Your privacy is a top priority. We're committed to always being a good custodian of your personal information, handling it in a responsible manner, and securing it with industry standard administrative, technical and physical safeguards.
We follow two guiding principles when it comes to your privacy:
- transparency - we work hard to be transparent about what personal information we collect and process
- simplicity - we try to use easy-to-understand language to describe our privacy practices to help you make informed choices
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) (ICO registered number Z7078162).
It is also a company registered in England and Wales (company number 02175320), registered address BACP House, 15 St John's Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4HB. BACP also incorporates BACP Enterprises Ltd (company number 01064190) as a legal entity and shares data with it (ICO registered number Z3237939).
BACP is a registered charity (registered charity number 298361).
If you have any queries about this privacy notice or about any aspect of our data management, please contact our Data Protection Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll update this privacy notice regularly to ensure it continues to comply with the latest regulations and best practice. This privacy notice was last amended on 20 Apr 2023 (updated LIA added to section 2u).
2. How we use your information
a) Storage and management of personal information
Our principal data management system is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, which is maintained and developed by a third party processor. This system enables us to efficiently store any information about our members, former members and other stakeholders in a way that ensures adequate security and only allows people who have the right level of authority to access personal information. It also simplifies our responsibilities for data retention and subject access requests.
We process special category data that requires an Appropriate Policy Document (APD).
b) Visitors to our website and social media platforms
When someone visits our website, we use a third-party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.
We use Google Analytics so that we can continually improve our service to you - read the Google Analytics privacy notice.
We use Umbraco as the content management system for our website - find out about Umbraco and data protection.
If you fill in a form on our website, that data will be temporarily stored on the web host before being sent to us.
Where we provide links to websites of other organisations, this privacy notice does not cover how that organisation processes personal information. We encourage you to read the privacy notices on the other websites you visit.
Non-members can sign up to the website to order journals or to book onto events. When doing this you will be asked for your name, email address and date of birth.
BACP has a presence on various social media platforms. If you engage with us via these platforms we will not usually collect or store your personal data. Where we are collecting personal data for future use, we will let you know and provide you with details about the intended use. We have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. To find out how these companies use your data and how you can control the way they use your data please refer to their privacy policies, which should be available on their websites.
BACP has a presence on various social media platforms. If you engage with us via these platforms we will not usually collect or store your personal data unless you send us a message directly. Where we are collecting personal data for future use, we will let you know and provide you with details about the intended use. We have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Data collected by the Meta (Facebook) pixel will be used by Meta and BACP. It will enable us to optimise our Facebook and Instagram adverts, understand how people interact with our website and make improvements as a result. Find out more about the Meta (Facebook) pixel.
To find out how Meta uses your data and how you can control the way they use your data please refer to their privacy policies, which should be available on their website.
c) Members and former members (routine processing)
The main legal bases we use for processing members' and former members' personal information is a combination of contract and legitimate interest.
We carefully safeguard the information we hold about members. This information comes from the way members engage with us, information provided through application and booking forms, renewals forms or details completed in members' online profiles.
The information may also come from members' interactions with us, for example, opinions you provide on our website, comments or communication through our groups on social media, data you provide us with when completing forms.
What the information is used for
We collect this information to provide our services to members and to inform our development of new and improved products to continue to meet our members' needs.
We also use member information for identity verification and to comply with regulatory functions. Usually, when members call us, we need to identify them depending on the nature of the enquiry. We may do this by asking for certain information known only to you.
Specifically, we may use member information to:
- carry out regulatory checks and meet our obligations to the Professional Standards Authority
- develop and improve our services through assessment and analysis of the information, market and product analysis and market research
- improve the relevance of messages we may send you
- personalise our website for you
- protect our systems
We may also monitor or record any communications with members including telephone calls. We'll use these recordings to check your instructions to us, to analyse, assess and improve our services and for training and quality purposes.
We send messages by post, telephone, text, email or other digital methods. These messages may be:
- to help you manage your membership
- to meet our obligations, for example visits by our own regulators
- statements regarding standards of practice, such as gay reparative therapy
- to keep you informed about the features and benefits of the products and services available to you that may be of professional interest
We will keep records of purchases for financial audit reasons for six years, We'll also keep records of qualifications, complaints and adjudications for six years. The basic records of a member's name and membership period will be kept indefinitely in case ex-members wish to re-join.
We will not pass on your information to a third party to use in their own direct marketing without your consent.
Sharing your information
During your contact with us, we'll tell you how your information will be used and that it may be necessary to share it with other services and organisations.
We will not share your information with any third parties unless:
- you have consented to this (for example by providing information to us after we've told you that we will supply the information to a third party)
- it is required for the management of your membership or a legitimate business purpose
- it is as part of our duty to protect a child, a vulnerable adult, yourself or the public
- for the prevention and detection of a crime or the assessment of any tax or duty
- we are required to do so by any court or law or any relevant regulatory authority
- to protect the rights, property or safety of BACP or any third parties (for example for the purposes of fraud protection)
- we transfer our rights and duties to provide products and services to another organisation
By being a member of BACP and using our products and services, you grant us permission to process personal data with which you have provided us.
One significant role of BACP is to promote the membership and qualifications of our members to the public. As a professional body, we will also verify the membership status of an individual when we receive a query from a third party. To this end we publish a member directory on our website, and we will answer queries from the public. We will give members of the public the following information about BACP members:
- whether someone is currently a member
- the date they became a member
- the expiry or expected renewal date of their membership
- current membership category
- whether the member is registered or not
- the criteria the member has demonstrated in order to achieve their level of membership
any of the above information for dates in the past
The purchase of some of our services requires that we publish your details in the public domain, such as in printed materials or on our website, for example therapist directory, networks or events. This information may be used by other members or third parties to contact you but is outside our control. When you purchase these services, you may have the right to opt out from some information being published.
When you make a payment to us, we use a third-party processor to manage the process and the direct debit payments.
We use TestReach to provide and invigilate member exams - see the TestReach privacy notice.
We use Think Publishing to handle membership publishing for us – see the Think privacy notice. We manage subscriptions to our publications using a third-party service
When people make complaints against our members, we hold data relating to the complainant as well as details of the complaint and witnesses or interested parties. We share information with panel members and external clerks who all sign data processor agreements with us. All data relating to this process is kept securely.
Sharing conduct related information
Together with 17 other organisations running accredited registers, we've signed up to an information sharing protocol. We've all agreed to inform each other about, and to take into account, decisions made through the other organisations' professional conduct proceedings which have resulted in an individual being removed from a register.
Member certificate of proficiency (CoP)
We use a third party to help us manage our assessments (TestReach - see the TestReach privacy notice). TestReach provides BACP with the assessment platform and also invigilates. As part of the assessment process, BACP collects equality and diversity data, assessment results, contact details and special requirements. Identifiable information, including equality and diversity data, contact details and special requirements are kept until the assessment process is complete or a booking is cancelled.
Please note that results (pass or fail) are kept as part of a member's record.
The legal basis for processing CoP data is contractual, as you will enter into an agreement with BACP and the information is needed to provide the service. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) data will be processed under the basis of consent until it is anonymised. We are also legally obliged to provide reasonable adjustments in some cases, to do this we will process your special category data if it is needed for that purpose. Reasonable adjustment data will be retained by BACP to show it has met its legal obligations.
Accreditation of services and courses
We award accreditation to therapeutic counselling and psychotherapy services that meet our quality standards. We're also the leading body for the accreditation of training courses in counselling and psychotherapy.
We use assessors and moderators to run these services and we ensure we have data processing agreements with them.
Information is retained for the five-year accreditation term and for a further three years following a lapse of accreditation.
Member audit is managed internally with data stored on our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, the Learning Centre and on spreadsheets. We receive hard copy and electronic submissions. Audit data is stored securely. A record of the audit result will be kept on CRM, We'll hold your personal information only for as long as is necessary for the audit and any follow-up process.
Please note that we may contact our members’ supervisors as part of the audit process. It is the responsibility of our members to let their supervisors know this might happen and to provide us with appropriate contact details. Further information about this is included in our register terms and conditions.
d) Members of the public who make enquiries or complaints
We may record or process data from members of the public who ring us with general enquiries, please refer the section below about phone calls. We retain general queries via email from the general public for a maximum of one year.
If someone contacts us to make a complaint about a member, the data will be processed in accordance with the section below titled “Professional conduct”
If someone submits a general complaint about BACP we will process personal data under the legal basis of legitimate interest, where special category data is involved we will rely on another legal basis. Please refer to the member experience and complaints Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) for further details. We will keep any information you send us in relation to a complaint for 6 years, this information is kept to show what action BACP has taken and to protect BACP against any potential legal claims. Please be aware that we are unlikely to delete information you have provided to us that we have processed as part of a complaint. General complaints data is likely to be shared with any individual related to the complaint, where appropriate. This includes staff members, managers, witnesses etc. It will be used to investigate the complaint and to take any action deemed appropriate as a result of the investigations.
e) Members and non-members who attend our events
If you apply to attend a BACP event we will hold the information we need in order to deliver this event. Our legal basis for holding your data will be a combination of contract and legitimate interest.
Event information is stored on our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, while video and still images are stored elsewhere on our servers. We keep information about presenters and actors for 25 years. Information about exhibitors and sponsors is kept for up to five years. Feedback forms can be anonymous, if you supply your name this will not be used after two years.
We use an events platform run by CrowdComms to support some of our online events. A separate privacy notice will be provided if and when you use that service.
Photography and filming
If you attend an event or take part in a promotional activity, we may ask to take your photograph or film you. Any images we hold, whether in still photographs or video, may be covered by the definition of personal data in the UK GDPR. We will need your consent in order to take and use these images fairly and lawfully. We will ask you to complete a form.
We may record events for use in an online video library, publicity and marketing materials, including use on our website. This filming will primarily focus on the speakers (with whom we always have contracts covering data protection), however, it may include some shots of the audience. By attending these events you are deemed to have consented to your inclusion in these recordings. If you don't want to be included in any recording it is your responsibility to tell a member of BACP staff at the event. There should be signs at the event telling you about the filming and what to do if you don't wish to be filmed.
We use various third parties to help us produce and distribute video and images. We always have UK GDPR compliant contracts with these processors. The main suppliers we use are Silverstream (SSTV); McGowan Transcription; and Push Record. You can access their privacy notices by following the links. On occasion we may use other third parties and freelance professionals where required (e.g. camera operators); we ensure that appropriate agreements are in place with them.
We use third party processors to help us deliver successful events. We use a wide range of venues, mostly hotels, around the UK to host events. We ensure that we have appropriate data protection agreements with them.
f) Members and non-members who take part in our campaigning work
Whenever you take part in one of our campaigns (e.g. signing up to petitions, sending MP letters etc.), you will provide us with some personal data. At the point your data is collected, we will tell you how your data will be used. The campaigns are optional, and you can ask for your data to be deleted by emailing email@example.com. To manage our campaigns we use Engaging Networks - see the Engaging Networks privacy notice.
g) Contributors to our academic journals
We use Steers McGillan Eves to design our journals – see Steers privacy notice.
Contributors to our journals agree to follow our author guidelines, which provide contributors with information on how their data will be used, and for how long. The guidelines include a link to this privacy notice.
We have data protection related contracts in place with third parties where required.
BACP’s quarterly divisional journals provide sector-specific content for members of BACP’s seven divisions and for online subscribers. BACP’s divisional editors (and occasionally the divisional journals’ managing editor) need to be in touch with journal contributors to liaise about editing their articles, and to ensure that due diligence is done in respect of consents, permissions and client confidentiality, as required by our journal contributor guidelines. This is the main purpose of the processing of journal contributors’ data, and is normally done by email exchange.
With respect to client data, our author guidelines explain to contributors the instances where they need to confirm with BACP that they have obtained consents from clients or others; for example, if a client is discussed in a case study. Where consents are required to be seen by BACP prior to publication, our guidelines explain how this should be done securely to protect client data.
The legal basis for processing this personal data is covered by the Legitimate Interests condition – please see further details in the Divisional Journals Legitimate Interest Assessment (pdf). Contributors’ email correspondence with us will be restricted to authorised individuals and only processed if there is a legal basis to do so. We retain contributors’ email correspondence for five years. Any client or other consents provided by contributors are deleted immediately, once they have been seen.
So that divisional members can be mailed out a copy of the journal they subscribe to, we send their names and addresses (mailing data) via secure portal to our journal designers for onward transmission to our printer prior to each publication.
Up to the point of printing, we can remove content from a print journal, at the request of a contributor, or of someone whose data is included in an article, or if BACP as publisher wishes to do so. After printing, we are unable to remove content in print journals. However, we may, at BACP’s discretion, be able to remove content online. Requests for removal should be made initially to the respective divisional journal editor, whose contact details are published on BACP’s website. In our author guidelines, we communicate to contributors that we will not publish their email addresses in our divisional journals, unless they ask the journal editor to publish them.
h) Job applicants, current and former staff
We will only use any information you provide during the recruitment process for the purpose of progressing your application, or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary.
We will not share any information you provide during the process with any third parties for marketing purposes. The information you provide will be held securely by us or our data processors, whether the information is in electronic or physical format.
We may use third parties to help us find the right candidates. This includes Indeed, Totaljobs and Caraires.
We will use the contact details you provide to contact you to progress your application. We will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you've applied for. You don't have to provide what we ask for, but it might affect your application if you don't.
We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary (this is currently a six-month period for unsuccessful candidates).
If we make a conditional offer of employment, we'll ask you for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks to progress to a final offer. We are required to confirm the identity of our staff and their right to work in the UK, and to seek assurance as to their trustworthiness, integrity and reliability. Refer to the Government's guidance on right to work checks.
Therefore, you must provide:
- proof of your identity – we'll ask you for original documents and will take copies
- proof of your qualifications – we may ask you for original documents and will take copies
We will contact your referees, using the details you provide in your application, directly to obtain references.
If we make a final offer, we'll also ask you for the following:
- bank details – to process salary payments
- emergency contact details – so we know who to contact if you have an emergency at work
If you accept a final offer from us, some of your personnel records will be held on our internal HR records system.
During your employment we will process your data for appropriate business needs, such as arranging travel, creating agendas and minutes etc. We may need to share your information with third party processors who provide elements of our ongoing employment service, that is employment law advice, occupational health advice, payroll and pensions processing and other employee benefits such as health and wellbeing services. We have contracts in place with all of our third party processors. This means we have restricted what they can use your information for and who they can share it with. They hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct.
If you are employed by us relevant details about you will be provided to JPM Group who administers our pension scheme. You will be auto-enrolled into the pension and the details provided to JPM will be your name, date of birth, National Insurance number and salary.
We use LifeWorks to provide an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This service is provided initially via a telephone service. We only share your name and date of birth with them for the purpose of your security.
We provide a full Occupational Health service to all staff via Sugarman Occupational Health Services, we will provide only relevant details regarding you and your employment to Sugarman as may be deemed necessary.
We use Busy Bees Benefits to provide staff with a range of employee benefits such as Child care vouchers, Cycle to Work scheme, Salary Sacrifice car leasing. We only share your name and date of birth with Busy Bees.
During your employment, we may use third parties to provide us with employment services. This includes, but is not limited to, getting HR employment advice, management of pensions, recruitment services, life insurance etc.
The main third parties used by BACP (when the policy was last updated) are:
- Caraires Recruitment – see the Caraires privacy notice
- Canada Life - see the Canada life privacy notice
- Data Plan Payroll Ltd. - see the Data Plan Payroll privacy notice
- MHR - see the MHR privacy notice
- Trust ID - see the Trust ID privacy notice
- Renovo - see the Renovo privacy notice
- Fox legal limited – see the Fox Legal privacy notice (also known as Flynn Legal)
- Veth – see the Veth privacy notice
The information you provide will be retained as part of your employee file for the duration of your employment and for six years afterwards. Please be aware that some information may be kept for longer if there is a legal reason to do so.
We use an online text service run by TextAnywhere. We use the service to send text alerts to BACP employee mobile phones. Responses can be sent and received using the service. This service will be used to communicate with staff to keep the business running in certain circumstances (e.g. in response to severe weather conditions).
On occasion we use Reach Volunteering to manage volunteer recruitment – see the Reach Volunteering privacy notice.
Volunteers carry out various roles at BACP, such as being a trustee, serving on an executive committee, writing for our journals, reviewing our publications, participating in our campaigns and projects or acting as an expert point of contact. We collect only information that we need for volunteers. Information is retained for the duration of their volunteering and only retained for longer if we have a legitimate reason to do so.
We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary. We will use the contact details you provide as a volunteer to contact you during your association with us. We will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you've applied for, including a declaration of interests.
All BACP volunteers are made aware of their data protection responsibilities and sign up to our volunteer data protection guidelines before handling any personal data.
We also use volunteers as media spokespeople. We maintain lists of these volunteers for as long as they agree to speak to media outlets on our behalf.
i) People who visit our premises
We have closed circuit TV at our offices. This is a purely internal system that is used to help maintain personal safety and security. Video recordings are kept securely on-site and only shared with police when they are needed to investigate a crime. Only staff who have appropriate authority are allowed access to the recordings. The recordings are kept for 30 days.
We record the name of all visitors to our offices for fire safety reasons. The information is disposed of at the end of each working week.
j) Members of our regional networks
We have regional groups that are co-ordinated by fellow members on a voluntary basis. The co-ordinators maintain spreadsheets of details of members who are in their regions. They use these to keep members informed of local events and to help members network with each other. All regional co-ordinators sign third party processor agreements with us clearly laying down their responsibilities with regard to members' personal data.
k) People who take part in our surveys and consultations
On occasion we may use third parties to carry out research on our behalf. If we do this we will carry out checks on the third parties and have appropriate contracts in place.
Some surveys will be anonymous and some will be identifiable (we will know who has completed them), this should be made clear within each survey.
Personal data collected via surveys will be kept for as long as it is needed for the reasons stated when it is collected.
l) People who engage with research and awards
We run many awards programmes, including funded PhD Studentships, BACP Outstanding Research award, BACP New Researcher awards and some awarded jointly with partner organisations. Our partners include the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) (see the CPCAB privacy notice) and PCCS Books (see the PCCS privacy notice).
We do not collect more information than we need to evaluate and process applications, and we will not retain it for longer than is necessary (this is currently a six month period for unsuccessful applicants). Successful applicant data is kept for 12 months or for the duration of the award if longer.
m) BACP products and services
You may use products or services provided by BACP (some are paid for and some are free). This includes, but is not limited to, our therapist directory and the jobs board. In order to provide you with these products and services it will be necessary to process a certain amount of personal data about you (for example, the details to be included in the therapist directory and your payment details).
We use a third party provider to process card payments - Worldpay. Please refer to their privacy notice for more details: FIS Global privacy notice
n) Get help with counselling concerns (previously known as the Ask Kathleen Service)
Our Get help with counselling concerns service, run by BACP staff members, provides confidential guidance and information on what to do if you have any concerns about your therapy or your therapist. You can choose to use the service anonymously.
If you do provide identifiable data when using the service (because you want to receive ongoing support), BACP will only retain your personal data, it does not keep any identifiable information relating to third parties that you may discuss when using the service (for example details of the therapist or family members who may be affected). Please be aware that this may be different for other services provided by BACP. The legal basis for processing your personal data in this way is covered by the legitimate interest condition (please see further details in the Legitimate Interest Assessment (pdf)).
BACP will also retain identifiable data and details of the support provided to you, this will allow BACP to defend itself should someone complain about the guidance provided by the Get help with counselling concerns service (the legal basis for retaining this information is defence against potential legal claims). Please be aware that you will not be able to ask for your personal data to be erased as it will be kept for this purpose – for details regarding your other rights, please see section 5 of this privacy notice.
Access to the information will be restricted to authorised individuals and only processed if there is a legal basis to do so. In normal circumstances, your data will only be seen by the Get help with counselling concerns team but please be aware that it will be processed where there is a legal obligation to do so (for example in the event of receiving a court order) or if there is a legal basis to do so and we feel it is appropriate (for example when defending against a legal claim).
The data you provide will be retained for three years after collection unless there is a good reason to keep it for longer (for example it is being used to defend against a legal claim)
o) BACP telephone systems
We record calls made to our customer services team for training purposes and performance monitoring. If you object to call recording, you will need to end the call when you are told that calls are recorded. Alternative methods of communication are available - see Contact us.
Should a call include Special Category Data (such as information relating to your health), the recording will be manually paused as we do not need to record this data. Should any Special Category Data be recorded in error, this will be deleted.
Recorded calls may be shared with other managers within BACP on request. If appropriate, a link to the call will be provided; however, access will not be given to the call recording system or any other calls in the database.
There may be times when calls are not recorded, this may happen if:
- there is a technical fault with the telephone system
- your call is transferred internally to another member of BACP (calls to staff outside the customer services team are not recorded)
- a customer services officer manually pauses a call
We will also not record a full call when payment card information (PCI) is disclosed. When making a payment, the recording will automatically pause before you provide any card details. Recording will resume once payment has been completed.
We do not plan to record special category data (such as details about your health) and our legal basis for processing your personal data is reliant on the legitimate interest condition (please see the call recording Legitimate Interest Assessment (docx) for further details).
Call recordings will be retained for 40 days before being deleted. During this time, should a request be made to access this data, then an unredacted copy of the call(s) will be provided via a unique link. Should such a request be made outside of the 40-day period, we will be unable to provide a copy of the recording in question.
In some circumstances a call may be used as part of a complaint or another matter (for example defence against legal claims). If this is the case, the recording will be retained for as long as it is needed to fulfil that purpose.
The telephone system integrates with our Customer Relationship Management system using your telephone number. If our system recognises your phone number, the customer service agent will be presented with a screen containing your membership records before the call is answered.
Our speech analytics system will also automate reporting to provide information on call types and / or customer sentiment during a call - we will use this data to help improve our service.
Please refer to section 5 of this privacy notice to see details about your rights.
Recordings will be used to monitor the quality of service provided by individuals within the customer services team. Calls will automatically be scored by the recording system based on criteria set by the Customer Services Manager or Supervisor. Recordings may be used as evidence in addressing capability issues should repeat training fail to improve the level of service provided.
p) Bulk emails
We use a third-party (Click Dimensions) to send service emails (those that relate directly to service provision such as membership administration) and emails about our products and services to our members and other customers. Click Dimensions is based in the US and will have access to the information used to process these emails, including email addresses and the content of emails. We have Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) in place to protect the data, please refer to the Click Dimensions SCCs (pdf).
Click Dimensions automatically includes unique tracking pixels in these emails, which log when the email has been opened. This information can be tracked to individual members, but it is used primarily to assess the effectiveness of email campaigns rather than to target specific individuals. We have processes in place to help ensure the data is not used for other purposes. The tracking data is retained for six months, after which it is destroyed.
We're unable to offer an opt-out option for service emails at present due to limitations within the system; however, we are working closely with Click Dimensions to provide this functionality. You can ask us to stop sending non-service emails to you (i.e. those that are about opportunities relating our products and services) by emailing our communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also unsubscribe from receiving these types of email by clicking on the unsubscribe option at the bottom of non-service emails sent by BACP.
Please refer to section 5 of this privacy notice to see further details with regard to your other rights.
q) Learning centre
This is a system to provide members with an online tool for planning, undertaking and recording CPD activities. This system includes the CPD hub.
BACP will analyse the system to find out what type of CPD activities are being undertaken and how frequently. This information will be used to identify any additional materials that might be useful to our members.
BACP will provide users with recommendations, through the ‘My learning’ area, as to the content they may be interested in. This is based on information such as the membership type. For example, a student member may receive recommendations relating to student-based material.
If a registered member is selected for audit then they are able to submit their CPD record directly from the LMS instead of sending completed Word templates to us. They do this by clicking on ‘Submit for review’ - it is only once this confirmation has taken place that the BACP audit team will access the personal CPD record of a member.
Personal data about the member
The legal basis for processing this personal data is covered by the legitimate interests condition - please see further details in the Learning Centre Legitimate Interest Assessment (pdf).
Access to the information will be restricted to authorised individuals and only processed if there is a legal basis to do so. In normal circumstances, your data will only be seen by the relevant teams within BACP (e.g. the team responsible for the Learning centre system and the audit team). However, it will be processed where there is a legal obligation to do so (for example in the event of receiving a court order or to comply with a subject access request) or if there is a legal basis to do so and we feel it is appropriate (for example when defending against a legal claim).
Personal data will be retained while you continue to use the system. It will be kept for two years after you stop using the system unless you object.
Users of the Learning centre should retain full control over their data, with the ability to opt out of having an account. Users will also be able to delete their learning history by sending a request to email@example.com. For details of your other rights please refer to section 5 of this privacy notice.
Please note: users of the Learning centre have control over the information that is uploaded to the system. The terms and conditions state that special category data should not be uploaded onto the Learning centre. Particular care should be taken when uploading data relating to personal reflections.
r) Professional conduct
BACP may process individuals’ personal data in order to carry out its protective function (helping to protect the public), to uphold the professional standards of BACP members and to protect the reputation of BACP.
When we investigate our members for conduct relates matters, we hold data relating to all the stakeholders involved. This includes details of the complaint or potential issue and any information provided by those involved, which may include the complainant, the member and witnesses or interested parties. Please refer to the guide to making a complaint for information about who might be involved. Refer to the professional conduct procedure for more detailed information.
We share information with panel members, external clerks, other legal external contractors and case presenters. They all sign appropriate agreements with us. All data relating to this procedure is kept securely and confidentially. Refer to the guidance on confidentiality for further details. Please be aware that we consider general correspondence between those involved to be confidential – relevant information will be shared and disclosed if it is appropriate to do so as part of the procedure.
Under normal circumstances, the information you provide will be seen by the BACP register team (internal to BACP) and panel/hearing members (external to BACP). On occasion, BACP may appoint data processors to process the personal data you provide. This is done in accordance with contractual processes that include due diligence and the appropriate data processing contracts.
There may be a need to share the information with other teams or parties where there is a legal basis to do so (e.g. to obtain legal advice or to ensure compliance with other statutory requirements).
Together with several organisations running accredited registers, we've signed up to an information sharing protocol. We've all agreed to inform each other about, and to take into account, decisions made through the other organisations' professional conduct proceedings which have resulted in an individual being removed from a register.
In order to carry out our assessments it is likely that we will need to process personal data and special category data. Please see below for further details.
Personal data (professional conduct)
Legal basis (personal data)
Restrictions on rights
Before the complaint is referred to an independent panel (Investigation and Assessment Committee – IAC)
BACP will continue to retain copies in order to defend against potential legal claims (complaint can still be withdrawn by contacting Professional_Conduct@bacp.co.uk)
12 months if the complaint is withdrawn. 6 years if the complaint is heard by the IAC. Advice letters are kept for 3 years.
After the complaint has been heard by the Investigation and Assessment Committee (IAC). Disciplinary proceedings track chosen.
Legitimate interest – please refer to the legitimate interest assessment for the professional conduct procedure
BACP will continue to process the complaint in the interests of protecting the public. The data subject will maintain the majority of their rights but not the right of erasure (complaint cannot be withdrawn)
After the complaint has been heard by the Investigation and Assessment Committee (IAC). Practice Review Track chosen.
Legitimate interest – please refer to the legitimate interest assessment for the professional conduct procedure
BACP will continue to retain copies in order to defend against legal claims (it may be possible to withdraw the complaint up until the hearings stage but depending on reasons and what point the process is at. Contact Professional_Conduct@bacp.co.uk for further details)
Complaint taken forward by BACP in the public interest
Legitimate interest – please refer to the legitimate interest assessment for the professional conduct procedure
It is likely the complaint will be processed without consent. Data subjects will be able to object to the processing by contacting Professional_Conduct@bacp.co.uk, but the complaint may still be taken forward.
Special category data (professional conduct)
Our lawful bases for processing special category data are:
- Substantial public interest in accordance with DPA 2018 Schedule 1, Part 2, Paragraph 11 “Protecting the public against dishonesty etc.”. This is the legal basis being relied on up to the point where a decision is made by BACP about a complaint, declaration, audit, certificate of proficiency or other register related function. We will also use this legal basis to take a complaint forward without consent if we believe there is a substantial public interest in doing so.
- Defence against potential future legal claims is the legal basis that will be relied upon to keep copies of the information provided. A complete set of correspondence and evidence will be kept to help prove that BACP has undertaken its protective function properly and to protect against potential legal claims. This is in line with the ICO guidance that suggests data can be held to protect against potential future claims rather than just current or ongoing claims.
Additional information (professional conduct)
Declaration data (information provided by members as part of application processes) is retained by BACP for 18 months.
There may be a requirement to publish a decision that has been made as part of the professional conduct procedure. This will be done in accordance with the professional conduct publication policy.
If an appeal is made there is a chance it will involve a public hearing: public hearing guidance.
If you have any questions about your rights or would like more help in relation to your personal data please contact the Professional Conduct team: Professional_Conduct@bacp.co.uk
We award Individual accreditation to members that meet our accreditation criteria. You can see further information about our accreditation requirements and criteria.
Members who apply for accreditation are required to provide personal data for the accreditation team to assess an application against the accreditation criteria. Under normal circumstances only our accreditation team will have access to this information. There may be a need to share the information with other teams or parties where there is a legal basis to do so (e.g. to obtain legal advice or to ensure compliance with other statutory requirements).
Accreditation applications need to be sent to BACP either by email with password protection or by post. Payments for applications are taken by phone via our Customer Services Team.
Some accreditation applications include special category data. We ask you to provide special category data so we can fulfil our protective function properly. This is so we can confidently assess members’ applications and award accredited status. However, we will only process the information you provide with your consent, you will retain full control of your personal data and may withdraw from the process at any time and ask for your data to be destroyed by contacting the accreditation team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be aware that you will not receive accredited status should you withdraw from the process.
We use both contracted and employed assessors and moderators to assess applications and we ensure we have the appropriate data protection controls in place.
Accreditation decision reports are kept for 12 months.
t) AdaPT project
The AdaPT project has concluded and all associated personal data has been removed from our systems.
u) BACP member forums
Our online discussion forums offer a place for members to debate and converse about counselling, coaching and the psychotherapy profession. Please refer to our the specific guidelines and terms and conditions for each forum that outline what we expect from people who interact with our channels and how we’ll act if comments fall short of these expectations.
The legal basis for processing this personal data is covered by the legitimate interests condition. Please see the Legitimate Interest Assessment for the Communities of Practice Forum as an example. Forums are likely to contain your profile data and data about you in posts (either posted by you or someone else).
Profile data will be retained while you continue to use the forum. It will be kept for two years after you stop using the system unless you object.
We consider information that has been posted about you (by you or someone else) is the responsibility of the poster and not BACP. However, in line with ICO guidance we want to ensure that any information posted is factually correct. Should you believe a post about you is not correct, please refer to the relevant terms and conditions or forum guidelines to see how you raise an objection.
A request for erasure will result in your personal profile being deleted but, in most cases, any posts containing your personal data will remain.
Your posts will be visible to all those who have access to the relevant forum. Under normal circumstances, your profile data will only be seen by the relevant teams within BACP (e.g. the team responsible for the forum). However, it will be processed where there is a legal obligation to do so (for example in the event of receiving a court order or to comply with a subject access request) or if there is a legal basis to do so and we feel it is appropriate (for example when defending against a legal claim).
v) BACP mentoring scheme and bursary scheme
BACP is operating a pilot mentoring scheme. We will need to collect information about the participants in order to operate the mentoring scheme effectively. The information will include special category data and it will be processed by BACP and a third party called Coach Mentoring Ltd. (their privacy notice). Personal data will be collected on a consent basis and you will retain full control over your data – should you wish to enforce any of your rights please contact email@example.com.
The information will be retained for the life of the pilot scheme or until you revoke your consent.
BACP is running a Bursary scheme for training in counselling and psychotherapy. Personal data will be processed as part of the application and awarding process. Information will also be retained to enable effective management of the bursary scheme. Further details, about the way personal data is processed, are available in the relevant terms and conditions.
The BACP Therapist Directory is an online, searchable directory of private therapists who offer services to the public. Members of the public can contact therapists directly by using contact details within a therapists listing. Alternatively, they can contact therapists by using the contact form available on our website. The contact form is completed by users of the website. The information they provide in the contact form is passed to the therapist they have chosen. The information asked for in the contact form is what we consider to be the minimum required for the therapist to make an initial decision about being able to work with a potential client.
Once data has been sent to the therapist, they will be responsible for responding and looking after the data. BACP retain message data for up to one day in order to help deal with any issues that may arise with the sending of messages.
Individuals that use the contact form should contact the therapist if they want to submit a data subject request. For example, to access their data or to ask for it to be erased.
BACP is a UK based organisation. However, we cannot stop our members accessing their emails whilst outside of the UK if they choose to do so.
3. Audit and regulatory requirements
We may share any data about our operations with:
- our auditors, RSM - see RSM privacy policies
- HMRC - see the HMRC personal information charter
- the Charity Commission - see the Charity Commission personal information charter
- the Information Commissioner's Office - see the ICO privacy notice
- Companies House - see the Companies House personal information charter
and other regulatory bodies, should this be necessary to complete our statutory audit and regulatory requirements.
We use several law firms to provide advice and guidance on a range of topics and we may share personal data with them at times. We ensure that we have appropriate data protection agreements with them.
4. Complaints and queries
We try to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information, and we take any complaints about this very seriously. We encourage you to let us know if you think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.
This privacy notice does not provide exhaustive details of all aspects of our collection and use of personal information. However, we're happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Please send any requests for this to our Data Protection Lead - firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to make a complaint about the way we've processed your personal information, you can contact the ICO as the statutory body which oversees data protection law - see ICO concerns.
5. Your rights
Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), you have rights as a data subject which you can exercise in relation to the information we hold about you. You can read more about these rights on the ICO's website.
Access to your information
We try to be as open as we can in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You can find out if we hold any personal information about you by making a 'subject access request' under the UK GDPR. If we do hold information about you, we will:
- give you a description of it
- tell you why we are holding it
- tell you who it could be disclosed to
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form
If you agree, we'll try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.
Please be aware that we may withhold information from you or provide you with redacted documents in line with exemptions in appropriate legislation.
Records of treatment
If you have received therapy from one of our members and require access to information about your treatment or the treatment someone else has received, you will need to contact the appropriate therapist directly.
You can ask us to correct any mistakes in any factual information we hold about you, such as your address, date of birth, contact details etc.
The UK GDPR also gives you the right to have the data we hold about you deleted in some circumstances. This is called the 'right to erasure' or the 'right to be forgotten'. The right applies in the following circumstances:
- we no longer need your data
- you originally provided consent and have now withdrawn consent
- you have objected to the use of your data and your interests outweigh ours
- we have collected your data unlawfully
- we have a legal obligation to erase your data
Please be aware that we are unlikely to delete financial transactional data, core membership data, declarations you have made to us or any conduct related information that is being retained in the public interest.
Making a request
If you would like to exercise your above rights, please contact our Data Protection Lead at email@example.com with details of your request. Please note that details of your request, correspondence and a copy of any information disclosed will be held by BACP, this information will be used as evidence we have met our legal obligations.
6. Disclosure of personal information
In many circumstances we will not disclose personal data without consent, but there are circumstances where we might do so. The list below provides some scenarios in which we may disclose personal data. Please be aware that this is not a complete list but serves as an example.
- When we investigate a complaint, we'll need to share personal information with the individuals or organisations involved.
- We may share data with other regulatory bodies or associations that you are a member of.
- During our applications process, or any assessments we undertake, we collect personal data about individuals. If we are concerned about unsafe practice, we may share that data internally within BACP so appropriate action can be taken.
- We will share personal data with external legal professionals if we need legal advice.
- We may share personal data with law enforcement agencies or government departments where appropriate.
We will only share information that we consider to be necessary and proportionate.
7. Data security
We recognise that the information you provide may be sensitive and we will respect your privacy. This means we store it securely and control who has access to it. We sometimes share personal data with third parties where we have contracted them to carry out specific tasks for us. In such cases we carefully select which partners we work with. We take great care to ensure that we have a contract with the third party that states what they are allowed to do with the data we share with them.
We will only share personal data with other organisations where we are satisfied that the other organisation is entitled to receive it. Where relevant, we carry out due diligence checks on other organisations and ensure we have appropriate data protection agreements in place.
We're committed to holding all personal data within BACP on secure systems. We keep any paper-based personal data in locked cabinets to which only appropriate staff have access. We're working to reduce the amount of paper-based information we hold as it is easier to secure data if it is only held electronically. The majority of personal data is held electronically on our CRM system that is hosted by Microsoft.
We use third-party processors to provide email monitoring and filtering.
We have invested extensively in ensuring our information systems are secure and that our staff are suitably trained. We have achieved the UK Government's Cyber Essentials standard.
Members can find more information about how the UK GDPR affects their practice in our FAQs about GDPR.