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    October 2019

    Waivers: Getting One Consent at a Time

    Informed consent should be a prerequisite for participation in a host of voluntary activities — from student involvement in athletic teams and experiential learning to community use of the campus fitness facilities. Rather than having individuals sign a generic consent form, United Educators (UE) recommends that educational institutions draft releases specific to events and share copies with each participant.

    Whether it is an assumption of risk, waiver, or release form, the document is intended to be a legally binding agreement that informs participants of risks and guards the institution from liability. Providing participants with documents that describe the risks associated with the activity enables them to reflect and ask questions about the document before signing it.

    UE's Checklist for Drafting Effective Releases outlines important elements to consider when drafting or revising a release. 

    Many of the points the checklist identifies are demonstrated in these sample releases: University of California, Office of the President, Waivers and Releases and Goucher University Aquatic Center Participation Release. Your institution should note, however, that these releases are not narrowly tailored to its specific activities and do not constitute legal advice. Institutions should not rely on sample releases without seeking the advice of an attorney. 

    More From United Educators

    Checklist for Drafting Effective Releases
    Minors and the Use of Releases
    Electronic Waivers
    Releases and Assumption of Risk Forms in Concussion Management


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