DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY POLICY
 
Exams SOS Limited T/A The Exams Office
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
1.    OVERVIEW
2.    ABOUT THIS POLICY
3.    DEFINITIONS
4.    THE EXAMS OFFICE STAFF’S GENERAL OBLIGATIONS
5.    DATA PROTECTION PRINCIPLES
6.    LAWFUL USE OF PERSONAL DATA
7.    TRANSPARENT PROCESSING – PRIVACY NOTICES
8.    DATA QUALITY – ENSURING THE USE OF ACCURATE, UP TO DATE AND RELEVANT PERSONAL DATA
9.    PERSONAL DATA MUST NOT BE KEPT FOR LONGER THAN NEEDED
10.   DATA SECURITY
11.   DATA BREACH
12.   APPOINTING CONTRACTORS WHO ACCESS THE EXAMS OFFICE’S PERSONAL DATA
13.   INDIVIDUALS’ RIGHTS
14.   MARKETING AND CONSENT
15.   AUTOMATED DECISION MAKING AND PROFILING
16.   DATA PROTECTION IMPACT ASSESSMENTS (DPIA)
17.   TRANSFERRING PERSONAL DATA TO A COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE EEA
1.                OVERVIEW

The Exams Office considers the way it collects, manages and protects Personal Data an utmost priority. Protecting the confidentiality and integrity of its member centres’ Personal Data is a key responsibility for The Exams Office and its Staff.

As an organisation that collects, uses and stores Personal Data about its member exam centres, The Exams Office recognises that having controls around the collection, use, retention and destruction of Personal Data is important in order to comply with its obligations under Data Protection Laws and, in particular, its obligations under Article 5 of GDPR.

The Exams Office has implemented this Data Protection Policy to ensure that all The Exams Office Staff are aware of what they must do to ensure the correct and lawful treatment of Personal Data.

The Exams Office Staff receive a copy of this Policy when they start and may receive periodic revisions of this Policy. This Policy does not form part of any member of The Exams Office Staff’s contract of employment and The Exams Office reserves the right to change this Policy at any time. All members of The Exams Office Staff are obliged to comply with this Policy at all times.

If you have any queries concerning this Policy, please contact our Data Protection Officer, who is responsible for ensuring The Exams Office’s compliance with this Policy.

 

2.                ABOUT THIS POLICY

This Policy (and the other policies and documents referred to in it) sets out the basis on which The Exams Office will collect and use Personal Data either where The Exams Office collects it from individuals itself, or where it is provided to The Exams Office by third parties. It also sets out rules on how The Exams Office handles uses, transfers and stores Personal Data.

It applies to all Personal Data stored electronically, in paper form, or otherwise.

 

3.                DEFINITIONS

3.1.  Exams SOS Limited T/A The Exams Office– Registered Office: 17 Moor Park Avenue, Preston, PR1 6AS

3.2.  The Exams Office Staff – Any The Exams Office employee, worker or contractor who accesses any of The Exams Office’s Personal Data and will include employees, consultants, contractors, and temporary Staff hired to work on behalf of The Exams Office.

3.3.  Controller– Any entity (e.g. company, organisation or person) that makes its own decisions about how it is going to collect and use Personal Data.

3.4.  Data Protection Laws – The General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and all applicable laws relating to the collection and use of Personal Data and privacy and any applicable codes of practice issued by a regulator including in the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018.

3.5.  Data Protection Officer – Our Data Protection Officer is Nicholas Marr, and can be contacted at: nick@theexamsoffice.com.

3.6.  EEA– Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

3.7.  ICO – the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s data protection regulator.

3.8.  Individuals– Living individuals who can be identified, directly or indirectly, from information that The Exams Office has. For example, an individual could be identified directly by name, or indirectly by gender, job role and office location if you can use this information to work out who they are. Individuals include employees, students, parents, visitors and potential students. Individuals also include partnerships and sole traders.

3.9.   Personal Data– Any information about an Individual (see definition above) which identifies them or allows them to be identified in conjunction with other information that is held. It includes information of this type, even if used in a business context.

3.10.  Processor– Any entity (e.g. company, organisation or person) which accesses or uses Personal Data on the instruction of a Controller. A Processor is a third party that processes Personal Data on behalf of a Controller. This is usually as a result of the outsourcing of a service by the Controller or the provision of services by the Processor which involve access to or use of Personal Data. Examples include: where software support for a system, which contains Personal Data, is provided by someone outside the business; cloud arrangements; and mail fulfilment services.

3.11.   Special Categories of Personal Data– Personal Data that reveals a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data (i.e. information about their inherited or acquired genetic characteristics), biometric data (i.e. information about their physical, physiological or behavioural characteristics such as facial images and fingerprints), physical or mental health, sexual life or sexual orientation and criminal record. Special Categories of Personal Data are subject to additional controls in comparison to ordinary Personal Data.

 

4.                THE EXAMS OFFICE STAFF’S GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

4.1.  All The Exams Office Staff must comply with this policy.

4.2.  The Exams Office Staff must ensure that they keep confidential all Personal Data that they collect, store, use and come into contact with during the performance of their duties.

4.3.  The Exams Office Staff must not release or disclose any Personal Data:

4.3.1. outside The Exams Office; or

4.3.2. inside The Exams Office to The Exams Office Staff not authorised to access the Personal Data, without specific authorisation from their manager or the Data Protection Officer; this includes by phone calls or in emails.

4.4.  The Exams Office Staff must take all steps to ensure there is no unauthorised access to Personal Data whether by other The Exams Office Staff who are not authorised to see such Personal Data or by people outside The Exams Office.

 

5.                DATA PROTECTION PRINCIPLES

5.1.  When using Personal Data, Data Protection Laws require that The Exams Officecomplies with the following principles. These principles require Personal Data to be:

5.1.1. processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;

5.1.2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;

5.1.3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed;

5.1.4. accurate and kept up to date, meaning that every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that Personal Data that is inaccurate is erased or rectified as soon as possible;

5.1.5. kept for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed; and

5.1.6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the Personal Data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

5.2.  These principles are considered in more detail in the remainder of this Policy.

5.3.   In addition to complying with the above requirements The Exams Office also has to demonstrate in writing that it complies with them. The Exams Office has a number of policies and procedures in place, including this Policy and the documentation referred to in it, to ensure that The Exams Office can demonstrate its compliance.

 

6.                LAWFUL USE OF PERSONAL DATA

6.1.   In order to collect and/or use Personal Data lawfully The Exams Office needs to be able to show that its use meets one of a number of legal grounds. Please click here to see the detailed grounds [https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing]

6.2.   In addition, when The Exams Office collects and/or uses Special Categories of Personal Data, The Exams Office has to show that one of a number of additional conditions is met. Please click here to see the detailed additional conditions [https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/special-category-data].

6.3.   The Exams Office has carefully assessed how it uses Personal Data and how it complies with the obligations set out in paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2.  If The Exams Office changes how The Exams Office uses Personal Data, it needs to update this record and may also need to notify Individuals about the change. If The Exams Office Staff therefore intend to change how they use Personal Data at any point they must notify the Data Protection Officer who will decide whether their intended use requires amendments to be made and any other controls which need to apply.

 

7.                TRANSPARENT PROCESSING– PRIVACY NOTICES

7.1.  Where The Exams Office collects Personal Data directly from Individuals, The Exams Office will inform them about how The Exams Office uses their Personal Data. This is in a privacy notice. The Exams Office has adopted the following privacy notice: [https://theexamsoffice.org/privacy-policy]

7.2.  If The Exams Office receives Personal Data about an Individual from other sources, The Exams Office will provide the Individual with a privacy notice about how The Exams Office will use their Personal Data. This will be provided as soon as reasonably possible.

7.3.  If The Exams Office changes how it uses Personal Data, The Exams Officemay need to notify Individuals about the change. If The Exams OfficeStaff therefore intend to change how they use Personal Data please notify the Data Protection Officer who will decide whether The Exams Office Staff’s intended use requires amendments to be made to the privacy notices and any other controls which need to apply.

 

8.                DATA QUALITY – ENSURING THE USE OF ACCURATE, UP TO DATE AND RELEVANT PERSONAL DATA

8.1.  Data Protection Laws require that The Exams Office only collects and processes Personal Data to the extent that it is required for the specific purpose(s) notified to the Individual in a privacy notice (see paragraph 7above) and as set out in The Exams Office’s record of how it uses Personal Data. The Exams Office is also required to ensure that the Personal Data The Exams Office holds is accurate and kept up to date.

8.2.   All The Exams Office Staff that collect and record Personal Data shall ensure that the Personal Data is recorded accurately, is kept up to date and shall also ensure that they limit the collection and recording of Personal Data to that which is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purpose for which it is collected and used.

8.3.  All The Exams Office Staff that obtain Personal Data from sources outside The Exams Office shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the Personal Data is recorded accurately, is up to date and limited to that which is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purpose for which it is collected and used. This does not require The Exams Office Staff to independently check the Personal Data obtained.

8.4.  In order to maintain the quality of Personal Data, all The Exams Office Staff that access Personal Data shall ensure that they review, maintain and update it to ensure that it remains accurate, up to date, adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purpose for which it is collected and used. Please note that this does not apply to Personal Data which The Exams Office must keep in its original form (e.g. for legal reasons or that which is relevant to an investigation). .

8.5.  The Exams Office recognises the importance of ensuring that Personal Data is amended, rectified, erased or its use restricted where this is appropriate under Data Protection Laws. The Exams Office has a Rights of Individuals Policy and a Rights of Individuals Procedure which set out how The Exams Office responds to requests relating to these issues. Any request from an individual for the amendment, rectification, erasure or restriction of the use of their Personal Data should be dealt with in accordance with those documents.

 

9.                PERSONAL DATA MUST NOT BE KEPT FOR LONGER THAN NEEDED

9.1.  Data Protection Laws require that The Exams Office does not keep Personal Data longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes for which The Exams Office collected it.

9.2.  The Exams Office has assessed the types of Personal Data that it holds and the purposes it uses it for and has set retention periods for the different types of Personal Data processed by The Exams Office, the reasons for those retention periods and how The Exams Office securely deletes Personal Data at the end of those periods. These are set out in the Data Retention Policy.

9.3.  If The Exams Office Staff feel that a particular item of Personal Data needs to be kept for more or less time than the retention period set out in the Data Retention Policy, for example because there is a requirement of law, or if The Exams Office Staff have any questions about this Policy or The Exams Office’s Personal Data retention practices, they should contact the Data Protection Officer for guidance.

 

10.             DATA SECURITY

The Exams Office takes information security very seriously and The Exams Office has security measures against unlawful or unauthorised processing of Personal Data and against the accidental loss of, or damage to, Personal Data. The Exams Office has in place procedures and technologies to maintain the security of all Personal Data from the point of collection to the point of destruction.

 

11.             DATA BREACH

11.1.  Whilst The Exams Office takes information security very seriously, unfortunately, in today’s environment, it is possible that a security breach could happen which may result in the unauthorised loss of, access to, deletion of or alteration of Personal Data. If this happens there will be a Personal Data breach and The Exams Office Staff must comply with The Exams Office’s Data Breach Notification Policy. Please see paragraphs 11.2 and 11.3 for examples of what can be a Personal Data breach. Please familiarise yourself with it as it contains important obligations which The Exams Office Staff need to comply with in the event of Personal Data breaches.

11.2.  Personal Data breach is defined very broadly and is effectively any failure to keep Personal Data secure, which leads to the accidental or unlawful loss (including loss of access to), destruction, alteration or unauthorised disclosure of Personal Data. Whilst most Personal Data breaches happen as a result of action taken by a third party, they can also occur as a result of something someone internal does.

11.3.  There are three main types of Personal Data breach which are as follows:

11.3.1.  Confidentiality breach- where there is an unauthorised or accidental disclosure of, or access to, Personal Data e.g. hacking, accessing internal systems that a The Exams OfficeStaff member is not authorised to access, accessing Personal Data stored on a lost laptop, phone or other device, people gaining access to Personal Data they have no right to access, putting the wrong letter in the wrong envelope, sending an email to the wrong student, or disclosing information over the phone to the wrong person;

11.3.2.  Availability breach- where there is an accidental or unauthorised loss of access to, or destruction of, Personal Data e.g. loss of a memory stick, laptop or device, denial of service attack, infection of systems by ransom ware, deleting Personal Data in error, loss of access to Personal Data stored on systems, inability to restore access to Personal Data from back up, or loss of an encryption key; and

11.3.3.  Integrity breach- where there is an unauthorised or accidental alteration of Personal Data.

 

12.             APPOINTING CONTRACTORS WHO ACCESS THE EXAMS OFFICE’S PERSONAL DATA

12.1.  If The Exams Office appoints a contractor who is a Processor of The Exams Office’s Personal Data, Data Protection Laws require that The Exams Office only appoints them where The Exams Office has carried out sufficient due diligence and only where The Exams Office has appropriate contracts in place.

12.2.  One requirement of GDPR is that a Controller must only use Processors who meet the requirements of the GDPR and protect the rights of individuals. This means that data protection due diligence should be undertaken on both new and existing suppliers. Once a Processor is appointed they should be audited periodically to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of their contract in relation to Data Protection.

12.3.  Any contract where an organisation appoints a Processor must be in writing.

12.4.  You are considered as having appointed a Processor where you engage someone to perform a service for you and as part of it they may get access to your Personal Data. Where you appoint a Processor you, as Controller remain responsible for what happens to the Personal Data.

12.5.  GDPR requires the contract with a Processor to contain the following obligations as a minimum:

12.5.1. to only act on the written instructions of the Controller;

12.5.2. to not export Personal Data without the Controller’s instruction;

12.5.3. to ensure Staff are subject to confidentiality obligations;

12.5.4. to take appropriate security measures;

12.5.5. to only engage sub-processors with the prior consent (specific or general) of the Controller and under a written contract;

12.5.6. to keep the Personal Data secure and assist the Controller to do so;

12.5.7. to assist with the notification of Data Breaches and Data Protection Impact Assessments;

12.5.8. to assist with subject access/individuals rights;

12.5.9. to delete/return all Personal Data as requested at the end of the contract;

12.5.10. to submit to audits and provide information about the processing; and

12.5.11. to tell the Controller if any instruction is in breach of the GDPR or other EU or member state data protection law.

12.6.  In addition the contract should set out:

12.6.1. The subject-matter and duration of the processing;

12.6.2. the nature and purpose of the processing;

12.6.3. the type of Personal Data and categories of individuals; and

12.6.4. the obligations and rights of the Controller.

 

13.             INDIVIDUALS’ RIGHTS

13.1.  GDPR gives individuals more control about how their data is collected and stored and what is done with it. Some existing rights of individuals have been expanded upon and some new rights have been introduced. It is extremely important that The Exams Office plan how they will handle these requests under GDPR.

13.2.  The different types of rights of individuals are reflected in this paragraph.

13.3.  Subject Access Requests

13.3.1.  Individuals have the right under the GDPR to ask The Exams Office to confirm what Personal Data they hold in relation to them and provide them with the data. This is not a new right but additional information has to be provided and the timescale for providing it has been reduced from 40 days to one month (with a possible extension if it is a complex request). In addition, you will no longer be able to charge a fee for complying with the request.

13.3.2.  Subject Access Requests are becoming more and more common and are often made in the context of a dispute which means that it is crucial that they are handled appropriately to avoid a complaint being made to the ICO.

13.4.  Right of Erasure (Right to be Forgotten)

13.4.1.  This is a limited right for individuals to request the erasure of Personal Data concerning them where:

13.4.1.1. the use of the Personal Data is no longer necessary;
13.4.1.2. their consent is withdrawn and there is no other legal ground for the processing;
13.4.1.3. the individual objects to the processing and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing;
13.4.1.4. the Personal Data has been unlawfully processed; and
13.4.1.5. the Personal Data must be erased for compliance with a legal obligation.

13.4.2.  In a marketing context, where Personal Data is collected and processed for direct marketing purposes, the individual has a right to object to processing at any time. Where the individual objects, the Personal Data must not be processed for such purposes.

13.5.  Right of Data Portability

13.5.1. An individual has the right to request that data concerning them is provided to them in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format where:

13.5.1.1. the processing is based on consent or on a contract; and
13.5.1.2. the processing is carried out by automated means

13.5.2. This right is not the same as subject access and is intended to give individuals a subset of their data.

13.6. The Right of Rectification and Restriction

13.6.1. Finally, individuals are also given the right to request that any Personal Data is rectified if inaccurate and to have use of their Personal Data restricted to particular purposes in certain circumstances.

13.7.   The Exams Office will use all Personal Data in accordance with the rights given to Individuals’ under Data Protection Laws, and will ensure that it allows Individuals to exercise their rights in accordance with The Exams Office’s Rights of Individuals Policy and Rights of Individuals Procedure. Please familiarise yourself with these documents as they contain important obligations which The Exams OfficeStaff need to comply with in relation to the rights of Individuals over their Personal Data.

 

14.             MARKETING AND CONSENT

14.1. The Exams Office will sometimes contact Individuals to send them marketing or to promote The Exams Office. Where The Exams Office carries out any marketing, Data Protection Laws require that this is only done in a legally compliant manner.

14.2. Marketing consists of any advertising or marketing communication that is directed to particular individuals. GDPR will bring about a number of important changes for organisations that market to individuals, including:

14.2.1. providing more detail in their privacy notices, including for example whether profiling takes place; and
14.2.2. rules on obtaining consent will be stricter and will require an individual’s “clear affirmative action”. The ICO like consent to be used in a marketing context.

14.3.  The Exams Office also need to be aware of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) that sit alongside data protection. PECR apply to direct marketing i.e. a communication directed to particular individuals and covers any advertising/marketing material. It applies to electronic communication i.e. calls, emails, texts, faxes.  PECR rules apply even if you are not processing any personal data

14.4.  Consent is central to electronic marketing. We would recommend that best practice is to provide an un-ticked opt-in box.

14.5.  Alternatively, The Exams Office may be able to market using a “soft opt in” if the following conditions were met:

14.5.1. contact details have been obtained in the course of a sale (or negotiations for a sale);

14.5.2. The Exams Office is marketing its own similar services; and

14.5.3. The Exams Office gives the individual a simple opportunity to refuse to opt out of the marketing, both when first collecting the details and in every message after that.

 

15.             AUTOMATED DECISION MAKING AND PROFILING

15.1.  Under Data Protection Laws there are controls around profiling and automated decision making in relation to Individuals. Automated Decision Making happens where The Exams Office makes a decision about an Individual solely by automated means without any human involvement and the decision has legal or other significant effects; and Profiling happens where The Exams Office automatically uses Personal Data to evaluate certain things about an Individual.

15.2. Any Automated Decision Making or Profiling which The Exams Office carries out can only be done once The Exams Office is confident that it is complying with Data Protection Laws. If The Exams Office Staff therefore wish to carry out any Automated Decision Making or Profiling The Exams Office Staff must inform the Data Protection Officer.

15.3.  The Exams Office Staff must not carry out Automated Decision Making or Profiling without the approval of the Data Protection Officer.

15.4.  The Exams Office does not carry out Automated Decision Making or Profiling in relation to its employees.

 

16.             DATA PROTECTION IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

16.1.  The GDPR introduce a new requirement to carry out a risk assessment in relation to the use of Personal Data for a new service, product or process. This must be done prior to the processing via a Data Protection Impact Assessment (“DPIA”). A DPIA should be started as early as practical in the design of processing operations. A DPIA is not a prohibition on using Personal Data but is an assessment of issues affecting Personal Data which need to be considered before a new product/service/process is rolled out. The process is designed to:

16.1.1. describe the collection and use of Personal Data;

16.1.2. assess its necessity and its proportionality in relation to the purposes;

16.1.3. assess the risks to the rights and freedoms of individuals; and

16.1.4. the measures to address the risks.

16.2.  A DPIA must be completed where the use of Personal Data is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. The ICO’s standard DPIA template is available from www.ico.org.uk.

16.3.  Where a DPIA reveals risks which are not appropriately mitigated the ICO must be consulted.

16.4.  Where The Exams Office is launching or proposing to adopt a new process, product or service which involves Personal Data, The Exams Office needs to consider whether it needs to carry out a DPIA as part of the project initiation process. The Exams Office needs to carry out a DPIA at an early stage in the process so that The Exams Office can identify and fix problems with its proposed new process, product or service at an early stage, reducing the associated costs and damage to reputation, which might otherwise occur.

16.5.  Situations where The Exams Office may have to carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment include the following (please note that this list is not exhaustive):

16.5.1. large scale and systematic use of Personal Data for the purposes of Automated Decision Making or Profiling (see definitions above) where legal or similarly significant decisions are made;

16.5.2.  large scale use of Special Categories of Personal Data, or Personal Data relating to criminal convictions and offences e.g. the use of high volumes of health data; or

16.5.3. systematic monitoring of public areas on a large scale e.g. CCTV cameras.

16.6.  All DPIAs must be reviewed and approved by the Data Protection Officer.

 

17.             TRANSFERRING PERSONAL DATA TO A COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE EEA

17.1.  Data Protection Laws impose strict controls on Personal Data being transferred outside the EEA. Transfer includes sending Personal Data outside the EEA but also includes storage of Personal Data or access to it outside the EEA. It needs to be thought about whenever The Exams Office appoints a supplier outside the EEA or The Exams Office appoints a supplier with group companies outside the EEA which may give access to the Personal Data to Staff outside the EEA.

17.2.  So that The Exams Office can ensure it is compliant with Data Protection Laws The Exams Office Staff must not export Personal Data unless it has been approved by the Data Protection Officer.

17.3.  The Exams Office Staff must not export any Personal Data outside the EEA without the approval of the Data Protection Officer.