Data Protection Policy

SNN is a voluntary organisation with no premises. This policy applies to all SNN volunteers.

The Data Protection Act:

  • gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly
  • provides individuals with important rights, including the right to find out what personal information is held on computer and most paper records.

SNN recognise that its first priority under the data Protection Act is to avoid causing harm to individuals. Information about volunteers and service users will be used fairly, securely and not disclosed to any person unlawfully.

The purpose of this policy is to enable SNN to:

  • Comply with the law in respect of the data it holds about individuals
  • Follow good practice
  • Protect our service users, volunteers and other individuals
  • Protect our organisation from the consequences of a breach of its responsibilities.

As a not-for-profit organisation SNN is exempt from notification under the Data Protection Act 1998.  However, all processing of personal data will be undertaken in accordance with the eight data protection principles which are:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed to limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with the rights of Data Subjects
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

The Act works in two ways:

Firstly, it states that anyone who processes personal information must comply with the eight principles above.

Secondly, it aims to ensure that the legitimate concerns of individuals about the way in which their data may be used are taken into account. In addition to being open and transparent SNN will seek to give individuals as much choice as is possible and reasonable over what data is held and how it is used.

Policy statement:

  • SNN will provide support for volunteers who handle personal data, so that they can act confidently and consistently
  • SNN will comply with the law and good practice
  • SNN will respect individual’s rights
  • SNN will be open and honest with individuals whose data is held.

Personal information held – Personal data

Lists of our service users are kept along with details of their names, addresses, contact details and any relevant medical problems that may need extra care. These details are given to the Volunteer Co-ordinator and the volunteer undertaking a task with/for a service user.

Volunteer application forms and records of visits made to service users are held in the Volunteer Co-ordinators Handbook

Access to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) via the secure uCheck service is restricted to the Safeguarding Office and the Chairperson.

How information is held

SNN have no office nor premises.

The bulk of our data is on a password protected database or in designated volunteers’ homes. Some of the data is in paper form and some on personal password protected computers.

Access to information

Service users and volunteers are able to see their records on request.

Information is confidential to the organisation and may be passed to colleagues to ensure the best quality service is delivered.

Security

This section addresses security issues relating to personal data only.

Any recorded information on service users and volunteers will be:

  • Kept in locked cupboards
  • Protected by the use of passwords if kept on computer
  • Destroyed confidentially if it is no longer needed.

Notes regarding personal data of service users should be shredded or destroyed.

Data recording and storage

SNN has a database holding basic information about all service users and volunteers and a record of all activities undertaken. Financial information is kept by our Treasurer on a computer and our secretary’s data is also held on a computer. Back-up of computer data is run regularly and back-up discs are kept securely.

SNN will regularly review its procedures for ensuring that its records remain accurate and consistent and, in particular:

  • The database system is reviewed and re-designed where necessary to encourage and facilitate the entry of accurate data
  • Data on any individual will be held in as few places as necessary, and volunteers will be discouraged from establishing unnecessary additional data sets
  • Effective procedures are in place so that all relevant systems are up dated when information about any individual changes
  • Volunteers who keep more detailed information about individuals will be given additional guidance on accuracy in record keeping
  • Data will be amended if shown to be inaccurate.

SNN stores archived paper records of service users and volunteers securely in named volunteers’ homes.

Responsibilities

SNN trustees recognise their overall responsibility for ensuring that SNN complies with its legal obligations.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed at the first meeting of the incoming Management Committee each year. It will also be reviewed in response to changes in relevant legislation, contractual arrangements, good practice or in response to an identified failing in its effectiveness.

Date adopted and approved by the SNN Management Committee.

5th September 2016

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