Exempt Category 3

Exempt Category 3 - Benign behavioural interventions


Research with adults who prospectively agree when information collection is limited to verbal or written responses, data entry by the subjects or observation of the subject, and fulfilling one of the criteria:

  • Information obtained is not identifiable directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects
  • Any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research would not put the subjects at risk of harm (criminal or civil liability, damage to subjects' financial standing, employability or reputation).


Exempt criteria:

  • Researchers should confirm a survey respondent is an adult before proceeding with the main survey questions (i.e. as eligibility criteria)
  • Benign behavioural interventions are defined as brief in duration, harmless, painless, not physically invasive, not likely to have a significant adverse lasting impact on the subjects
  • Research using deception is acceptable (with debriefing information) if the subjects authorize the deception through a prospective agreement to participate in research in circumstances, in which he or she will be unaware of, or misled, regarding the nature and purposes of the research.


  • Research with children.
  • Research requiring decision-making on behalf of the participant by a legally authorized representative. 
  • Study involving medical tests, procedures, and/or devices (e.g. VR headsets, Fitbit, etc). 
  • Deception without prospective agreement.