Introduction

Relationship Counselling Staffordshire (RCS) is committed to ensuring that your personal information is safeguarded when you are using any of our services. This Privacy Policy relates to our use of any personal information we collect from you via the following services:

  • Any personal information you provide to us by phone, SMS, email, in letters and other correspondence and in person
  • Any personal information you provide to us through your interaction with us or us of our services.
  • Website

Our RCS Councillors are all registered with the ICO;

Wendy – ZA293766 expires 10/11/19
Alison – ZA293795 expires 10/11/19

Lynne – ZA293799  expires 10/11/19

Cherry – ZA293796 expires 10/11/19

This Privacy Policy explains the following:

  • What information we may collect and why we collect it
  • How we will use information we collect about you
  • When we may use your details to contact you
  • Whether we will disclose your details to anyone else
  • Your choices regarding the personal information you provide to us
  • The use of cookies on the RCS website and how you can reject cookies

RCS is committed to safeguarding your personal information. Whenever you provide such information, we are legally obliged to use your information in line with all applicable laws concerning the protection of personal information, including the Data Protection Act 1998 (these laws are referred to collectively in this Privacy and Cookies Policy as the “data protection laws”).

Each of our councillors are appointed Data Controllers to oversee our compliance with data protection laws. They can be contacted by emailing info@rcsnorthstaffs.com.

Who are we?

We are a group of qualified and fully trained counsellors with up to 22 years of counselling experience. We are a team from North Staffordshire offering Relationship Counselling Service to our local community.

Your rights as a data subject

You have the following rights in relation to your personal information:

  • The right to be informed about how your personal information is being used
  • The right to access the personal information we hold about you
  • The right to request the correction of inaccurate personal information we hold about you
  • The right to request the erasure of your personal information in certain limited circumstances
  • The right to restrict processing of your personal information where certain requirements are met
  • The right to object to the processing of your personal information
  • The right to request that we transfer elements of your data either to you or another service provider
  • The right to object to certain automated decision-making processes using your personal information

You should note that some of these rights, for example the right to require us to transfer your data to another service provider or the right to object to automated decision making, may not apply as they have specific requirements and exemptions which apply to them and they may not apply to personal information recorded and stored by us.  For example, we do not use automated decision making in relation to your personal data.  However, some have no conditions attached, so your right to withdraw consent or object to processing for direct marketing are absolute rights.

Whilst this privacy notice sets out a general summary of your legal rights in respect of personal information, this is a very complex area of law. More information about your legal rights can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public.

To exercise any of the above rights, or if you have any questions relating to your rights, please contact us at  info@rcsnorthstaffs.com.

If you are unhappy with the way we are using your personal information, you can also complain to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office or your local data protection regulator. We are here to help and encourage you to contact us to resolve your complaint first.

Consent

Giving Consent to RCS will only be undertaken where the individuals have:

  • A genuine choice and level of control over how your data is used
  • The right to only opt-in to give consent with no pre-ticked or implied consent options
  • Individuals are made fully aware of what they are consenting to
  • The right to withdraw consent at any time by speaking to a member of staff or email info@rcsnorthstaffs.com
  • The right to know the purpose of collecting and processing your data

There may be the need for RCS to collect and process personal data without consent in the fulfilment of its duties and obligations where appropriate. (For example: in the fulfilment of legal obligations in the delivery of contracts etc).

RCS will hold a copy of your consenting action in relation to who consented, when and how you were told. This information will be kept by RCS for as long as is deemed appropriate.

Collecting Personal Information

When you engage with RCS, you may provide us with or we may obtain personal information about you, such as information regarding your:

  • Personal contact details that allows us to contact you directly such as name, title, email addresses and telephone numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Records of your interactions with us such as telephone conversations, emails and other correspondence and your instructions to us
  • Any credit/debit card and other payment details you provide so that we can receive payments from you and details of the financial transactions with you
  • CCTV footage and other information obtained through electronic means.
  • Records of your attendance at any appointments with us.
  • Images in video and/or photographic form and voice recordings
  • Your marketing preferences so that we know whether and how we should contact you

Children’s information is also classed as ‘special category’ data. Parental or Guardian consent is requested for all usage of data for children and adolescents up to the age of 16.

Using Personal Information

We use information we collect to provide you with services which you request and to improve our existing services.

When you contact us, we may keep a record of your communication to help solve any issues that you might be facing. Your information may be retained for a reasonable time for use in future contact with you, or for future improvements to our services.

Sharing Personal Information

We may also use or disclose your personal information when we believe, in good faith, that such use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to (i) comply with law, (ii) enforce or apply the terms of any of our user agreements, or (iii) protect the rights, property or safety of RCS, RCS’s users, or others. RCS reserves the right to transfer and disclose your information if RCS becomes involved in a business divestiture, change of control, sale, merger, or acquisition of all or a part of its business.

Unless otherwise specified or prohibited, RCS may share information with affiliates, business partners, service providers, subsidiaries or contractors who are required to provide you with services which you have requested from us.

SAFE GARDING-

Retention

The duration for which we retain your personal information will differ depending on the type of information and the reason why we collected it from you. However, in some cases personal information may be retained on a long-term basis: for example, personal information that we need to retain for legal purposes will normally be retained in accordance with usual commercial practice and regulatory requirements.

We keep person information of our clients – only whilst the counselling work is on-going I.e on phones or in diaries – once a case is closed (the work has ended) the paperwork is filed away which is as per our insurance for 7 yrs – after that it is shredded and destroyed.

It is important to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up-to-date, and you should let us know if anything changes, for example if you change your phone number or email address. Changes can be made by emailing info@rcsnorthstaffs.com

Security

The security of your personal information is important to us. We follow generally accepted best practice standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.

We use all reasonable measures to safeguard personally identifiable information, which measures are appropriate to the type of information maintained and follows applicable laws regarding safeguarding any such information under our control. In addition, in some areas of our sites, we use encryption technology to enhance information privacy and help prevent loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. We also employ a range of measures and processes for detecting and responding to inappropriate attempts to breach our systems.

In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, can be 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the absolute security of your information. The Internet by its nature is a public forum, and RCS encourages you to use caution when disclosing information online. Often, you are in the best situation to protect yourself online.

Website

Our website is a key communication tools for us. We take interaction with our website and the safety of our users very seriously.

Cookies are a technology that can be used to help personalise your use of a website. A cookie is an element of information that a website can send to your browser, which may then store it on your system. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether to accept it or decline at any time.

Our site makes use of strictly necessary and anonymous cookies for the purposes of:

  • Storing your personal preferences
  • Research and development
  • Anonymous user analysis and decision-making

Further information can be found in our Cookie Policy.

Compliance, Monitoring & Enforcement

RCS adheres to the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations.

We do not transfer data outside the EU.

We regularly review our compliance with our Privacy Policy. We also adhere to several self-regulatory frameworks in addition to complying with applicable law. If we receive formal written complaints, we will follow up with the person making the complaint. We work with the appropriate regulatory authorities to resolve any complaints that cannot be resolved directly.

Accessing and Updating Your Personal Information

It is important to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up-to-date, and you should let us know if anything changes, for example if you change your phone number or email address.

If you have provided us with your personal information, you have the right to inspect the information stored by us for accuracy or may request that the information be removed from our records. We will make all reasonable efforts to comply with such requests except where it would require a disproportionate effort (for example developing a new system or changing an existing practice).

We will require that you verify your identity before we act on a request to edit or remove your information.

Requests to update or any requests regarding your personal data held by RCS can be made by emailing info@rcsnorthstaffs.com