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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Confidentiality Agreements

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CITI Program

What is a confidentiality agreement?

Confidentiality refers to the researcher knowing and taking appropriate measures to protect the identity of their participants. 

As such, if you will be using a transcriber, translator, interpreter, research assistant, or statistician, you will have a confidentiality agreement with them, so they know not to share the identity of your participants or share your data.

If you are using a big company, such as, Transcription Puppy, etc., then you will not need to obtain a confidentiality agreement.


Transcription companies (such as, Transcription Company, etc.) have publicly available privacy policies. If you are submitting your recording to a transcription company, you do not need to obtain a confidentiality agreement.

If you are hiring an individual, you will have them complete the NCU confidentiality agreement template.

Translators & Interpreters

A confidentiality agreement is required for all translators and interpreters.

If your participants are not fluent in English, you must ensure that all participant-facing documents (recruitment materials, consent letter, surveys, etc.) are available in the language(s) of the participants and that participants can communicate with someone who is fluent in their language(s). If you are not fluent in the same language(s) as the participants, you must hire a translator for your participant-facing documents and hire an interpreter to be present for all interactions between you and participants.

Research Assistants

A confidentiality agreement is required for a research assistant. Generally, a research assistant is someone who is outside of the NCU community and will be assisting you with your research.