Exempt Category 2

Exempt Category 2 - Anonymous educational tests, surveys, interviews, or public observations


Research involving the anonymous use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), surveys, interviews (whether online or paper) and observations of public behaviour (including visual or auditory recording at a public place) would qualify for Category 2. 

As a special exception under this category, identifiable subjects are allowed only for elected or appointed public officials, or candidates for public office. 

Exempt criteria:

  • Information obtained is not identifiable directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects.
  • Researchers should confirm a survey respondent is an adult before proceeding with the main survey questions (i.e. as eligibility criteria).
  • For minors, the exemption is limited to research involving standardized tests (i.e. simple MCQs and short answer responses) or observations of a public behaviour in a public setting, and does not involve any participation from any research team member.


  • Surveys that contain invasive questions that may cause the subjects to experience emotional distress or discomfort.
  • Survey or interview research through manipulation of the environment in order to elicit certain kinds of behavior and/or affect the subjects' perceptions or responses.
  • Surveys combined with interventions and/or the collection of bio-specimens and linking to additional individually identifiable data.
  • Recording of information in a manner that human subjects can be identified, directly or indirectly through linking with other identifiers. 
  • Any accidental disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside of the research that could put the subjects at risk of harm (criminal or civil liability, damage to subject's financial standing, employability, or reputation).