Data Protection Policy

Data Protection Policy

 

Policy Overview

 MCHE holds and processes information about employees, students, and other data subjects for academic, administrative and commercial purposes.  When handling such information, MCHE and all staff or others who process or use any personal information, must comply with the Data Protection Principles which are set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act).

In summary these state that personal data shall:

  • Be processed fairly and lawfully,
  • Be obtained for a specified and lawful purpose and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with the purpose,
  • Be adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose
  • Be accurate and up-to-date,
  • Not be kept for longer than necessary for the purpose,
  • Be processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights,
  • Be kept safe from unauthorised processing, and accidental loss, damage or destruction,
  • Not be transferred to a country outside the European Economic Area, unless that country has equivalent levels of protection for personal data, except in specified circumstances.

 

Definitions

 “Data controller” further information about MCHE data controller is available from the Principal, who is the Data Controller

“Staff”, “students” and “other data subjects” may include past, present and potential members of those groups.

“Other data subjects” and “third parties” may include contractors, suppliers, contacts, referees, friends or family members.

“Processing” refers to any action involving personal information, including obtaining, viewing, copying, amending, adding, deleting, extracting, storing, disclosing or destroying information.

Notification of Data Held

 MCHE shall notify all staff and students and other relevant data subjects of the types of data held and processed by MCHE concerning them, and the reasons for which it is processed.  The information which is currently held by MCHE and the purposes for which it is processed are set out in the Data Protection Register entry.  When processing for a new or different purpose is introduced the individuals affected by that change will be informed and the Data Protection Register entry will be amended.

Staff Responsibilities

 

Information provided by staff to MCHE

 

All staff shall:

 

  • Ensure that all personal information which they provide to MCHE in connection with their employment is accurate and up-to-date;
  • Inform MCHE of any changes to information, for example, changes of address;
  • Check the information which MCHE shall make available from time to time, in written or automated form, and inform MCHE of any errors or, where appropriate, follow procedures for up-dating entries on computer forms.

MCHE shall not be held responsible for errors of which it has not been informed.

Information held or processed by staff

 When staff hold or process information about students, colleagues or other data subjects (for example, students’ course work, pastoral files, references to other academic institutions, or details of personal circumstances), they should comply with the Data Protection Guidelines for Academic Staff.

Staff shall ensure that:

  • All personal information is kept securely;
  • Personal information is not disclosed either orally or in writing, accidentally or otherwise to any unauthorised third party. Unauthorised disclosure may be a disciplinary matter, and may be considered gross misconduct in some cases.

Staff supervising students

 When staff supervise students doing work which involves the processing of personal information, they must ensure that the students are aware of:

  • The Data Protection Principles;
  • The requirement to obtain the data subject’s consent where appropriate.

Student Responsibilities

 Information provided by students to MCHE

All students shall:

  • Ensure that all personal information which they provide to MCHE is accurate and up-to-date;
  • Inform MCHE of any changes to that information, for example, changes of address;
  • Check the information which MCHE shall make available from time to time, in written or automated form, and inform MCHE of any errors or, where appropriate, follow procedures for up-dating entries on computer forms.

 

MCHE shall not be held responsible for errors of which it has not been informed.

 

Information held or processed by students

 Students who use MCHE computer facilities may, from time to time, process personal information (for example, in course work or research).  In those circumstances, they must notify the Data Controller, who will provide further information about this requirement.

Rights to Access Information

 Staff, students and other data subjects in MCHE have the right to access any personal data that is being kept about them either on computer or in structured and accessible manual files.  Any person may exercise this right by submitting a request in writing to the appropriate designated data controller.

MCHE aims to comply with requests for access to personal information as quickly as possible, but will ensure that it is provided within 40 days unless there is good reason for delay.  In such cases, the reason for the delay will be explained in writing by the designated data controller to the data subject making the request.

Subject Consent

 In some cases, such as the handling of sensitive information or the processing of research data, MCHE is entitled to process personal data only with the consent of the individual.  Agreement to MCHE  processing some specified classes of personal data is a condition of acceptance of a student on to any course, and a condition of employment for staff. 

MCHE may process sensitive information about a person’s health, disabilities, criminal convictions, race or ethnic origin in pursuit of the legitimate interests of MCHE.  MCHE may also require such information for the administration of the sick pay policy, the absence policy or the equal opportunities policy, or for academic assessment.

MCHE also asks for information about particular health needs, such as allergies to particular forms of medication, or conditions such as asthma or diabetes MCHE will only use such information to protect the health and safety of the individual, for example, in the event of a medical emergency.  The consent of the data subject will always be sought prior to the collection of any sensitive data as defined by the Act.

The Data Controller and the Designated Data Controllers

 The MCHE Board of Directors and Management is the data controller under the Act, and the Principal is ultimately responsible for implementation.  Responsibility for day-to-day matters will be delegated to the Heads of Department (i.e. academic and administrative) as designated data controllers.  Information and advice about the holding and processing of personal information is available from the Principal.

Assessment Marks

 Students shall be entitled to information about their marks for assessments; however this may take longer than other information to provide.  MCHE may withhold enrolment, awards, certificates, accreditation or references in the event that monies are due to MCHE.

Retention of Data

 MCHE will keep different types of information for differing lengths of time, depending on legal, academic and operational requirements.  These requirements are described in MCHE’s Records Retention Policy.

Compliance

 Compliance with the Act is the responsibility of all students and members of staff.  Any deliberate or reckless breach of this Policy may lead to disciplinary, and where appropriate, legal proceedings.  Any questions or concerns about the interpretation or operation of this policy should be taken up with the Principal.

Any individual, who considers that the policy has not been followed in respect of personal data about him or herself, should raise the matter with the designated data controller initially.  If the matter is not resolved it should be referred to the staff grievance or student complaints procedure.

Status of the Policy

 This policy was approved by MCHE’s Senior Management Committee (SMC) on 1st May 2019.   It will be reviewed by MCHE SMC no later than 30th April 2020