Clarify organisational responsibilities

It is important that you liaise well in advance with the relevant departments within your organisation such as finance and human resources. Explain how you plan to involve members of the public in your research. This will ensure that you are aware and informed of local arrangements for involving members of the public and any issues that finance or human resources may raise about the proposed arrangements. If there are any concerns raised by these departments you will have time to solve problems early on.

Examples of issues you might need to consider are:

  • payment and expenses policies
  • travel and expenses claim forms
  • methods for paying people (including tax and national insurance deductions)
  • confidentiality agreements – ask all members of the research group to sign a confidentiality statement, not just the members of the public
  • health and safety
  • honorary contracts/research passport
  • insurance and indemnity
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

 We recommend that you:

  • have a lead for public involvement in your team so there is a point of contact for all involved. This should be an experienced member of staff who is adequately resourced to carry out the role.
  • talk to others within your organisation who have involved people in their research
  • make sure that people involved know that they can stop being involved at any time
  • consider the emotional support you might need to offer people if the research is sensitive or if they find some of the information distressing and where to access this
  • if asking your own patients, or carers of your patients to work with you on a study consider if this is appropriate and how this might affect your relationship
  • where appropriate, discuss in advance what will happen should people become ill for periods of the research
  • plan in advance what will happen to the people you have involved at the end of the project, for example opportunities for getting involved in further research, or groups and organisations they can link in with so they can continue to use the skills they have developed.