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Your ultimate guide to consent forms: Expert tips & examples

Aug 15, 2022 6 min read
Your ultimate guide to consent forms: Expert tips & examples

Defne Çobanoğlu

In many activities that involve other people, a signed consent form is a must to have. You may need one ready when you will have a child to travel without parents or proceed with any medical procedure such as human subjects research. And having this consent form signed by the partakers could be time-consuming when you use hardcopy forms. Nonetheless, you can save both your and the consent givers' time significantly if you switch to an online informed consent form.

Having an online consent form for numerous goals will help save time, and avoid unnecessary interactions and any legality issues. You can choose a good form builder to go with and start with a consent form template in no time. In matters when consent requirement is necessary, doing this step online will be a great help.

What is informed consent?

According to European Commission, "Informed Consent is the decision, which must be written, dated and signed, to take part in a clinical trial, taken freely after being duly informed of its nature, significance, implications, and risks and appropriately documented, by any person capable of giving consent or, where the person is not capable of giving consent, by his or her legal representative..."

That means when there are research studies that involve people and using of their personal data, written consent must be acquired beforehand. The Informed consent form must include sufficient information to meet the required requirements. In most cases, a document involving details should be attached. Another case when a consent form is necessary is when an unaccompanied minor will travel without parents. In that scenario, a child travel consent form signed by both parents is necessary.

Do you need to obtain consent for processing personal data?

Unless it is permitted by law, or the person whose data will be used has consented to the processing, personal data processing is generally prohibited. An informed consent form needs to be signed by the person or his/her parents or needs to have orally consented in cases when signatures can not be obtained.

The cases when consent needs to be taken are when there are research studies that involve parents, children, and volunteers, using data on human genetic material, biological samples, and/or personal data; written consent must be acquired. The consent should be taken freely and with information on terms and conditions. And the subject of the study can withdraw their consent any time they want.

How to get consent online

Getting consent from people about their personal data is a legal requirement. And there is more than one way to do it. The old-school way to do it is by having them sign a physical copy of a consent form. Nowadays, it is easy to do it online with an online consent form. Here are different ways you can get consent online:

  • You can find a good form creator and get started with a consent form.
  • You can add a signature field on your form to collect signatures remotely for consent. Many countries see online signatures as a form of legal action. You can check out your country’s laws on online signatures and if online signatures are legally binding.
  • The researcher can send the contents of the consent via email and get consent verbally as well.
  • Just like a physical consent form, you can send all the necessary information to inform the subjects about the details in the release section. As long as they are informed and free in their actions, getting consent online has no drawbacks.

Consent vs. waiver

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the waiver is “an official decision that a rule or agreement does not have to be obeyed, or that you will not ask for something that you have a right to.” So, it basically means you give up any rights on the subject for now and for the future. Some situations that require a waiver are parental rights, avoiding liability, and denial of inheritance.

On the other hand, Informed consent is the person's learning and accepting the consequences of the information they will give. The company or institution using the information will inform the consent giver, and they will accept to let them use this data.

Consent vs. release

According to the Britanica Dictionary, consent is “to give permission for something to happen or be done.” And you get informed about the risks and details in the “release” part of the consent form. So, the release is the part of the form where the subjects learn the terms of the consent.

Informed consent forms, however, mention risks but do not have a "release" section. Only waivers have this part. That’s why waivers before the law are more concrete than consent forms.

How do I create a consent form?

Consent forms are very effective when it comes to collecting consent. It is cost-effective and saves time, energy, and manpower. When you use an online consent form, you will not have to make your subjects physically sign a document. Instead, they can do it from their own homes. It will speed up the process greatly. And forms.app’s smart features allow its users to create powerful forms in a matter of minutes. Here is how to create consent forms:

1  - First, go to forms.app and log into your account, or easily create one.

2  - Then, find the consent form you need from the forms section. 

3  - Prepare the form yourself from scratch or choose one of the consent form templates and start quickly.

4  - Go to the design section and choose one of the designs or pick the colors yourself.

5  - You can add different question types and form fields.

6  -  You can add a document for Terms and Conditions. It is essential because your subjects need to be informed about what they are giving consent to.

7  - Use the electronic signature field to collect signatures from afar. It is a legal way of collecting signatures, so it is fully lawful.

8  - Once you are done with your form, finalize it and share it with your target audience.

You can also check out creating consent forms on the blog of forms.app for more information. Creating a form is this easy, and there are different consent forms you can look up. They are all equally effective, and a different template may be most suitable for you. Some consent form examples are:

Summary

Consent forms are very essential for many activities involving people. It is a legal part of collecting consent from them. If consent is not taken from the subject, it will cause problems in the future. Therefore, consent should always be taken. And now, it is legal to collect consent signatures by using online consent forms.

Different countries may have different legislation for collecting online signatures however, more and more countries have started accepting it as a legal form of action. And forms.app is an effective and intuitive form creator platform that offers multiple smart features. 

As mentioned above, there are many consent form types, and it is very effortless to create one yourself. You can check out the helpful and ready-to-go consent form templates and see which one you want to use, and start collecting consent forms today!

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