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Privacy policy

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.

We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • only access it when we have a good reason
  • only share what is necessary and relevant
  • don’t sell it to commercial organisations

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

  • to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information (this is called ‘legal obligation’)
  • to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office (this is called ‘vital interests’)
  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity - for example, to create statistics for our national research (this is called ‘legitimate interests’)
  • for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest - for example, delivering a government or local authority service (this is called ‘public task’)
  • to carry out a contract we have with you - for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you (this is called ‘contract’)
  • to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law - including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

You can check our main Citizens Advice privacy policy for how we handle most of your personal information.

This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.

How Citizens Advice Canterbury District collect your data

We will get your permission by signing our revised 'client permission and consent form'  if you come in face to face or obtain verbal consent over the phone. We will ask you to tick a box to give consent if advised via email or webchat.

In addition to the general rules covered by the main Citizens Advice policy

If you require advice from our Macmillan Welfare Benefits Service

We will collect your data over the telephone, during face to face interviews, from e-mails you send us, from secure emails or referral forms sent to us by other agencies like the local hospital trust.

We will get your permission by signing our revised 'client permission and consent form' if you come in face to face or obtain verbal consent over the phone.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:



  • to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’


  • to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office. This is called ‘vital interests’


  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity - for example, to obtain feedback for Macmillan to monitor the quality of our service to you. This is called ‘legitimate interests’


  • to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

If you require advice from our Money Advice Service (MAS)


We will collect your data over the telephone, during face to face interviews, from e-mails you send us, from secure emails or referral forms sent to us by other agencies like the Foodbank.

We will get your permission by signing our revised 'client permission and consent form’ if you come in face to face or verbal consent over the phone.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:



  • to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information (this is called ‘legal obligation’

)
  • to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office (this is called ‘vital interests’

)
  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity - for example, to create statistics for MAS research or to contact you to monitor feedback about our service to you. MAS may ask a trusted organisation to collect this feedback on their behalf (this is called ‘legitimate interests’

)
  • to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

If you require advice about homelessness or housing issues related to homelessness or that could lead to homelessness

If you have a housing query related to homelessness, in addition to the main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information we may share data with Canterbury City Council. We will ask for your explicit consent to do this. You do not have to agree and it will not affect the advice we give if you refuse.

We will do this by asking you to give us written consent to share information with Canterbury City Council when you come in face to face with a homelessness related query or for verbal consent if you receive advice over the telephone, or we will ask you to tick a consent box if advised via webchat or email. Please see separate client consent form for this, copies are available in the bureau or from the District Manager: distman@canterburycab.cabnet.org.uk.

If you apply for a job or to be a volunteer including a trustee

We will collect your data through a paper or emailed application form or gather information from the online application form provided by Citizens Advice if you have applied via the national Citizens Advice public website.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:



  • to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’


  • to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a volunteer or staff member was unwell at our office (this is called ‘vital interests’

)
  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity or a company- for example, to enter Trustee’s details with the Charity Commission’s Register (this is called ‘legitimate interests’

)
  • for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest - for example, delivering a government or local authority service (this is called ‘public task’

)
  • to carry out a contract we have with you - for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you (this is called ‘contract’)
  • to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing staff information with our legal advisors in event of an employment tribunal

If you are a Friend of Canterbury District Citizens Advice

We will ask you to complete an application form either on paper or sent by email. We will ask you to give explicit consent in writing or by email for us to store and use this data.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:



  • to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information (this is called ‘legal obligation’

)
  • to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if someone was unwell at one of our events (this is called ‘vital interests’

)
  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity - for example, to claim gift aid from HMRC (this is called ‘legitimate interests’

)
  • to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a tax investigation

What Citizens Advice Canterbury District ask for

To find out what information we ask for, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy.

If you are referred to the Pro Bono Family Legal Rota run by Canterbury District Citizens Advice, in addition to the general information relevant to your case we will ask for the name and address of any third party relevant to your case.

For staff and volunteer applications, we ask for personal details such as name and address and some special category data such as gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion and sexual orientation

For Friends of Canterbury District Citizens Advice, we will ask details such as your name, address, email, telephone number, bank details and tax status.

How Citizens Advice Canterbury District use your information

To find out how we use your information, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy.

For Macmillan Welfare Benefits clients, in addition to the general advice provisions (see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy) - we may share your data with Macmillan Cancer Support if they need to address a complaint from you about our service, and we may share anonymous data for research and policy issues. We will rely on our ‘legitimate interest’ in delivering benefits advice as a charity funded by Macmillan to do this.

For MAS clients, in addition to the general advice provisions (see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy) we and MAS will use your information to monitor service delivery and obtain feedback and for peer reviews of the quality of debt advice work. We will seek your explicit consent to share this information with MAS or a trusted research organisation working on their behalf.

For clients affected by homelessness, in addition to the general advice provisions (see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy) we may share data with Canterbury City Council (the Council) which they will use to monitor their response to homelessness in the district and help plan services in the future. The Council have a legal duty to report certain information about homelessness cases to central government under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. We will only share your data if you give us explicit consent to share these details.

If you are referred to the Pro Bono Family Legal Rota run by Canterbury District Citizens Advice, we will send a copy of your case details, including contact details to the Bro Bono solicitors firm or barristers chambers who will be delivering the advice. They will use this to prepare for your case and to check no conflict of interest arises. We will get your explicit consent to share these details.

If you apply to be a volunteer or employee, we will use your information to assess and select you for voluntary/paid positions (whichever is relevant), for training purposes, to monitor the equality characteristics of our workforce or to process wage, pension, tax and National Insurance payments (where relevant).  In the case of paid employees payment will be processed by our payroll company McCabe Ford Williams, data will be transferred securely to and from McCabe Ford Williams via a secure document transfer IRIS Openspace.

If you are a Friend of Canterbury District Citizens Advice, we will use your information to contact you to give you news about Canterbury District Citizens Advice and about our fundraising events. We will not sell your information to other organisations. We will use it to collect gift aid from HMRC if you have agreed to this.

Working on your behalf

When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help you with a Universal Credit claim, we’ll need to share information with that third party, for example, MOAT Housing Association or Canterbury City Council.

How Citizens Advice Canterbury District store your information

To find out how we store your information, see main Citizens Advice policy

Locally, we may store information in our gmail (encrypted) accounts, in the Nellbooker on-line referral system if you have been referred to or from another local organisation, or on the CLOCK Participant Administrative System if referred by the Christchurch Legal Companions Scheme CLOCK. Limited data is also stored on computers within the office

How Citizens Advice Canterbury District share your information

For Enquiries related to Homelessness, we may share information with Canterbury City Council for the homelessness advice including enquiries about other issues that relate or lead to homelessness. If we do this we share any personally identifiable data via Canterbury City Council’s Locata data management system. We will get your explicit consent before sharing any data.

For Macmillan, MAS, Financial Capability training or Pro Bono Legal Rota clients, if we share information with MAS for debt advice under the MAS service, with Macmillan under the Macmillan Welfare Benefits Service, with local pro bono solicitors for the legal rota or with Shawtrust for financial capability advice we will share any personally identifiable data via encrypted word attachments to email. We will get your explicit consent either written or verbal before we share personal data with these organisations. We will obtain this consent before we share the data and it will usually be during the course of your advice interview or financial capability class.

Contact Citizens Advice Canterbury District about your information

If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.

The District Manager
Telephone: 01227 364725, open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Email: distman@canterburycab.cabnet.org.uk

You can contact us to:

  • find out what personal information we hold about you
  • correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete
  • request we delete your information
  • ask us to limit what we do with your data - for example, ask us not to share it if you haven’t asked us already
  • ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service
  • ask us stop using your information

Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information

The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in the Casebook system.

Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website.