documents right, there are some important factors to consider when working with human participants.