The "informed consent" process is a critical element in research that involves participants, as well as in creative projects which include the reproduction of other's image, text or property. In both research and creative works, the artist, designer or student is expected to work in compliance with BC Privacy Act and with the core principals of research as outlined in the updated (2014) Tri-Council Policy Statement: "respect for persons, concern for their welfare, and concern for justice".
Tools for Informed Consent in Participant Research and Creative Projects
There are various tools for researchers to use to guide the process of obtaining free and informed consent of participants involved in their research studies. The following templates and checklist are provided by the Emily Carr University Research Ethics Board as guidelines. Be mindful that the nature of your research forms the basis upon which your informed consent process is built --from invitation through to data collection, through to publication of results. Therefore, you will need to adjust the content of your consent documentation accordingly.
[NOTE - The following templates are awaiting full approval for use by the ECU-REB. They meet the current standards of the univesity and should be followed. Be aware that you may be asked to modify them to comply with additional guidance from the ECU-REB. Full approval for these templates is expected before May 2012.]
INVITATION / CONSENT FORM TEMPLATE 201.3 - Use these templates to build a form that introduces your research project and then documents the consent of the participants to be involved in the described project. If the participants are under the age of majority (younger than 19 years of age in the Province of BC), or if they are otherwise under guardianship, follow the instructions outlined in the Template Invitation / Consent & Assent Provision for Minors or Others Under Guardianship which is coming soon.
RELEASE AGREEMENT TEMPLATE 201.5 - To document the release of permission by the participant for photographs, digital images, video, audio recordings, or other identifiable information about them or their property, use a form based on these templates. In research projects that make public any of the above listed materials this Release Agreement is used alongside the Consent Form. If the research project does not make public any identifiable information (i.e. if all of the publically available data is completely annonymous), this form is not necesary. A modification of these forms may also be used in non-research projects in which identifiable information is made public, such as documentary film or photography-based artoworks, for example. If the participants are under the age of majority (younger than 19 years of age in the Province of BC), or if they are otherwise under guardianship, follow the instructions outlined in the Template Release Provision for Minors or Others Under Guardianship (coming soon).
TEMPLATE INFORMED CONSENT FOR ON-LINE SURVEYS - This template offers instruction on how to construct an on-line survey preamble. It can be used with on-line tools like surveys as well as other data collection tools.
For more specific information about managing privacy with digital technologies and electronic devices, this handbook from the BC Civil Liberties Association might be helpful - 2012-BCCLA-Report-Electronic-Devices-Handbook.pdf
INFORMED CONSENT CHECKLIST - If you are not using one of the templates (above), review Chapter 3, TCPS2 to ensure that your consent materials comply with the standards described.
Informed Consent in Other Creative Practice Projects
Aside from participant research projects, informed consent may be required for projects like commercial illustrations, photography, documentary film, Internet design, and more. Research Ethics Board approval is not necessary for projects other than participant research projects, but the ECU-REB provides information and guidelines to develope a consent process in art and design work.
Remember that the type of project determines the formality of the consent agreement process. There is not a single solution that will work for every project. These are a few resources to assist artists, designers and students to make a consent process that is appropriate for their project:
- For students who are involving people (models and actors) in film projects at Emily Carr University, FVIM has release forms as part of their Insurance + Releases Package, found here - http://blogs.eciad.ca/fvimresources/insurance
- For artists and others, CARFAC Saskatchewan has guidelines for release agreements here: http://www.carfac.sk.ca/contracts/model-agreements-contracts . CARFAC Ontario has a publication outlining a set of release agrements and contracts for artists. It is available here: http://www.carfacontario.ca/page/special-offer-artists-contracts-carfac-members_46/
- For photographers and others, a package that includes information about approaching model and property release and consent process and a set of simple, clear forms (including obtaining consent from minors) is available for a small fee here: http://art-support.com/artistforms.htm
- The Model/Talent Release Form from Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario is available here - http://www.rgdontario.com/lookItUp/publications/handbook/forms.asp
- The Emily Carr Library has a number of resources for developing contracts and consent forms in art and design projects:
- Artists Contracts, Paul Sanderson, CARFAC Ontario, 2006.
- Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, Graphic Artists Guild, 2007.
- Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers, Tad Crawford and Eva Doman, 1995.
For more information, contact the Emily Carr Research Ethics Board - firstname.lastname@example.org .