Good practice: If possible, active and documented informed consent is preferred. This implies that participants must perform an action to indicate their willingness to participate in the research. This can be done by signing a form, but digital methods (e.g. ticking a box, pressing a button or clicking a link) can be acceptable alternatives. Such action should obviously be performed after the relevant information has been provided.
If you cannot document a participant’s consent right away (e.g. because you are interviewing someone by telephone), you can send such an informed consent form afterwards.
Possible risks associated with documenting informed consent: Documented informed consent may pose a risk to certain groups, as the information they provided could be linked back to them (e.g. illegal immigrants, victims of home violence, prostitutes, people engaged in criminal activities and HIV-positive employees). If standard procedures for obtaining written informed consent may be harmful to participants, rather than protecting their interests, other consent procedures may be justified, including verbal informed consent.
See also the information on our website concerning informed consent procedures
Note: In compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation GDPR, active consent is required if the research will involve collecting new data or the new use (including linkage) of personal data.