Any personal data provided by you to the QS Counselling through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and to meet the legitimate interests of the charity.
This policy only applies to data collected by our staff, and via our own forms and website. Third party agents, and websites which are linked to ours, are not covered by this policy. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact the Matt directly.
When you request counselling with us, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.
What information do we collect?
- Counselling Requests– Registering with us to request access to our counselling service can be done by email or telephone. Our request process involves providing us with your name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. We may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which we deem relevant to processing your request.
- Initial Assessment Appointments– At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide about our offer of counselling to you and to manage the service we provide to you.
What do we use your information for?
We use information held about you in the following ways:
- To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
- To enable us to offer appropriate opportunities and support to our counsellors.
- To offer suitable counselling appointments.
- To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
- To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us.
- To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
- To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments, for financial control, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes.
- To keep in touch with those who consent to this, for the purposes of organisational, service and professional development.
- To fulfil our administrative, legal and contractual obligations.
What information do we share?
We will notshare any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
- Consent – We may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact.
- Serious harm – We may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
- Compliance with law – We may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject.
How do we keep your information safe?
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets on our premises. All electronic records are stored securel, and all access is by password-protected authentication.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 3 years after the end of counselling. Personal contact details are destroyed/deleted after 7 years of no contact or updates.
You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact Matt.
You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling from us, your counselling would have to end. You can withdraw your consent by contacting Matt.
Changes to this policy
We may edit this policy from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our website.
V1.0 Nov 2022