Confidentiality Policy 

    1.0 PURPOSE

    To ensure that learners' rights to confidentiality of personal information are protected which also includes any information relating to an employer, client or stakeholder.

    2.0 VALUES

    We believe that all learners, employers and stakeholders should have the right to expect that information acquired or held about them will be treated with confidentiality and with respect.

    3.0 SCOPE

    Information may be held about learners, employers or stakeholders at many stages of the learning process including:

    • Initial contact and information regarding eligibility
    • At Initial Assessment and Pre-Induction stage for purposes of recruitment and/or funding
    • Disclosing information about a disability or learning need
    • During information, advice or guidance sessions or discussions
    • When being referred for additional or specialist information or support
    • When disclosing information of a personal nature including financial or residency information or any criteria that warrants Additional Social Needs funding
    • During assessment and review
    • Sensitive information revealed during discussion in a workshop learning session still comes under this Confidentiality Policy
    • During completion of Individual Learning Plans
    • When giving feedback.

    Learners have rights under the Data Protection Acts1984 and 1998. These protect personal information from being used inappropriately. Under the Acts, this information must be destroyed when it ceases to be relevant. Everyone also has a right to see information held about them if they ask.

    Our policy goes beyond the legal requirement and aims to be learner and employer centred by meeting the standard set within the framework of the National Information, Advice and Guidance Board's "Principles for Coherent Delivery of IAG Services." Transparency regarding use of information held about learners is an important aspect of the policy.

    Confidential information may also be disclosed in some workshop sessions, particularly where learners are discussing personal issues - for example, in personal development, community education or family learning programmes. The Confidentiality Policy applies in these situations. Information submitted to the WEA website is governed by the Privacy Policy available on the website and not by this Policy

    4.0 THE POLICY

    This policy requires that:

    • All staff maintain a high standard of confidentiality
    • All staff are made fully aware of the policies on Data Protection, Confidentiality and
    Confidentiality and Disclosure.
    • All staff abide by the principles of these policies, and report any breach in confidentiality or weaknesses in the systems guaranteeing confidentiality
    • Where there may be legal requirements for disclosure for example in cases of a suspected criminal offence; where there is a likelihood of harm to an individual or premises; or a safeguarding issue advice must be sought from a senior team manager or director.

    Individuals are made aware of:

    1. Their entitlements to confidentiality and transparency
    2. Their right to see any personal information held about them
    3. Their right to refuse to give personal information and any likely impact on them,
    4. How information collected about them is used and stored.

    5.0 IMPLEMENTATION

    All staff are responsible for implementing the Confidentiality Policy according to their roles. Breaches of confidentiality or weaknesses in systems should be reported to departmental line managers and action taken through the Senior Management or fed back to an appropriate director.

    Links to other policies and documents
    This policy is part of a suite of Learner Support Policies defining learner support entitlements. There are particular links with:
    • Information, Advice and Guidance Policy and associated Referrals Procedures
    • Learner Complaints and Appeals Procedures
    • Disclosure and Confidentiality Policy
    • The Equality Policy.