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Student Support and Wellbeing Privacy Notice

Student Support and Wellbeing services provide you with information, advice and support.  They maintain records about the concerns you have brought and about the information, advice and support which has been offered to you.  These records are used to provide you with the support you need and may contain sensitive personal information (also known as ‘special category data’) about you.

If you would like to find out more about the Student Support and Wellbeing services available to our students please see our web pages or email stusupport@chi.ac.uk.

The University’s Data Protection Officer and Data Protection web pages

You may contact the University of Chichester Data Protection Officer by email: DPOfficer@chi.ac.uk

The University’s policies and further information on data protection can be found on the University web pages

The information held by Student Support and Wellbeing

If Student Support and Wellbeing services are supporting you they will maintain a record of your personal data which may include the following information:

  • Details about you which have been drawn from the main University database.  These include your name, student number, University and home addresses and contact details, and your registered next of kin.  These are subject to the University’s Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notice which can be found under the University’s Data Protection Policies webpage 
  • Any contact the service has had with you such as appointments, drop-ins, emails, telephone calls, texts, etc.
  • Notes and reports about your concerns - this may include sensitive information about you (also known as ‘special category data’) such as information about your health
  • Details about the information, advice and support offered
  • Any documents related to your concerns which you have provided - these may also include sensitive information about you
  • We may also hold information from external agencies such as your GP surgery or NHS services -  this may also include sensitive information about you
  • Relevant information from other University services who have a duty of care towards you, this may also include sensitive information about you.  These services include:
    • Student Support and Wellbeing services
    • Accommodation and Estates services
    • Other University professional services such as Health and Safety
    • Your Academic Department
    • Other Academic Departments
    • The Students’ Union

The records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.

The purposes for which your personal data will be processed

The main purpose of the records is to help to provide you with the best possible support whilst you are studying at the University.  In addition, where there is a perceived serious risk of harm to yourself or another person the information may be used to advise the decisions that must be made in order to keep you and others safe.

The records may also be used as evidence of the support and advice offered when an official complaint about the service provided is received by the University.

We are sometimes legally required to provide information to outside agencies, for example if a court subpoenas records required in court or under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 or where action needs to be taken in our capacity as a UK Visas & Immigration Tier 4 sponsor.

The records are also used to provide completely anonymized statistical information to help us to monitor the effectiveness of our services and to identify where our services need to be improved.  This anonymized statistical information may also be used to meet any relevant requests we receive under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The legal basis for processing and the reasons for this basis

The main legal basis for which we process your personal data is contractual.  The University has a duty of care to deliver its educational and pastoral services competently and, in carrying out its services and functions, to act reasonably to protect the health, safety and welfare of its students. The University also has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of their students.

In addition the nature of our services means we sometimes hold sensitive information about you such as heath or mental health issues (this is known as ‘special category data’).  We hold this information in order to provide you with the support you need and is therefore necessary for the provision of health and social care.

In some cases the Student Support and Wellbeing services have a legal obligation to maintain records about you.  These include:

  • Case notes maintained by our advisers as a requirement of their professional registration, such as our Nurse Health Advisers, UinMind Mental Health Advisers and UTalk Counsellors
  • Our legal obligation to meet current Disability Legislation.  This includes our obligation to ensure you will not be discriminated against during the application process and during your studies here.  We also have a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments[1]’ to enable you can make the most of your studies
  • Our obligation to have emergency evacuation plans for students requiring additional assistance
  • If you are in receipt of Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) we are required to keep information about these payments for the Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG) audits
  • If you attend an International Student outing, we need to keep a risk register to ensure the safety of all the students and staff on the trip
  • If you are on an international student visa, the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) requires us to keep certain information about you

In very exceptional circumstances, where a high risk of serious harm has been identified, we may process you information to protect the vital interests of yourself or another. This will only occur if you are unable to give consent.

[1] ‘Reasonable adjustments’ are what the Equality Act 2010 calls any special facilities, assistive technology or support services which enable you to make the most of your studies.

How we keep your information secure

Student Support and Wellbeing services take the security of your personal data very seriously indeed.  It is recognised that some of the information held is of a very sensitive nature which could cause distress should there be a security breach.

Personal data held in electronic systems is stored in accordance with the University’s Electronic Information Security Policy.  All your personal data is held in the University’s network storage which is protected by information security systems. Each of the Student Support and Wellbeing services has its own password protected database of information to which only specifically authorised members of staff have access.

All paper records are very securely held in locked storage facilities in locked offices.

In addition, all members of staff undertake regular training on how to keep your information safe.

Confidentiality

Every member of the Student Support and Wellbeing services is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your personal data, and this is also a condition of their contract of employment with the University.

In addition, the Counselling Service (UTalk), the Student Health Advice Service, the Mental Health Advice Service (UinMind), and staff in the Student Wellbeing Advice Team (AdviseU) work to recognised standards of confidentiality from professional bodies including the BACP, HPC and NMC, see below:

Advisers in our services are also members of university student services organisations and adhere to their codes of practice.  These include:

  • Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education - AMOSSHE
  • The National Association of Disability Practitioners - NADP
  • The National Association of Student Money Advisers - NASMA
  • University Mental Health Advisor Network - UMHAN
  • The OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) Regulation of Immigration Advice and Services
  • Association for International Student Advisers/UK Council for International Student Affairs - UKCISA

Who can see and use your personal data

When you make contact with any of the Student Support and Wellbeing services - whether by email, phone, text, or face-to-face at a drop-in or appointment - only information that is relevant to your concern and to the advice and support relating to it will be recorded (electronically or on paper).  These records will be accessible to advisers in the same service, but they will only access these records if they need to.  For example, if you see one of the nurses about a twisted ankle and then drop in again on a later day, the other nurse will be able to see the notes and treatment offered. 

Your personal data may also be shared with other services within Student Support and Wellbeing.  This will only happen if an adviser believes another service needs to know about your concerns and/or the support and advice offered in order to provide you with the support you need.  In normal circumstances the adviser will talk to you about sharing your information with another service, and will ask for your explicit consent to do this.  Only if the circumstances are exceptional, where the adviser believes you or another person to be at risk of harm, will the adviser share the information without your consent. 

Sometimes it may be necessary to work with staff in other departments to better support you.  In these situations we would ask your permission to share relevant information with them to enable us to provide you with the most appropriate support.  We will explain our reasons to you and advise you about whom we feel needs to have information about you. We will then ask for your consent to share this information. If we do have your permission to share information then we will only share the information needed to ensure that appropriate support is in place.  In exceptional circumstances, where the adviser believes another department needs to know information about you because of risk of harm to yourself or another person, it may be necessary to share the information without your consent.

In some situations you may wish to restrict the type of information we share, however, if you do wish to restrict the sharing of your information this may limit the support and effectiveness of help that we can offer you.

Sharing with a third party outside of the University of Chichester

In some instances, staff may need to share appropriate information from your personal data with organisations outside the University to ensure support is in place for you. This could include services - such as your GP or other NHS services, Social Services or Local Authorities - and work placements where reasonable adjustments need to be made to accommodate any additional support requirements you may have. We will explain our reasons to you and advise you about whom we feel needs to have information about you. We will then ask for your explicit consent to do this.

If we have serious concerns about your safety or the safety of others we may have to share appropriate information with organisations and services from outside the University, or your next of kin. Wherever possible we would discuss this with you first and obtain your consent. However, this may not always be possible; such circumstances would arise only:

  • Where there is risk of harm to yourself or others, including safeguarding issues e.g. child protection
  • Where disclosure is required by law e.g. a court subpoenas records required in court or under prevention of terrorism legislation
  • If we are legally obliged to provide information requiring action by the University as a Tier 4 sponsor
  • If we are legally obliged to provide information to outside agencies we will do this in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679

We would discuss our reasons for sharing this information with you as soon as reasonably possible.

How long we keep the information before secure deletion

Most of the data held by Student Support and Wellbeing services will be held for the duration of your studies at the University and then for a further 3 years from your last day with us. 

The exceptions to this rule occur where we are required to keep the information for longer than this for legal or contractual reasons.  These include the requirement to keep records on the payments of Disabled Students Allowance for the Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG) who require records to be kept for a minimum of 6 years from the date of the student’s last assessment/review.

Each year all the records are checked to identify those which have reached the end of their retention period.  Electronic records are then deleted completely; paper records are then shredded as ‘confidential waste’.

Right of access

You have a right to request the personal data we hold about you.  If you'd like a copy of the information you are entitled to, please write to or email the University’s Data Protection Officer (DPOfficer@chi.ac.uk). 

Guidelines on how to make a request for your data can be found on the University’s Data Protection web pages.

Additional rights

If you wish to exercise any of the following rights regarding information held about you by Student Support and Wellbeing services, please contact the Student Support and Wellbeing Administrator, Vanessa Church (v.church@chi.ac.uk).

Right to rectification

If you think any of the information we hold about you is inaccurate you can ask us to correct it or remove it.

Right to erasure

If you think the information we hold on you is not relevant to your support, or if you think the data is being held longer than necessary, you may request that it be deleted.  We will discuss your request with you and, where possible, we will comply with your request. 

Right to restrict processing

If you have asked us to correct your data you may also ask us to restrict our use of it whilst we are verifying its accuracy.  You may also ask us to restrict our use of your data if you disagree with the way we are using it or whilst we are investigating any objection you may have raised.

If you want us to retain the data for longer than our retention period (for example where you need it to be kept in order to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim) you may request us to do this.

Complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office

If you wish to complain about any aspect of our information rights practice you may do so by contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office.