Respondent Permissions – Example wordings

19 Apr 2018 | Research & Business Knowledge

It is important to make sure that respondents understand what will happen to their information and what they are agreeing to – and also for you to get the right permissions in writing.

Here we are collating some examples of wordings/ permissions used by members – if anyone has any others that can be added to the resources list, please email them to

The rules

Here are the guidelines that we should follow;

BHBIA guidelines:  To secure a respondent’s fully informed consent, he/she must be told:

  • The nature of the sponsoring organisation;
  • Subject and purpose of the MR discussion;
  • Methodology and approach;
  • Location, duration of fieldwork;
  • Date and time of fieldwork;
  • Reimbursement offered – both the nature and the rate of remuneration;
  • If, and how, viewing or recording will take place;
  • The name of the agency and/or researcher conducting the discussion;
  • What will happen to personal data collected at recruitment;

IF naming the end client before the interview would undermine the integrity of the work, this may be done at the end of the interview BUT respondents must be made aware at recruitment that:

  • the client will be named at the end of the interview
  • they can withdraw their consent at any point
  • If the end client is receiving personal data they must be named before any transfer takes place
  • The justification for this should be documented

Forms and sheets:  Generally understood that the incentive sheet should be kept separate from the consent sheet (not all are taking this approach, and it may not be a strict requirement)

  • Incentive sheets need to be kept for 7 years as part of accounting records
    • Keeping incentive sheets and consent forms separate = no need to store as much
  • Incentives – these can be one sheet for all to sign
    • OK to leave off details of the client? No consensus here
  • Consent – individual sheets due to the amount of information you need to collect
    • Need to include details of the client here

Incentive sheets should include the amount paid

Consent forms should include:

  • Participating in research
  • Audio recording
  • Filming
  • Permission to recontact
  • Inform them about anonymised quotes (but no need for permission as not personal data?)

Consent for video for marketing purposes should be treated entirely separately.

Example 1

This is to confirm that:

  1. I have received £XXX as a thank-you from XXX for participating in a research discussion on the date above.
  2. I understand audio recordings, photographs and/or video footage may be taken of me as part of this research. This content will only be used for research purposes within XXXX. For example, to demonstrate a point made in the research as part of a report or presentation. It will not be used outside XXXX.

Example 2


The group discussion you are about to take part in will be video and audio recorded.  Copies of the video and/or audio recording may be seen/listened to by people working for the Client Company i.e. the company that has commissioned the research.

All those in the Client Company who watch/listen to the recording sign an undertaking that they will respect the anonymity of you, the respondents.  Thus, if anyone watching/listening to the recordings recognises any of the respondents, then he/she must immediately stop listening/watching.

  • The recordings will only be listened to/viewed for research purposes and only to pursue the aims of the research study
  • The recordings will not be used for non-research purposes such as promotion, direct sales, social media or broadcasted in any way

This example then has the client signature/ agreement, followed by those of the respondents


Many thanks to all contributors to this article who have generously shared their knowledge