These two types of forms are often confused.
Waiver - Legal document that waives a person's right to seek damages from an organisation or person. The legal definition is "Relinquishment of a known contractual right by a party who has such a right, which will relieve the other party of his contractual duty. No consideration is necessary."
A waiver is void UNLESS:
- the activity is question is not mandatory for the person to obtain a course credit or fulfill another requirement,
- the hazards and potential dangers are explained to the person before the activity begins,
- the signatory is over 18 years of age or the parent/guardian is the signatory, and
- the information is provided and the waiver is signed before the activity is scheduled to begin.
The activity must therefore be optional.
The University of Ottawa waiver form has a dual purpose. It also serves to collect emergency contact information for the signatory.
Informed Consent - Legal document used to inform a person about the hazards and potential dangers of a particuliar activity. The legal definition is "Permission to do something which is given with complete knowledge of all relevant facts, such as the risks involved or any available alternatives."
A consent form is appropriate:
- when used to inform a person of certain requirements, hazards, and potential dangers in an activity that they must complete to fulfill a requirement.
The University of Ottawa Informed Consent Form has a dual purpose. It also serves to collect emergency contact information for the signatory.