Any personal data or sensitive personal data provided by you to the PF Counselling Service 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 for the purposes of meeting the legitimate interests of the organisation.
This policy only applies to data collected by PF staff and volunteers, and via our own 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 us using our contact form.
By requesting counselling with the PF, by becoming a volunteer with the PF, or by visiting and using our website, you are agreeing to the terms of this policy.
For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is the Pastoral Foundation Ltd. (PF Counselling Service).
What information do we collect?
- Counselling Requests – Registering with us to request access to our counselling service can be done online, on paper or in person. Our request process involves providing us with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. We may also request some optional 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, to assign you to a counsellor, and to manage the service we provide to you.
- Feedback Forms – Our service feedback and evaluation forms are all voluntary, and the information is collected anonymously unless you choose to identify yourself. The information collected may relate to the way you are feeling before, during and after counselling, and your experience of the service provided.
- Other Forms – The information you give us on our forms (including all enquiry and application forms) may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number and other messages to us.
- Volunteer Placements – Counsellors, receptionists and other volunteers may apply for placements by form, letter, or email. They may also be interviewed. We may ask about your background, qualifications, experience, and professional memberships. We also ask for your name, address, telephone numbers, email address, and address and telephone details for people we may need to contact in emergencies.
- Job opportunities – In order to apply for job opportunities advertised on our website, you may be required to provide your contact details and other personal information contained in your CV (such as employment history and qualifications). This information will be treated confidentially, and is only processed for the purpose of considering your job application.
- Website – We use Google Analytics to collect anonymous data relating to user behaviour and ‘web traffic’ statistics. The collection and use of this data by Google Inc. is subject to their own Privacy Policies.
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 that they request from us.
- To enable us to offer appropriate opportunities and support to our counsellors, receptionists and other volunteers.
- To offer suitable counselling appointments, and to allocate clients and counsellors for regular counselling.
- 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, the handling of donations, and for financial control, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes.
What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
- Consent – The PF may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact.
- Serious harm – The PF 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 – The PF 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 on our own on-site computer server, all access to which requires password-protected authentication.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by 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.
You have the right to ask to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records, for which we may charge a small fee. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact us using our contact form.
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.