Cartoon picture of a clipboard with ticked items

Time to spend on this section: 4.5 hours


This section of the theme will highlight the utility of checklists in the selection of research subject/topic for study. It is expected that this section and the associated activities should take approximately 5 hours to complete.

The role of checklists

A checklist is used to compensate for the weaknesses of human memory to help ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task. They are used to ensure that, e.g., a long list of items is not forgotten; professional practice guidelines are followed; quality assurance processes are followed. A checklist is a useful tool for a researcher to use when planning research activities and also provides an evidence trail for research activities.

Checklists can:

  • Promote planning for research activities
  • Enable the use of a consistent approach
  • Assist time and resource management
  • Serve as a memory aid
  • Help to ensure that an activity is conducted in a systematic and comprehensive manner and that adequate evidence is obtained
  • Provide structure and continuity to a research activity that is repeated and can ensure that the activity’s scope is being followed
  • Provide a means of communication and a place to record data for use for future reference
  • Provide objective evidence that the activity was performed
  • Be used as an information base for planning future audits.
Examples of useful checklists are given on the next few pages.