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Privacy notice

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you the right to be informed about how we use your personal data. You can find more information why we hold your data in this policy. If you need this information in another format or you can’t find the information that you are looking for, then please contact us. 

Privacy notice

Last updated: 20 August 2021

Contents

About

Purpose

Personal data

More information about your personal data

Your rights

Contact us

Complaints

Version history

About

About this privacy notice

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) set out your right to be informed about the processing of your personal data. We provide information about the processing of your personal data through privacy notices, such as this one. We may provide other information to explain our approach at other times when collecting your personal data.
If you need this information in another format, or you can’t find the information you are looking for, please contact us. You can find our contact details at the end of this page.

About Social Work England

Social Work England is the regulator of social workers, and education and training courses and qualifications for social workers, in England. Our statutory aims, objectives, powers and responsibilities are set out in the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and The Social Workers Regulations 2018.

Social Work England is a non-departmental public body, operating at arm’s length from the government. It is sponsored by the Department for Education (DfE) and has a partnership with the DfE and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

If you provide your personal data to us through this website or through other means, Social Work England becomes the data controller of that information.

Purpose

The purpose of this privacy notice

This privacy notice provides information on the data we collect about you in different situations. It tells you what we collect and when, how we use it, why we use it, who will have access to it and where it will be stored.

 

Personal data

What personal data means

“Personal data” means data which can be used to identify you. This might be, for example, your name and address, or something more sensitive, such as your health data or bank details.

Some of this more sensitive data is called “special category data”, and there are additional conditions which must be met when it is processed.

Usage

We use your information in the course of carrying out, and in connection with, our regulatory functions.

What we use your personal data for

We use your personal data for the activities we carry out, such as:

  • regulating social workers
  • regulating education and training courses and qualifications for social workers
  • understanding and resolving questions, queries and complaints
  • responding to requests
  • ensuring we operate effectively
  • complying with our legal requirements
  • decision making
  • service planning
  • statistical research including in relation to equal opportunities and diversity
  • contacting you for feedback about our work
  • organising and managing events and activities
  • sending you news and updates

Collection

We collect most of the personal data we process directly from you, for example, if you contact us with an enquiry, set up an online account and register with us as a social worker, respond to a consultation or survey we are conducting, or participate in a focus group or event.

We may also collect your personal data through observation, including when you visit our website. For more information about this, please refer to our cookie policy.

We may also receive information about you from people who:

  • contact us with an enquiry, complaint or concern 
  • are involved in a case we are investigating, such as employers, members of the public, social workers, students and other witnesses
  • respond to our surveys and consultations

We may not have any control over what personal data is sent to us (and received by us) through such channels. However, in this privacy notice, we have described the main types of personal data we expect to receive, and how we will use it.

For the avoidance of any doubt, we do not buy or sell your personal data.

Personal data we collect from you or about you

The personal data we collect is largely determined by you, and the nature of your interaction with us (such as using our website, or contacting us with an enquiry).

The list below contains some of the information we might ask you for when you communicate with us, for example if you contact us by email, phone or through the forms on our website:

  • personal contact details, including your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • data that helps us to identify you, so that we can be confident we’re talking to the right person. This may include data such as your social worker registration number (if applicable), email address or date of birth
  • personal or professional opinions, for example as part of a survey or consultation, or when you talk to us on the phone. You may choose to state explicitly your political views, or these may be inferred from the information you provide (or which others provide to us)

From time to time we may conduct surveys, or invite you to complete online forms. This may involve asking you for a variety of information, including to help us evaluate equality, diversity and inclusion in the work we do, and to help meet our duties under the Equality Act 2010. 

Find out more about the information we collect about your visit to our website.

Powers to require the disclosure of information

We have the following powers to require the disclosure of information.

  • The power under regulation 14(3) of The Social Workers Regulations 2018 - to require persons other than the registered social worker to attend and give evidence, or produce documents, in relation to the removal of an entry from the register on the grounds it was fraudulently procured or incorrectly made.
  • The power under regulation 15(5)(b) of The Social Workers Regulations 2018 - to require persons other than the person making the application to attend and give evidence, or produce documents, in connection with an application for restoration by a person whose entry was removed from the register as the result of a removal order.
  • The power under regulation 19(4) of The Social Workers Regulations 2018 - to require persons other than the person concerned to attend and give evidence, or produce documents, to the adjudicators, in connection with a registration appeal.
  • The power under paragraph 1(3)(a) and 4(1)(b) of Schedule 2 of The Social Workers Regulations 2018 - to require social workers to provide information in connection with fitness to practise proceedings, namely:
    • any person by whom they are, or have been, employed to provide services as a social worker or in relation to social work,
    • any person with whom they have, or had, an arrangement to provide services as a social worker or in relation to social work, and
    • any regulatory body with which they are registered.
  • The power under paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 - to require a person to supply information or produce documents in connection with fitness to practise proceedings.

Storage

How long we keep your personal data

We retain personal data in accordance with our legal obligations and regulatory functions, taking into account factors such as the purpose(s) for which it is held, the need to ensure data integrity and accuracy, the period in which legal claims, investigations or enquiries may arise, the need to retain records in the public interest, and any applicable statutes of limitation.

We may decide to retain certain information where it is integrally linked to other information which we need to continue to hold, and where to delete it would diminish the integrity of the overall information we hold about you, or make it difficult to understand.

For example, deleting some of the data related to a fitness to practise case before other data related to the same case may make the entire case difficult to understand, and compromise the evidence related to that case.

In deciding how long to retain personal data, we may also need to consider the most appropriate date to use as the starting point of the retention period.

For example, there may be intricate links between data stored in the database we use for fitness to practise cases. Deleting only one part of the data relating to the case after a fixed period of time from the creation of that data may compromise the evidence related to the case and the integrity of the database.

So, it may be more appropriate to delete all of the data after a fixed point in time from a social worker’s date of birth, in order to ensure that all of the data related to that case is deleted at the same time by reference to the same date, and to preserve the integrity of the evidence whilst we hold it.

For some of the data we hold relating to social workers, we also need to consider the maximum potential working lifetime of the social worker, whether that information may need to be retained throughout that time, the potential for social workers who have left the register to return to practise, and whether information related to one social worker may need to be retained because it is relevant to another and deletion would mean we would not have a complete set of evidence.

In some cases, we may decide to retain data for a longer period of time than we otherwise would under normal circumstances. For example, continuing professional development (CPD) records will usually be kept for a certain period of time after the due date for submission, but may be kept for longer if they are found not meet our requirements and lead to a fitness to practise process being commenced.

We manage deletion of data through a combination of automatic deletion and regular checks by the teams responsible for that data.

You can find out more about how long we keep data in our data retention schedule.

Where we store your personal data

Most of the data collected as part of your interaction with Social Work England will be stored in UK-hosted data centres. In some cases, personal data will be transferred to, and processed in, countries outside of the UK.

The UK government may have made adequacy regulations, which signify that it has determined that the applicable legal framework in the destination to which the data is being transferred provides adequate protection for the rights and freedoms of individuals in respect of their personal data.

Where no such adequacy regulations have been made, we will ensure that appropriate UK GDPR-compliant safeguards apply, for example, by implementing the relevant set of “Standard Contractual Clauses” which apply to the data transfers involved.

The available sets of Standard Contractual Clauses can be found on the websites of the Information Commissioner and, where relevant, the European Commission.

Data processing may occur outside of the UK, for example, where it is stored in another country, or technical support teams providing services which enable Social Work England to carry out its role have temporary access to the data in order to resolve a particular issue or query.

Your personal data will also be stored on Social Work England premises and devices, under the control or supervision of Social Work England staff or consultants, or with other third parties or data processors in accordance with this privacy notice. We take steps to ensure that we have appropriate contractual provisions in place where we transfer your personal data to a data processor.

Lawful basis for processing

Why we are allowed to collect and process your personal data

We are allowed to process your personal data for different reasons. Our lawful bases for doing so will depend on the data we are processing, but will include:

Legal obligation

This applies where we need to collect and use your personal data to comply with a legal obligation, for example under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, or The Social Workers Regulations 2018.

Public task/interest

As a public body, we collect and use personal data where necessary to perform tasks that are part of our official functions or otherwise in the public interest, where there is a basis in law for doing so.

Vital interests

We may use information to protect the vital interests of you or of another person, for example if there is a matter of life or death.

Legitimate interests

We are entitled to process your personal data where it is necessary in our legitimate interests to do so, or the legitimate interests of a third party, where not connected to the performance of our tasks as a public authority and where such interests are not overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms which require protection of personal data. An example of this could be where we process personal data in our role as an employer.

Contract 

We may process your personal data where necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party, or in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract. Again, an example of this could be where we process personal data in our role as an employer.

Consent

We may on occasion need your consent to process your personal data. In such circumstances, you can withdraw or adjust your consent at any time. Examples of where we may rely on your consent to process your personal data are in the use of non-essential cookies on our website, or to send you emails where we are not relying on an alternative lawful basis for doing so.

You can change your preferences about cookies, unsubscribe from such emails and manage certain communications preferences within your online account if you have one. Please note that online accounts are only available to social workers or those who have applied, or are applying, to register as such.

When we process ‘special category’ data (such as information about your health), it is generally considered to be more sensitive than non-special category personal data and we need to ensure additional legal conditions are met.

The Information Commissioner’s Office provides further information about the lawful bases for processing special category data.

Sharing

Who we share your personal data with, and who we receive it from

Depending on the circumstances, we may share your personal data, or receive it from, the following:

  • Our employees
  • Consultants
  • Legal advisors and representatives
  • Social workers (for example, this may be necessary where concerns are raised about a social worker)
  • Healthcare professionals, including health assessors
  • Employers
  • Local authorities
  • Local and central government bodies
  • Courts and tribunal services
  • Law enforcement, including the police and prosecuting authorities
  • Internal and external auditors
  • Survey and research organisations
  • Safeguarding teams, if something in the information we receive indicates a serious risk to you or another person
  • Other public authorities, such as health and social care regulators
  • Non-departmental public bodies such as the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

In accordance with Section 54 of the Children and Social Work Act, subject to the requirements of the UK GDPR, the DPA 2018, or other legal requirements, the Department for Education has the right of access to any information in relation to the exercise of Social Work England’s functions. As such, at the request of the Secretary of State, relevant data may be shared with the Department for Education.

Powers to share information

Our powers to share information are set out under section 52 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017. We may publish or disclose information about any matter relating to our functions, or give advice about any matter relating to our functions.

Third parties

Information about the processing of your data by third parties

We will only share personal data with third parties when the sharing has one or more appropriate legal bases and is carried out in a way which upholds data protection principles. This includes ensuring that there are adequate legal, technical and operational protections in place when we share your data.

We sometimes use external lawyers to carry out work on our behalf, for example in relation to investigations and fitness to practise proceedings and hearings. Your personal data may be provided to them as necessary for those purposes.

We share information with other people or organisations to carry out our statutory functions and otherwise in the public interest. This will include other regulators and authorities.

We may share information with third parties such as Universities and research companies to enable them to carry out surveys or analysis on our behalf. We anonymise data where it is not necessary to share information which could identify you personally. Where we share information with third parties, we will ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place (detailed elsewhere in this privacy notice).

We carry out due diligence checks on any contractors who will or could process personal data as part of the work they are doing on our behalf. We ensure that all contractors have a legally binding, written contract, with sufficient guarantees as required by the UK GDPR and the DPA 2018.

More information about your personal data


Registration as a social worker

Personal data we might collect or otherwise process if you apply to become, are, or have been, a registered social worker in England

During your professional journey from applying to be registered or renew your registration as a social worker, throughout your time as a registered social worker and afterwards, and during the course of your interactions with us, we might receive information from you (or from others about you), and retain or otherwise process information about you, including your:

  • Personal contact details, including your name, any former name(s), address, previous address(es), telephone number(s), previous telephone number(s), email address and previous email address(es)
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Identification documents such as your passport or driving licence
  • Details of your nationality (including supporting evidence)
  • Gender identity
  • Employment details, such as roles, departments, start dates and end dates
  • Work history
  • Personal or professional opinions, from you about others or from others about you. For example, we will collect this information when we conduct consultations about our work, or in email/telephone communications you have with us, or if you raise a concern. Within these communications you may choose to state explicitly your personal opinions or political views, or these may be inferred, from the information you provide.
  • Information about issues which may affect your fitness to practise as a social worker. This may include, for example, information about your health, criminal cautions or convictions and any regulatory proceedings initiated by other regulators, and the outcome(s).
  • Records of your training and qualifications.
  • Records of your continuing professional development (CPD).
  • Evidence of English language skills.
  • Details of your direct debit and fee payments. Such as the dates and amounts paid, the name of your bank, your bank account and sort code number and the direct debit mandate ID to enable payments.
  • Information about any registration you have with other regulatory bodies.
  • References and reference requests.
  • Counter-signatory information.
  • Copies of emails, for example, if you email us or someone sends them to us as part of a concern or complaint

We may ask you for equality and diversity information, which we use to help meet our duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the expectations of the Professional Standards Authority. This may include publishing anonymised statistics to promote discussion.

The data we collect will be accessible by employees involved in data analysis, interpretation and reporting, and our IT team for operational purposes, but we restrict access to it and it will not be used to inform any decisions about your registration or fitness to practise.

You do not have to provide this information. Some of this information may not be collected routinely, but we may invite you to provide it, or it is possible that we may receive it from others about you (explicitly or by implication, for example if someone sends it to us during the course of a complaint or fitness to practise process). This includes (where applicable) information relating to your:

  • Race
  • Ethnic origin
  • Disabilities
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Gender reassignment
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Family, lifestyle and socioeconomic circumstances, such as parental and caring responsibilities. If you are involved in fitness to practise proceedings, for example because a complaint is made about you, it is possible that we may receive additional personal data from you (or from others about you) that we do not collect routinely, but which is sent to us as part of that process. The nature of the information we receive will depend on the nature of the case and the allegations involved. It is also possible that we may need to obtain certain information ourselves during the course of an investigation. The information we may process about you, depending on the circumstances, may include:
  • Trade union membership. We may receive this information, for example, if you are involved in fitness to practise proceedings and we receive notes of an investigation or disciplinary hearing conducted by an employer. This information may be explicit or could be inferred, for example if you are accompanied by a union representative during a meeting with an employer and the notes of that meeting are provided to us
  • Genetic information. This may include, for example, someone sending us the results of a paternity test if you have taken one and this is relevant to the concern being raised.
  • Biometrics (where used for ID purposes). Again, depending on the nature of the allegations, this may include, for example, a voice pattern analysis of a recording alleged to belong to a social worker.
  • Medical information. This may include, for example, information from toxicology screening, if you are subject to fitness to practise proceedings involving the unlawful use of drugs. Depending on the nature of the allegations, we may sometimes ask you to agree to toxicology screening, but would provide further information about this if at the time should it become relevant.
  • Sex life. This will depend on the nature of the allegations made but may apply in some cases.

Extra purposes for which we may use your personal data if you apply to become, are, or have been a registered social worker in England

The purposes for which we may process your personal data if you are applying to become, are, or have been a registered social worker include:

  • administering your online account
  • including during the process of signing up for it
  • processing and managing your application to: register as a social worker, renew your registration as a social worker, restore your registration as a social worker, or for social worker register annotation, including verifying and assessing the information you have provided
  • reviewing and assessing your fitness to practise declaration and the other information you have provided, and making decisions based on that information as to whether to admit you to the register or amend your registration details
  • publishing your details, including your name, registration number, registration status, date of registration, town of employment, social work qualification(s) and any other information we consider appropriate (in accordance with regulation 9 of the Social Workers Regulations 2018) on the public register of social workers and making this register available in different formats to those who may need it, such as employers or other regulators or authorities
  • managing your registration, including working with you to maintain the accuracy of the information we hold about you, and the register of social workers
  • sending you registration renewal reminders (for example by post, email or text message) and communicating with you for any other reason related to your registration or fitness to practise
  • responding to enquiries about your registration status
  • managing and developing our relationship with you, including sending you guidance and other information and updates about professional practice
  • sending you our newsletter (you can opt in to receiving this if you wish)
  • processing and investigating concerns or questions raised or complaints made, about you or by you. This may include assessing and verifying information related to your fitness to practise or registration. We may share your personal data and the information you provide (or which was provided about you) with third parties (such as education and training providers, qualification awarding bodies, other regulators, employers, other authorities such as the police, relevant NHS organisations, external lawyers and witnesses to any incident that is alleged to have taken place) in accordance with our functions as a regulator
  • publishing schedules of forthcoming fitness to practise hearings in the public domain, which may include information such as your name, registration number and the details of any allegations made about you
  • conducting fitness to practise proceedings and hearings. This may include asking you to undergo medical testing or a health assessment if this is relevant to assessing your fitness to practise
  • sending bundles of evidence in relation to fitness to practise proceedings about you to representatives, external lawyers or individuals involved in proceedings
  • publishing the outcome(s) of any fitness to practise determination(s) on our website, which may include details of any order imposed upon you or advice given to you
  • maintaining records of evidence of fitness to practise proceedings and social worker registration applications, including where necessary to show that fitness to practise is not impaired, that registration was appropriate and as evidence of the decisions made. This may potentially assist, for example, with the investigation of our actions in respect of such matters should this be necessary, or to avoid the unnecessary further investigation of unfounded allegations
  • checking your identity
  • conducting surveys and research, including inviting you to participate therein
  • enabling you to make payments, for example of your registration fees
  • enabling you to set up and make direct debit payments through a payment service provider. Social Work England will receive payment notifications which help us to confirm whether your fees have been paid
  • processing details of your training and qualifications
  • quality assurance of training and education courses and providers
  • investigating and assessing details of incidents you report to us
  • assessing and acting in accordance with your choices and preferences as regards the communications you receive from us, where our sending of the communication relies on your consent. There may be some communications we send to you for which we do not rely on your consent, for example in relation to your registration or fitness to practise
  • checking to ensure you have completed relevant continuing professional development (CPD) and the administration, review and assessment of your CPD records
  • compiling statistics
  • monitoring our own performance and helping to ensure the success thereof
  • assessing applications for reasonable adjustments, for example, in relation to your CPD requirements

Continuing professional development (CPD) records

How we process personal data related to your CPD Records

If you are (or become) a registered social worker, we will ask you to submit CPD records on an ongoing basis as part of the requirements for renewal of your registration.

Your CPD records may be assessed in the course of processing the renewal of your registration. We will use the information you provide in your records to make sure that you have carried out appropriate CPD.

We could take action, which may include imposing conditions on your registration or removing you from the register, if:

  • you do not give us the information needed, in accordance with the requirements for your CPD records (this information is available on our website), without good reason,
  • the information you have submitted as part of your CPD records does not meet the requirements, without good reason, or
  • something within the information you have submitted in your CPD records causes us concern about your fitness to practise

We use reviewers, which may include third party reviewers, to assess your CPD submissions and information. They will access the information through a secure portal and will only see records they are allocated to review. They do not see the identity of the person who submitted the record.

If, during our check of your CPD activity, we come across information that might call into question your fitness to practise, we will consider this information in line with our fitness to practise guidance and rules.

We will not routinely inspect your CPD records as part of a fitness to practise investigation, but may decide to do so where we deem it to be necessary to discharge our regulatory duties.

Working for Social Work England

Personal data we might collect or otherwise process if you apply to work for, currently work for or have worked for Social Work England

If you apply to work for Social Work England, we will ask you for personal data as part of that process. You will be able to see the data we ask for in the forms you complete during the process. The information we may collect or otherwise process about you during the application process may include:

  • your name
  • full contact details, including address, email address and telephone number(s)
  • date of birth and gender
  • eligibility – nationality and immigration status
  • details relating to your current employment, including your current salary
  • employment history
  • details of any self employment
  • qualifications, licences and professional memberships
  • information to enable us to monitor our approach to diversity and inclusion
  • application form information which enables you to tell us a bit more about you, including things such as why you are interested in the role and the skills from which we would benefit by having you as part of our team
  • details of previous employment including start and end dates
  • details of unspent criminal convictions, motoring offences, police cautions, insolvency or bankruptcy
  • details of any time spent outside of the UK
  • contact details for your referees, and any references they provide
  • National Insurance number
  • Guaranteed Interview Scheme details and reasonable adjustment requirements.

Upon attending an interview, we may ask you to provide (and we may then collect and process) the following information:

  • evidence of your identity and right to work in the UK, such as your passport, utility bills and other documentation.

If you are successful in your application to Social Work England, and you are offered the job and come to work for us, we may collect additional information about you. This includes:

  • the terms and conditions of your employment
  • information about your pay and benefits, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions
  • bank account details to enable us to pay you and so that we have a record of the account(s) into which payments were made
  • information about your next of kin and emergency contacts, including their relationship to you
  • details of periods of leave, including holiday and absence and family leave and the reasons for leave
  • details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings or sanctions issued to you and documentation relating to this
  • assessments of your performance, including in one-to-one meetings, probationary reviews, appraisals, performance reviews and performance improvement plans
  • information on your health to support you during or after illness. This could include requests to and reports from, occupational Health, a GP and/or specialist referrals
  • information on any disabilities or support requirements you may have in order for us to provide reasonable adjustments
  • if you are asked to have your photograph taken (or to provide one) or a recording made as part of a staff event or initiative and you agree, the image and/or photograph and/or recording
  • information related to your work, such as emails, documents and messages you send or receive

Extra purposes we collect and process your personal data for if you apply to work for, are working for or have worked for Social Work England

The purposes for which we may process your personal data if you apply to work for, work for or have worked for Social Work England include:

  • Managing recruitment. This covers things such as your processing your application form, reviewing your application, arranging and conducting interviews and any checks we may need to do, such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of our recruitment processes. This could include research into the experiences of applicants
  • Undertaking pre-employment checks before you start in a role with us, such as obtaining references
  • Managing your pension
  • Complying with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) which looks at verifying your identity, nationality, immigration status (so that we understand your entitlement to work) and employment history (usually by speaking with people you provide to us as referees)
  • Maintaining information to enable us to manage your pay, leave, absence and performance
  • Responding to Freedom of Information or data subject access requests. We endeavour to follow guidelines from the Information Commissioner’s Office in this regard. For example, when responding to a Freedom of Information request, we may remove the names of our less senior members of staff from our response, but may publish the names of our senior employees or board members.
  • Ensuring the continuity of our organisational functions. For example, if you leave employment with us, your work-related emails, documents and other information may need to be transferred to another team member, or another team member may need to be given access. This is so that, for example, we can continue to manage the work you were doing.
  • Investigating incidents and ensuring information security. In the event of an internal incident, or to ensure the ongoing security of information, it may be necessary to access and manage your work-related emails and documents (on your work device(s)). This will be done by giving you notice beforehand where appropriate in the circumstances.
  • business planning and improvement activities.

Extra reasons we would share your personal data for if you apply to work for, are working for or have worked for Social Work England

If you are applying to become, are currently employed by or have been through a recruitment process with Social Work England, then your personal data may also be shared with:

  • The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • Any third parties supporting our recruitment process

Raising concerns

If you raise a concern, we will ask you for relevant details, which may include, if not already known:

  • your contact details
  • if you raise a concern for (or on behalf) of someone else, their contact details
  • details of the concern, including relevant information to help us assess or investigate it
  • details of witnesses and other people you may have consulted about your concern

We may ask you for other information depending on the nature of the case.

We will use the information you give us to help us assess what action may be necessary. We may go on to investigate and some cases may progress to a hearing. We are likely to contact you if we need to clarify something you have told us, or if we need more information. If we investigate the concern, we will ask you for a statement and may ask you to attend a hearing.

We will use your personal information where it is necessary for the investigation or hearing, in accordance with this privacy notice. For example, we will pass it on to the panel members conducting the hearing.

Our overarching objectives under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 include protecting, promoting and maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of the public. We share information about concerns and our investigations where it is in the public interest or we are legally required to do so. Wherever possible, we will try to take your views into account, such as when we first review your concern, to decide whether we need to investigate further.

In deciding whether to share information, we weigh up and balance the wider public interest in disclosing information against individual rights, including the right to privacy. We review this on a case-by-case basis. In doing so, we will take your views into account and we will treat any concerns you have seriously. You can tell us at any time if you do not want us to share information or if you have any concern about us sharing information with certain people. However, there may be occasions where our duty to protect the public takes priority over your views or wishes, and we may need to share that information in accordance with that duty. We will always do our best to tell you before we do so.

Depending on the circumstances, the information you provide may mean we are compelled to act, which could mean that the information you provide and/or your identity is shared with or otherwise made known to the subject of the concerns, including by virtue of the circumstances of your concerns or the details you provide. If a complaint or concern is raised by or about you, we need to assess or verify information related to your fitness to practise or registration, or we need to investigate an incident alleged to have taken place, we may share your personal data and the information you provide (or provided about you) with third parties (such as referees, education and training providers, qualification awarding bodies, other regulators, employers, other authorities such as the police, relevant NHS organisations, external lawyers and witnesses to any incident that is alleged to have taken place).

We will not share your contact details with people or organisations you raised the concern about.

 

Feedback and enquiries

Personal data we collect or otherwise process if you contact us with feedback or an enquiry

If you contact us with feedback or an enquiry, the data we may collect or otherwise process may include:

  • the contact details you provide to enable us to respond to your request
  • the details contained within your feedback or enquiry

Calls to our enquiries team

We keep records of phone calls to our enquiries helpline. If you are calling our helpline and the call is being recorded, a recorded message will advise you of this at the time. Recordings will be kept for seven days and then automatically deleted, unless we need to store them for training and quality purposes e.g. for verification of a change of address.

If your call is subsequently transferred to another internal number, we will not record the transferred call. We do not record outgoing calls that we make, and we do not record calls that you make to numbers other than our enquiries helpline number.

Freedom of information requests

Information we hold may need to be disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request. We endeavour to follow guidelines from the Information Commissioner’s Office in responding to requests, including through the appropriate application of exemptions to the duty to confirm or deny whether information is held, and the duty to communicate it if so.

If you submit a Freedom of Information request to us, we may publish the request, or details of it, and our response. Where we do so, we will not publish information which identifies you and will redact or remove any other personal data mentioned in your request as appropriate, if applicable. For example, we may remove the names of our less senior members of staff, but may publish the names of our senior employees or board members.

Your rights

Your rights in relation to your personal data

Your individual rights in relation to your personal data are set out in law as follows:

  1. To be informed about the data we process about you 
  2. To request a copy of the data we hold about you (known as a ‘subject access request’)
  3. To ask for inaccurate data to be rectified 
  4. To ask for data to be erased (also sometimes called ‘the right to be forgotten’)
  5. To restrict the processing of your data
  6. To object to the processing of your data
  7. To request data portability, so as data is received in a readable format by another person or organisation

You have the ability to withdraw your consent, in circumstances where we are relying on your consent to process your personal data (we may have an alternative lawful basis for processing your data, such as the public interest or compliance with a legal obligation, which does not rely on your consent).

In addition to the above rights, you also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, if you do not feel that we have resolved your query or complaint to your satisfaction.

These rights may be subject to conditions. The Information Commissioner’s Office provides more information about your individual rights.

We will usually respond to requests within one month, but may extend the deadline by which we will respond by two further months if necessary, taking into account the complexity and number of the requests.

See your data

Upon request, you are entitled to a copy of the personal data we hold about you. Learn more about making a subject access request.

Correcting your data

If you have an online account with Social Work England, you may update and correct some of your personal data yourself. Otherwise, if you would like to make updates or corrections, please contact us. In some circumstances, we may not be able to agree to requests to change data. If we do not, we will explain why. 

Stop using your data

Asking us to stop using your data

You have the right to:

  • Object to data processing and ask us to stop using your personal data
  • Ask us to erase your personal data
  • Ask us to restrict the processing of your personal data

For more information about these rights, please see the links provided above under “Your Rights”.

If you want to ask about any of these rights, please contact us. We will respond to requests within one month. We may not be able to agree to your request, but if we do not, we will explain why. 

Whether or not we're able to agree will depend on the reasons we are processing your data. For example, we have to use certain types of information to carry out our regulatory functions set out in law.

Automated decision making and profiling

Our applications processes include those of applying to work at Social Work England, join the register or renew your registration. We do not use solely automated decision making in any of our applications processes. You must, however, submit all the documents we need before we can assess any application you make.

Please read the application forms carefully. We sometimes use personal profiles in our research, in particular to help us assess the impact of our work on different groups of people.

Data portability

Please contact us if you would like to receive copies of your information electronically. We may not be able to agree to all requests, but if we do not, we will explain why.

Contact us

How to contact us

Social Work England – 1 North Bank, Blonk Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 8JY
ICO registration number: ZA498223
Email address: [email protected]

Complaints

What you can do if you feel that we have not addressed your query or complaint

If you feel that we have not addressed or fully resolved your query or complaint to your satisfaction, then you have the right to raise this with the Information Commissioners’ Office:

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113
Website: www.ico.org.uk
Email: [email protected]

Version history


Version history of this privacy notice

Version: 5
Original date of drafting (version 1): 08/11/2019
Last reviewed: 19/08/2021
Owner: Head of Data Protection and Information Governance
Approval: Executive Director - Registration, Quality Assurance, and Legal

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