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Institute of Counselling Data Protection Policy

Your personal information and the purposes for which it is used

As soon as you contact the Institute of Counselling we will create a record of your enquiry. Personal information is used to reply to this enquiry and to provide you with information about our services. Once you return a registration form we will create a student record to record necessary information relevant to your studies with us. The Institute holds general information about learners, such as name, address, courses/units/awards registered for, fee payments, equal opportunities information and data to do with your assessment and progress. The data controller for your personal data is The Institute.

We use personal information to:

  • Provide information for enquiries. This includes sending you information about the qualifications we offer.
  • Process registrations and certifications
  • Track your assessment progress and to provide services to you
  • Produce statistical information which will help us to plan and improve our services
Your information may be accessible by the providers of our computer Customer Relationship Management system. This provider will not use your information in any way that could affect you personally. They may need to access your data if there is a system query. They will never disclose your specific data and information to third parties without prior written agreement. Information held on this system may be analysed for general statistical purposes.

If you are in debt to us, we may give other people information for the purposes of recovering debt.

If you have been sponsored, signing your registration agreement will give us permission to send workshop and assessment feedback reports, which you will have already seen and signed, to representatives of your sponsoring organisation.

Our principles

The Institute of Counselling is committed to the data protection principles of good information handling practises.  All personal information is held in secure computer and limited manual files and transfers of data within the Institute are made on a 'need to know' basis.

Overseas Students

The Data Protection Act 1998 limits the transfer of personal data outside the European Economic Area, but information may be transferred over the internet to any country in the world. So whenever you use the internet, you agree to your information being transferred to any other country if necessary.


We take security very seriously. All staff are made aware of the security procedures they must follow when handling personal data.

Please note that internet email is never a 100% secure way of communicating. By using it, you agree that you will send any information by email at your own risk.

Whilst we take reasonable precautions to make sure that other organisations who we deal with have good security practices, we are not responsible for the privacy practices of those organisations whose websites may be linked to our services.

Access to your data

We offer limited computer access to you only to your personal student account. From this you are able to give us simple updates e.g. phone and telephone number. You will also be able to access your course and assessment records. A password is provided to you via e-mail on successful registration.

Additionally under the Data Protection Act, you have the right to receive a copy of the personal data we have about you.

If you want a copy, please write to:
The Institute of Counselling 
40 St Enoch Square
Glasgow G1 4DH

Processing personal data as part of your assessment

You are not usually expected to process personal data as part of your assessment.  We recommend you follow the guidelines below:
  • you should remove client names from all written evidence such as case notes or evaluative commentaries
  • where you are being questioned by your assessor, you should ensure that your client remains anonymous
  • where observation of work is required, you should get your client's permission to be observed in a way which clarifies and respects their right to refuse
  • where tape recordings are used, you should get your client's permission for taping a session, and for the use to be made of the tape, in a way which clarifies and respects their right to refuse.  You must make it clear to the client that they can stop the recording at any time; ask for the tape to be destroyed immediately after the session and/or not to be forwarded to the assessor.  If you have used a tape for assessment purposes, you should destroy it afterwards.
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