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Staffordshire Regional Access Centre Data Protection Policy

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All information and evidence provided to the Staffordshire Regional Access Centre will be held in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy and will only be used for the purpose of facilitating your DSA Study Needs Assessment.

This statement tells you what personal data we collect about you, how we use the data and who might see it. Please note that we may have to amend this statement from time to time to reflect changes in how we use personal data or to keep up with best practice, but we will only do this in line with the underlying principle on which this Statement is based – respect for your personal data. The majority of the data we hold is provided by you, either prior to your DSA Study Needs Assessment or during your contact with the Assessment Centre. 

We are committed to respecting and protecting your personal data. Data is not normally shared with anyone outside the University. This includes your spouse, parents, or other family members, unless you give us your permission to share it or because, in exceptional circumstances, we have reason to believe that your health or safety or the health and safety of a third party is at risk.

Information relating to your DSA Study Needs Assessment will remain confidential to the staff working within the Staffordshire Regional Access Centre.  This includes our administration team, DSA Study Needs Assessors and managers.  Information will be shared amongst this group of staff in order to undertake your DSA Study Needs Assessment.

To facilitate management of your appointment we may also need to share limited and necessary data with internal Staffordshire University staff.  This might include Reception staff, so they can greet you on arrival, or Estates staff if you need a parking permit.

Prior to your assessment

  • In order for us to undertake your DSA Study Needs Assessment, to comply with the DSAs Quality Assurance Framework and to respond to requests for information from your Funding Body we will store the following information on secure database(s).
  • Your information will be processed in order to comply with data requests from DfE.  Your personal details will not be disclosed to DfE as part of this information processing, the information provided to DfE will purely be around processing activity undertaken by the Assessment Centre.
  • We will not disclose your identity to your university/college without your permission. However, it may be helpful for us to contact your Disability Officer/Course Leader for more information about your course.  We may need to disclose your identify in order to gain more accurate information.  You will be asked if you consent to this in the pre-assessment questionnaire.
  • From time to time the Staffordshire Regional Access Centre needs to set up observations of assessments for quality assurance purposes and for training of new assessors.  You will be asked if you consent to your assessment being observed in the pre-assessment questionnaire.  Your personal details will not be detailed in the Assessors’ observation report.
  • If we have not been able to successfully arrange an appointment with you within 3 months of your initial contact, we will securely destroy any information you have provided to the Centre.
    • Disability evidence
    • Pre-assessment questionnaire
    • Funding Body Letter(s)
    • Consent form(s)
    • Needs Assessment Report(s)
    • Correspondence relating to your Needs Assessment

The assessment appointment

  • During your meeting with one of our Needs Assessors, you will have a discussion about the effects of your disability on your studies.  Your Study Needs Assessor will capture this information for the purpose of producing your Needs Assessment Report.
  • If equipment is recommended by your Study Needs Assessor, your Study Needs Assessor is required to obtain equipment quotations from approved suppliers as per the requirements from your Funding Body.  For the purposes of obtaining a quotation from an approved Supplier your Name may be provided to the Supplier.  Your Assessor will obtain specific consent from you if they are required to provide any additional details to specialist equipment suppliers for the purpose of obtaining a quotation. 
    • After your assessment has been completed, your Study Needs Assessor will write a report outlining the recommendations he or she has made based on what was discussed during your assessment. The detail of what you discussed during your assessment will appear in your Report along with information from your pre-assessment questionnaire and relevant details from your evidence.
    • The assessment centre is subject to quality audit and this will be undertaken by nominated DfE representatives. This will require confidential random checks on assessment reports.  You will be asked whether you would like to give this consent at the end of your DSA Study Needs Assessment.

Following your assessment

  • Your DSAs Study Needs Assessment is paid by your Funding Body.  They require the Assessment Centre to produce a Report using their approved template and this will be sent to your Funding Body following your Needs Assessment.
  • A copy of your Report will be sent to you and to your Funding Body at the same time unless you have requested to see a copy of the Report before it goes to your Funding Body.  If you request a copy of your report before it is sent to your Funding Body, we will allow 5 days for you to respond with any changes to your Report.  In the event that we do not hear from you we will send the Report to your Funding Body. 
  • Your Report will be encrypted and sent to you and to your Funding Body by email unless you request the Report in an alternative format.
  • The recommendations in your report are provisional and your Funding Body will make the final decision in due course. Your Funding Body may query recommendations and your Assessor will liaise directly with your Funding Body to try to resolve any issues.  Your Funding Body will send a letter to you once they have reviewed the recommendations. 
  • If your Disability Advisor at your place of study receives a copy of your report they can help to put in place strategies to assist you with your course. We cannot send them a copy of your Report without your consent.  You will be asked whether you would like to give this consent at the end of your Needs Assessment.  This consent is only valid for the Higher Education Provider where you are studying at the time of your Needs Assessment.
  • The Assessment Centre will usually receive a copy of the letter that is sent to you from your Funding Body about the support that has been agreed.  If there in any discrepancy between what was recommended and what has been agreed this will be investigated at this stage.  We will store this letter and any follow up correspondence on your file to undertake this check and to support any future requests for adjustments to your support. 
  • The fee charged to your Funding Body covers the costs of your original Assessment and any follow up work required, including adjustments to your support.  You can request consideration for adjustments in your DSAs support at any point during your studies.  If additional recommendations are agreed, your Assessor will need to send additional justification for the support.  This will be based on the evidence and information you have provided to us.  We will send this information to your Funding Body via their preferred communication route.  If you have requested it, we will also send this information to your Disability department at your place of study.  All correspondence relating to additional requests for support will be held securely on your file.
  • Your Needs Assessment Report, consent form(s) and relevant correspondence will be securely stored by the Staffordshire Regional Access Centre for 7 years from the date of your DSA Study Needs Assessment unless there are any ongoing matters following your assessment that mean we need to keep it for longer.

Feedback about the Centre

  • Following your Needs Assessment, we will contact you to obtain feedback about your experience with the Assessment Centre and to obtain feedback on your DSAs support.  This is part of a requirement for all Assessment Centres.
  • The Assessment Centre will send you a short feedback survey once we send you your Report and again 3 months later by which time you should have begun to receive your DSAs support.  If you give your details in the survey, your specific feedback will be shared with your Study Needs Assessor, particularly where we need to address information you have provided.  General feedback will also be analysed by the Assessment Centre and shared with Assessors for Service improvements.
  • We also collect routine statistical information about each assessment made which is later anonymised and analysed for audit and evaluation purposes.  This information may subsequently be summarised and interpreted in an Annual Report. The utmost care is taken to ensure no individually identifiable information is disclosed.

Access to information

  • You will usually have the right to see information that we hold about you.  For further details, please see the University web pages, which includes information on how to make a Subject Access Request.
  • If you wish to up-date your information, including your address and preferred contact details, or if you wish to change your preferences relating to any consents you have given, please contact the Staffordshire Regional Access Centre, accesscentre@staffs.ac.uk
  • This statement will be kept under review and will be formally reviewed on a yearly basis.  Any changes will be updated on our website and communicated to you as appropriate.  The Privacy Notice was last updated in March 2021.