A Consent Form is a written document that shows assurance from another party that they understand the terms of service of an operation through written permission. An adult can sign a consent form for themselves. In the case of minors, the parents/guardians of the minor can sign on their behalf. A consent form can be used in different situations, such as during a children’s field trip, a parent signs a consent form to show that they agreed and allowed their child to participate.
The primary purpose of an official consent form is to act as a protecting document that shows the agreement both parties signed up for.
For example, in the health sector, one cannot sue a doctor if complications arise from a performed procedure, provided they signed a consent form. This document protects the doctor since it shows that the patient was informed of the possible outcomes of a procedure, and they agreed to it.
A consent form is also referred to as:
- Informed consent form
- Written consent form
- Consent form template
Ways to Obtain consent
Before performing an act in a business, a hospital, or even in schools, one needs to obtain consent from the other party. A consent form can be obtained either through explicit consent, opt-out consent, or implicit consent.
Explicit consent is given to an individual or a group of people, and it is clear and precise, giving the party an option of agreeing or declining the agreement. An individual does not have to sign the document as it can be done verbally, and the other party signs on their behalf. Explicit consent is mainly focused on the disclosure of personal details such as health status or family background.
Implicit consent is an indirect type of consent whereby an individual is pertained to have agreed to consent through their actions.
For example, parents can approve to consent to their child attending a field trip by nodding their head. Additionally, implicit consent can be proven when a patient shows up for a medical procedure, which shows they have agreed to the procedure.
In opt-out consent, an individual is allowed to decline to consent, and if they do not decline, it is then determined that they have agreed to the consent.
For example, a tenant can be given an option to decline that they are not allowed to have pets in a rental building. If they do not decline, it is then determined that they have agreed not to keep pets on the rental property.
Giving and Accepting Consent (How it Works)
When giving or accepting a consent letter, various vital aspects need to be put into prior consideration. Such aspects include:
Define the permission needed
The permission needed is determined by the person giving the consent form to another individual verbally first. This is done to create clarity so that the person signing is aware of what the consent form is about. A clear explanation of the consent details should be provided, and it should be ensured that the permissions are clearly stated. This helps in clearing ambiguities that might prevent a person from signing the consent letter.
Choose the right consent form
When giving a consent form to a client, one should ensure that they choose the suitable consent form to avoid contradictions of loss of the rights they acquire from the form. Additionally, an individual or a party seeking consent should ensure that they clarify any of the details which seem to be unclear to the party granting consent.
Signatures act as the fundamental root of a consent form as it is where a client accepts an agreement through signing. Once the document is signed, the other part can then execute the actions being guided by that form. Both parties should always have a copy of the signed consent form for future reference or for legal purposes.
How to Write an Effective Consent
There are precise steps that are followed in the writing of an effective consent letter. The following details should be included in a formal consent letter or consent email:
The heading, which states the purpose of the consent letter, should be written with accurate grammar and should be short and precise, which allows the individual granting consent to understand it, and increase the chance for them to agree and sign the consent form.
Explain the requirements
All requirements of the consent letter should be explained so that the individual granting consent may be able to check whether or not they will be able to sign the document. For example, in the education sector, the requirements on official consent can be a certain age, weight, or height required for a child to participate in a particular sport such as rugby.
Mention the duration of the program
The individual requesting consent should clearly mention the duration of the program on the consent letter so that the other party granting the consent can know the exact duration. This gives the client a commitment to follow the expected rules or procedures for that given period of time.
Correct personal information
The party requesting consent should ensure that the personal information of both parties is correct. Moreover, contact details should also be included in this section to enhance ease in communication in the case where one of the parties needs to communicate with the other.
Discuss rules of contract
The party requesting consent should discuss the rules both parties must follow. Once regulations are set up and the document is signed, they tie down both parties, and no change can then be made. Therefore, they should be adequately discussed on the consent form.
Any benefits or compensation
The individual requesting consent should ensure that they clearly state any benefits or compensations in terms of payments or fees which might be required during the period the consent letter will be in use.
Signatures are the last aspects of the consent form, which are used to show the agreement whereby the person who is granting the consent signs the consent letter. This section should be left blank until the other party willingly agrees to sign the document.
Free Consent Forms and Templates
Use of a Consent Form
Consent forms are used for different purposes and in other sectors whereby one party seeks consent to act. Some of these sectors include:
In the education sector, educational consent forms are mainly used to show an agreement between a parent or a guardian and a teacher on behalf of their child. This is done because the child is not in a capacity to understand the consent form or the risks that may appear from participating in certain events, thus having an adult sign for them.
For example, a parent is requested to sign a consent form for their child to attend a field trip.
An official consent form is used in the entertainment sector whereby one party has to agree to the rules pertaining to aspects such as sound regulations and the implications of not following the procedures.
In the business sector, consent letters are commonly used to allow two parties to have a partnership.
For example, one party will give a consent form to the other to get confirmation that they have sold the property to the other person, and they have to release all documents and rights to own the property to the other party.
Consent letters are used in the medical sector for patients to agree to treatment procedures. The consent form contains detailed information regarding the risks and benefits of the procedure; hence the patient or their guardian has to sign. The signature protects the doctor from facing any blame in the future in the case of a side effect due to the treatment.
What is a consent letter?
A consent letter is a document that binds two parties through a signature that one has agreed to the policies and expected implications from an agreement. A consent letter is divided into various sections which clearly explain the details of the letter. It is determined to be complete once the two parties sign the letter.
What are the ways consent can be obtained?
Consent letters are usually obtained through explicit consent, implicit consent, or out-put consent. An explicit consent gives the individual a choice to choose to agree or decline the consent. Implicit consent is obtained through an individual’s behavior, such as nodding head in agreement. Lastly, opt-out consent is attained when an individual is given an option to decline to consent, but they fail to; hence it is determined that they have agreed to the consent letter.
A consent letter is an important document that can be used in different sectors to create a sense of agreement between two parties. A consent letter allows an individual to either agree or decline, and hence one signs the document willingly. When a minor is involved, their parent or guardian is mandated to sign the consent form on their behalf. The document is only effective once the two parties sign, and it is kept for future reference and as a means of protection.