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As part of their work, Scope runs employment support services designed to help working-age disabled people in their search for employment.

As part of a wider process of digitisation, Scope are now using the Zoom platform to carry out their group employment support sessions. One-to-one meetings are also available if participants do not wish to take part in a group setting. All meetings are recorded, which means Scope must gather participant consent to proceed with video recording.

Staff and volunteers delivering the service may require consent from family or guardians with responsibility for young persons. Charities may also need consent from carers who are responsible for vulnerable adults.

Scope’s current solution to the digital consent barrier is to gain verbal consent across recorded Zoom meetings. Scope asks participants for consent at the beginning of the calls to record the session and also use video functionality (where applicable). Participants are able to turn off their video function and make their preferences clear to the host.

Users and needs served

  • As a staff member or volunteer, I need to get consent from the participant when conducting a remote session
  • As a staff member or volunteer, I need to get consent from the participant’s parents or guardian when conducting a remote session
  • As a service user, I need to give my consent to be able to join activities
  • As a service user, I need to understand what I’m consenting to and why my consent is important

Software and tools used


Zoom is a popular communication and videoconferencing tool used for calls, videos, and chat.


Zoom offers a range of subscriptions.

The free ‘Basic’ plan allows unlimited one-to-one meetings but has a 40-minute time limit on group sessions.

There are also various options for paid plans:

Pro (£11.99/month/host) Business (£15.99/month/host)
Enterprise (£15.99/month/host).

These plans contain increased options for participation and no time restrictions.

Zoom is also available at discounted charity rates through the is also available at discounted charity rates through the Charity Digital Exchange programme.

More price options can be found here.


Zoom allows recording of sessions.

The platform has various options for group videoconferencing.

Zoom also has a chat function, which allows participants to communicate non-verbally.

Zoom has a number of tools for participant management, such as the ability to turn off video, mute audio, or limit screen sharing.

You can also create private meetings which require a password upon entry.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is another communication tool for free audio calls, videoconferencing, and chat.


Google Hangouts is free to use.


The platform can hold up to 250 people.

Unlike platforms such as Zoom, you can’t see all participants at once.


Skype is a well-known communication tool for audio calls, videoconferencing and chat.


Skype is free to use.


Users only need to pay when using premium features like voice mail, SMS texts, making calls to a landline, mobile, or outside of Skype.

Recipe steps

1. Preparation for the session

● Ensure that you have a Zoom (or alternative) account

● Set up a session

● Consider any privacy or security settings that need to be configured

● Send an invitation to participants via email/SMS/alternative application

● Remove any unnecessary information from the invite to reduce confusion

2. Holding the session

● Sign into the Zoom account and grant participants access as they arrive

● Verbally ask participant for consent to record session

● Ask participant if they wish to have video functionality on

● Once consent has been given, repeat the verbal consent again now the session is recording. This ensures you have a record of consent being given

● If the participant has not given consent to the recording of the session, proceed without recording


Ensure the person who is able to give consent is present at the start of the meeting. This helps to avoid making the session longer than needed or having to schedule another session.

Ensure the participant’s video camera is off to begin with. This can be configured when setting up the Zoom meeting. Allow participants to turn on the video camera themselves in the session.


It is more difficult to read body language or interpret social cues over videoconferencing.

It may be harder to gauge how your participant is feeling when you rely solely on verbal cues.

Participants may not have the technology or skills to use the video conferencing platform.

Participants might be less engaged than in a physical setting, as they could be distracted in their environment.

Points of contact

For further information about this recipe, you can contact:

Alex Hazell

Louise Gillard


Many thanks to Scope for contributing this recipe.


This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.

That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Scope and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.

Recipe published on February 12th, 2021. Last updated August 4th, 2021