Obtaining consent

Use this guide to develop a consent form or script for obtaining consent when you are doing user research or testing.

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  • Time
    15+ mins
  • Casting
    1+ team members
  • Tool

Use for: Developing a consent form for research  
When: Before people participate in research
With: User research lead + privacy and legal expert

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Document guide

You can use this guide and templates to develop consent forms for research projects where:

- You are researching with adults who are able to provide consent
- Your research does not involve sensitive topics
- You are not publishing your findings, or only publishing anonymised research findings.

Sensitive topics (for example, domestic violence or health matters) or researching with children is a bit more complicated. If you plan to publish or share findings that are not anonymised, you'll also need additional levels of consent. In these situations you'll need to work with your legal team to add a few extra clauses.

While this guide has been reviewed by privacy experts, your organisation might have different needs or policies that aren't addressed by our form. We recommend that you consult the legal team in your organisation to tailor the consent form template to your project.

What’s it for

Developing consent forms for research that help you comply with NSW privacy laws.

What you’ll get

Templates in plain English for you to tailor with your legal team.

When to do it

You must get informed consent from people before they participate in user research or testing.

How it works

Before you start:


Step 1: Be familiar with the NSW Design Standard for Privacy to know the guidelines for obtaining consent.

Step 2: Select the consent form template that matches your research activity - interviews and focus groups or surveys.

Step 3: Consult your legal team to tailor the consent form template with information related to your project.

What’s next:

Once your organisation legal team have approved the form for you to use, you're ready to take participant's through the form and address any questions they have.

This document is contributed by the Behavioural Insights Unit, Department of Customer Service.