It is sometimes argued that formal written consent is not necessary because by consenting to see the researcher, a participant is in fact giving consent. However, it is good practice where possible for all participants to be provided with information giving the name and status of the researcher carrying out the study, a brief rationale of the study (including its purpose and value), and an account of why the individual is being invited to take part.

The person interviewed should be made aware what will happen to the data, whether and how it may be shared with others, and whether they will be identified – and asked their preference.