Data Protection

Introduction

The Centre is fully committed to compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the Act”), which came into force on the 1st March 2000. Therefore follow procedures that aim to ensure that all employees, elected members, contractors, agents, consultants, partners or other servants of the centre who have access to any personal data held by or on behalf of the centre, are fully aware of and abide by their duties and responsibilities under the Act

Statement of policy

In order to operate efficiently, the centre will collect and use information about people with whom it works. These may include members of the public, current, past and prospective employees, clients and customers, and suppliers. In addition, it may be required by law to collect and use information in order to comply with the requirements of central government. This personal information must be handled and dealt with properly, however it is collected, recorded and used, and whether it be on paper, in computer records or recorded by any other means, and there are safeguards within the Act to ensure this.

 

The centre regards the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to its successful operations and to maintaining confidence between the centre and those with whom it carries out business. The centre will ensure that it treats personal information lawfully and correctly. To this end the centre fully endorses and adheres to the Principles of Data Protection as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

The principles of data protection

                                                                  

The Act stipulates that anyone processing personal data must comply with Eight Principles of good practice. These Principles are legally enforceable.

The Principles require that personal information:

1. Shall be processed fairly and lawfully and in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met;

2. Shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes;

3. Shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which it is processed;

4. Shall be accurate and where necessary, kept up to date;

5. Shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes;

6. Shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act;

7. Shall be kept secure i.e. protected by an appropriate degree of security;

8. Shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of data protection.

 

The Act provides conditions for the processing of any personal data. It also makes a distinction between personal data and “sensitive” personal data. Personal data is defined as, data relating to a living individual who can be identified from:

• That data;

• That data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of the data controller and includes an expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller, or any other person in respect of the individual.

 

Sensitive personal data is defined as personal data consisting of information as to: Racial or ethnic origin;

• Political opinion;

• Religious or other beliefs;

• Trade union membership;

• Physical or mental health or condition;

• Sexual life;

• Criminal proceedings or convictions.

 

Handling of personal/sensitive information

 

The centre will, through appropriate management and the use of strict criteria and controls:-

• Observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of personal information;

• Meet its legal obligations to specify the purpose for which information is used;

• Collect and process appropriate information and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements;

• Ensure the quality of information used;

• Apply strict checks to determine the length of time information is held;

• Take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information;

• Ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards;

• Ensure that the rights of people about whom the information is held can be fully exercised under the Act.

 

These include:

• The right to be informed that processing is being undertaken;

• The right of access to one’s personal information within the statutory 40 days;

• The right to prevent processing in certain circumstances;

• The right to correct, rectify, block or erase information regarded as wrong information.

 

In addition, the centre will ensure that:

• There is someone with specific responsibility for data protection in the organisation;

• Everyone managing and handling personal information understands that they are contractually responsible for following good data protection practice;

• Everyone managing and handling personal information is appropriately trained to do so;

• Everyone managing and handling personal information is appropriately supervised;

• Anyone wanting to make enquiries about handling personal information, whether a member of staff or a member of the public, knows what to do;

• Queries about handling personal information are promptly and courteously dealt with;

• Methods of handling personal information are regularly assessed and evaluated;

• Performance with handling personal information is regularly assessed and evaluated;

• Data sharing is carried out under a written agreement, setting out the scope and limits of the sharing. Any disclosure of personal data will be in compliance with approved procedures.

 

All elected members are to be made fully aware of this policy and of their duties and responsibilities under the Act.

 

All managers and staff within the centre directorates will take steps to ensure that personal data is kept secure at all times against unauthorised or unlawful loss or disclosure and in particular will ensure that:

• Paper files and other records or documents containing personal/sensitive data are kept in a secure environment;

• Personal data held on computers and computer systems is protected by the use of secure passwords, which where possible have forced changes periodically;

• Individual passwords should be such that they are not easily compromised.

All contractors, consultants, partners or other servants or agents must:

• Ensure that they and all of their staff who have access to personal data held or processed for or on behalf of us, are aware of this policy and are fully trained in and are aware of their duties and responsibilities under the Act. Any breach of any provision of the Act will be deemed as being a breach of any contract between an individual, company, partner or firm;

• Allow data protection audits of data held on its behalf (if requested);

• Indemnify against any prosecutions, claims, proceedings, actions or payments of compensation or damages, without limitation.

 

All contractors who are users of personal information supplied by the centre will be required to confirm that they will abide by the requirements of the Act with regard to information supplied by the centre.

Implementation

The centre will have appointed a Corporate Information Officer. Designated officers have also been identified in all directorates. These officers will be responsible for ensuring that the Policy is implemented. Implementation will be led and monitored by the Information Officer. The Corporate Information Officer will also have overall responsibility for:

• The provision of cascade data protection training, for staff within the centre.

• For the development of best practice guidelines.

• For carrying out compliance checks to ensure adherence, throughout the authority, with the Data Protection Act.

 

Notification to the Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner maintains a public register of data controllers. The centre is registered as such.

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires every data controller who is processing personal data, to notify and renew their notification, on an annual basis. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. To this end the designated officers will be responsible for notifying and updating the Information Officer of the processing of personal data, within their directorate.

The Information Officer will review the Data Protection Register with designated officers annually, prior to notification to the Information Commissioner.

Any changes to the register must be notified to the Information Commissioner, within 28 days.

To this end, any changes made between reviews will be brought to the attention of the Information Officer immediately.

 

All Protrainings centres confirm to adhere in line with this policy. In addition, you consent to information being shared with TQUK awarding body.

We are able to complete a subject access request for individuals at a cost of £25.00

Next Review: August 2016

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