New Multimedia Informed Consent Protocol to Remove Barriers to Equity

Adapted for Queen’s from a version Rebecca Sweetman was involved in creating for a non-profit organization, the Informed Consent 2.0 Protocol addresses the barriers to equity in obtaining consent for the use of video footage.

Some examples of the barriers to equity in obtaining consent using a paper contract are difficulties with reading and understanding the contract, and people not fully understanding their rights as well as the rights they are waiving. The Protocol also overcomes reluctance to sign a document, particularly in cultures where signing a document is not how contracts/agreements are typically made and asking someone to sign could tap into a legacy of historical colonial or other legal processes that negatively impacted their community.

Prior to coming to Queen’s, Sweetman worked to document the important stories of grassroots changemakers all over the world. This Protocol is a process she developed over the past decade, she explains, “to address the inherent inequities in the filmmaker-participant relationship.” She adds: “I sincerely hope that all who engage in research and/or communications – not only multimedia people like myself – find this useful to help level the playing field and engage heart to heart first.”

One of the most important aspects of the protocol is that consent contracts may be made orally with participants on camera or as an audio recording. Participants also have additional rights, such as giving consent in their preferred language, remaining anonymous, withdrawing their consent or amending their footage at a future date, and reviewing the film before it is finalized. 

In addition to a rationale and useful advice and best practices, the Protocol includes a sample script and consent form that members of the Faculty are encouraged to use and adapt for their own videos.

Thanks to Rebecca for developing the Protocol and supporting the Faculty Office commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

See the full Protocol: Informed Consent 2.0 - Multimedia Informed Consent Protocol.