The consent form is an official document that gives permission to someone to carry out specific duties or tasks. This signed tool is also essential in outlining the informed consent of a person for a clinical trial, surgery, research, or school purposes. The said document is expected to explain the consent covered and detail the activities involved. Without consent forms, there would be neverending conflicts in terms of liability. Hence, these documents are important for legal aspects, like determining who is to blame for a failed clinical trial with or without consent.

According to a 2017 study, 29% of patients did not participate in clinical trials since they were afraid of the treatment’s possible side effects.

On another note, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) reported that a US citizen is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds.

Generally, a consent form has two primary functions. One example is when you wholly accept any risk or cost involved in an activity. And this function is common for voluntary consent wherein someone of competent mind agrees to consent. The second example is when you accept consent on behalf of someone else. This function commonly applies to those involving minors, like when a child asks the parent or legal guardian to sign the consent form to join a certain class.

Indeed, a consent form is important, as discussed in its two main functions earlier. But are you aware of what a standard consent form looks like? Also, what are the common factors stipulated inside? In this segment, we outlined the common elements seen inside basic consent forms. And these are the following:

Title: A consent form must have a title. That way, anyone who views the document will automatically get the gist of what it is for. Yes, the title ‘Consent Form’ is allowed, but it is better to be more specific. You could state the hospital’s name if the consent form is for medical treatments done inside that hospital. Or perhaps, you can state the name of your business when the consent concerns your company. And the title should be in bold capital letters to be seen immediately.Introductory Statement: What follows after the title would be the introductory statement. This part gives a brief introduction about what the consent form is about. It also answers the basic details of when or where a specific activity happens. Just make sure this section explains the title further to clarify the expectations of whoever reads or writes in the form.Names of Parties: Be sure to state the complete names of everyone involved in the consent agreement. An example is when the consent is for therapy or treatment purposes. Who performs the counseling, interview, and any other activity involved in therapy? And whose consent is being asked from in the therapy? Expect two main parties to be mentioned in the consent form, but it may involve more if applicable. Type of Consent: What type of consent is involved? This segment also specifies what function the consent is for. An example is sexual consent. Did you know that in every 73 seconds, one US citizen gets sexually assaulted? The consent form would have parties agree to consensual intercourse. Thus, the one who agreed to the consent cannot file for sexual misconduct. And you can learn more about the types of consent later in this article.Purpose of the Activity: Yes, the form details the consent of any activity involved, but what is the actual purpose of that activity? There should be a reasonable explanation of why the said activity is important or necessary since consent is being asked. It could be that the activity is dangerous or risky. Take clinical trials, for example. A research survey noted that 29% of patients refused to participate in such trials because of the treatment’s dangerous side effects. However, trials might have a useful purpose, like discovering which vaccines are effective or, perhaps, studying new clinical treatments’ side effects.Activity Procedures: Besides the purpose, write about what procedures will be done in the activity. A tip is to write the procedures in the proper sequence and to explain them in detail. The steps mentioned here will educate the participant expected to agree or refuse the consent about how the activity takes place. And after reading and understanding all the processes, the participant can make a final say whether he or she accepts the consent.Statement of Declaration: One critical element of a consent form is the statement of declaration. This step certifies the official declaration that the party expected to sign the form has read, understood, and fully agreed to the information and stipulations written in the form. Also, this statement is often found at the bottom of the document and before the signature line.Date and Signature: The consent form closes with the signature line. And it usually contains the date of when the participant signs the document. The same goes for the full name and the signature on top of that name. Hence, participants must affix their signature in the form to make informed consent effective.

Making a consent form runs through smoothly when you use our sample templates above. All you have to do is check out each template, edit its content, and download it afterward. However, how you wrote and edited the form’s content should not be taken lightly. Consent forms are official documents so they should be correctly made. And if you need help on how to make a consent form effectively, kindly follow these steps:

It is vital to know the consent form’s purpose and function ahead before even making it. Otherwise, the consent form might be irrelevant to how you wish to apply it. So are you creating the consent form for research, photography, video shoot, educational travel, or any aspect in particular? Note it down. If you chose a medical treatment consent, then expect the rest of the content and details in the form to be related to medical treatment. Bear in mind that unrelated data will lessen the effectiveness of the consent form.

Step 2: Insert the Relevant Elements in the Form

Can you recall all those elements of a consent form that were discussed earlier? Incorporate them individually on the form too. But be sure to focus on adding the relevant factors as not everything may be necessary. Most importantly, group the details you add according to their element down from the title to the signature line. For example, do not input the statement of declaration in the clause meant for activity procedures. And be specific in explaining everything since a wordy consent document without substance is still pointless.

Step 3: Organize the Data, Format, and Design

How the details are arranged in the form is important to note. Are the data, format, and design organized in the first place? Sometimes it is hard to understand some information when there is no proper organization. Start by minding the basics down from the font size, font style, and margins. Are the words legible enough to read? Whether you need the consent form in PDF or MS Word format, you can also decide if it should be printed or just sent via email. The overall design and presentation should be embellished, as well.

Step 4: Mind the Tone and Language Used

In writing the full information and talking about consent, be mindful of your tone and language too. Since a consent form is an official document, it should display authorization in both language and tone. Informal words and statements are discouraged. If you use a consent form as evidence for legal purposes, it is only standard to ensure professional language is used. But, it does not mean you have to be archaic because simple yet understandable words would suffice; avoid complicating things.

Step 5: Implement an Easy-to-Follow Structure

Read everything you wrote and inputted in the form, and be in the shoes of whoever signs it. Do you think everything is clear enough? If not, then change some factors to make it clearer. Also, is the document easy to follow? If it seems difficult on how to complete the form, add instructions. At least instructions remind whoever signs the form to follow what is right. Once you are confident with the overall result of your consent form, launch it.

FAQs

Consent forms come in different types. And the most common examples are educational, medical, entertainment, and business purposes.

Educational consent forms have three types that are categorized according to their function. One example is the disciplinary type, wherein the school permits the use of their disciplinary measures. Another is online consent, meaning a person receives access to the school’s internal network solely for education or research purposes. And the last example is for extracurricular activities, which requires the parent’s consent for a child to attend events after school for extracurricular activities.

There are four kinds of consent—the implied, express, informed, and unanimous consent. And it is crucial to specify the kind of consent used to lessen confusion in consent forms.

Whether you are looking for a way to produce parental consent forms, activity waivers, model releases, or any consent form in general, download our sample consent form templates. With our templates, you are guided on how to structure the details for the document. Thus, starting from scratch is unnecessary. All you need is to complete the missing details and tailor the template according to how you prefer your consent form turns out to be. And since you already know the consent form’s meaning, importance, elements, and how to make it, your consent forms will surely pay off.