Information and Privacy Office

Access to Information

The Access to Personal Information for Research/Studies Procedure (“Procedure”) sets out a process for obtaining approval to use personal information that is within the University’s custody or control for the purpose of:

1. Performing a University study or survey that is focused on planning for or evaluating the University’s programs and activities; or
2. A research project.

The approval process is somewhat different, depending upon whether a proposed initiative falls into the first or second category.

If an employee wishes to use personal information to perform a University study or survey, another important question to consider is whether the University study or survey will be assessing the same program or service for which the personal information was collected in the first place.

The decision tree below illustrates the steps a University employee needs to take before proceeding to use personal information within the University’s custody or control for a University study or a research project.

Decision tree (PDF 60.2 KB)

In some circumstances, the decision tree indicates that you should fill out Questionnaire #1. You can find a copy of that questionnaire here. (Word 32.7 KB)

In some other circumstances, the decision tree indicates that you should fill out Questionnaire #2. You can find a copy of that questionnaire here. (Word 29.9 KB)

The IPO also provides Survey Guidelines that can be used, regardless of whether the survey requires IPO approval.

In addition to obtaining IPO approval, please note:

a. If you are requesting personal information from another University department, you will also need to consult with that University department to obtain their agreement as to feasibility, timing and costs; and

b. If you are performing a research project involving personal information, please consult with the Research Ethics Office about obtaining research ethics board approval.

After you have the approvals listed above, to the extent that they are relevant, then the final approval comes from the Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Information Services & Technology) (“VPIT”). If a research agreement needs to be signed, the VPIT will sign the research agreement on behalf of the University.

Please feel free to call (780-492-9419) or email (foipp@ualberta.ca) the IPO with any questions you have about this process.