Waivers and Informed Consents

Waiver and Informed Consent Usage

These waivers are for University of Calgary use only. They may not be altered in any way without the permission of Risk Management and Insurance.  

These documents are not applicable to research involving the use of human subjects/participants. Contact Research Services if you require assistance with those types of documents. Students' Union clubs should contact the SU for waivers. Department Graduate Associations (DGAs) should contact the Graduate Student Association for waivers.

If you are administering waivers and/or informed consents, please refer to the FAQ document below.

Updated: Aug-31-2022

Waiver and Informed Consent Process

1) Determine Required Documents

Adult Waiver: Participants 18 years of age or older and the activity is not-for-credit.

Adult Informed Consent: Participants 18 years of age and older that are signing a document for:

  • a for-credit course activity
  • their thesis work
  • they are an employee of the university and this activity is taking place as part of their job duties

Child Informed Consent: Participants under the age of 18 must have their parent/legal guardian sign.

2) Choose Applicable Waiver

For general waivers, see our Waivers and Informed Consents page.

For residence waivers, see our Residence Waivers page.

If this activity is with a school, check to see if we already have a contract with the School Board as that will require a different form (see the Contracts page and choose School Board Agreements to see the list.)

3) Waiver/Informed Consent Request

If the required waiver or informed consent is not listed, Please complete the Request for a Waiver/Informed Consent form at least two weeks prior to the event.

Request a Waiver/Informed Consent

Frequently Asked Questions

A waiver or informed consent has a maximum “usage” of one year. For example, if you have a waiver for a drop-in activity that goes throughout the year, you are required to set up a system to ensure that each participant signs a new waiver at least once a year. If you change any activities in the drop-in program or add activities that were not originally considered when the waiver/informed consent was built, you must contact Risk Management and Insurance (risk@ucalgary.ca) and request an updated waiver. Once completed, all participants must sign the new waiver. 

Active Living has a system for administering and signing waivers electronically for their programs. If you have programs that require waivers or informed consents on an ongoing basis, you may wish to contact Logan Jones at joneslc@ucalgary.ca to obtain access to their system.

Make sure that they are copied in a back-to-back format and in colour (even the red box with the yellow lines are derived from standard industry practice).

The best choice is to have participants sign them and give them to you in advance of the activity. However, if that cannot be done, ensure that you send them or give them access to a copy of the document at least two weeks in advance of the activity, so they can review the document and ask questions before bringing it to you on the day of the activity.

An employee of the university is the best choice as they may have to testify in court that they witnessed the signature. However, witnesses can be anyone who is not related to the participant.

Only a parent or legal guardian of the child can sign an informed consent on behalf of a child. Adult informed consents must be signed by the participant.

  1. Child Informed Consents require all of the following to be considered complete:
    • The parent/guardian’s signature,
    • address and phone number must be complete and,
    • as well as paragraph 3 on the Informed consent, must be initialled.
  2. Adult Informed Consents have the same requirements, except that the Participant must be the signatory of the document.

We do not accept altered waivers or informed consents. In order to participate in the activity, they must sign the document with no changes.

  • Ensure that you have checked their picture ID so that you can verify they are the person whose name is on the waiver or informed consent.
  • Check that their name and address is complete.
  • Check that the date and the signature are complete.
  • Ask them if they have read and understood the document.
  • Go ahead and sign as a witness and complete your date of signature.

Reply as follows: “The document you are asked to sign is a waiver of liability and indemnity agreement. It is a legal document and by signing it, you are giving up certain legal rights, including the right to sue, should you be injured while participating in this activity."

Do not attempt to get into a more elaborate explanation, but suggest the participant re-read the document. If the participant has questions, direct them to Risk Management and Insurance at 403.220.5719 or risk@ucalgary.ca.

Encourage the parent or guardian to re-read the document as it is in clear terms. If the parent or guardian has questions, direct them to Risk Management and Insurance at 403.220.5719 or risk@ucalgary.ca.

Waivers and adult informed consents should be filed in your department and retained for no less than twelve years as per the university’s retention policy.

Child informed consents must be retained for:

  • if the birth date is known, until they are 18 + another 12 years
  • if the birth date is unknown, 30 years.

Contact Campus Security at 403.220.5333. They will initiate emergency response if the accident is significant. All accidents are required to be reported on the OARS system as well. Risk Management and Insurance may contact you to obtain the original of the signed waiver/informed consent.

All Residence Services and Residence Education Team events & activities must be pre-approved by the Manager, Residence Education. Complete the waiver request and send it to them first and, once they approve the activity, they will send it forward to Risk Management and Insurance to have the document created.

For information and waivers specific to Residence events, see Residence Waivers.

Updated: Sept 1, 2022