Data protection

Details of our privacy and data protection policies.

RCGP website

Personal information and cookies

The Royal College of General Practitioners website does not collect or store personal information about individuals, except where you choose to give us information, either via online ordering, the membership application process, or in online forms or emails you may send to RCGP. On the website, membership application data or that gathered by forms or emails is used solely for the purpose of the members’ login.

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website that you access. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences or what’s in your shopping basket.

Cookies do lots of different things, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. Cookies make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier. They allow a website to identify that you are a new visitor every time you move to a new page on the site – for example, when you enter your login details and move to another page it won’t recognise you and it won’t be able to keep you logged in.

Types of Cookie used by the RCGP

Third party cookies

Third party cookies are set by a another website For example, we use a third party analytics company who set their own cookie to perform this service.

Session cookies

Session Cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the user’s device when the browser is closed.

Persistent cookies

Persistent cookies are saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually a year or longer) and are not deleted when the browser is closed. They are used where we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use this type of cookie to store your preferences, so that they are remembered for the next visit.

They are used on the main RCGP website, Trainee e-Portfolio, Revalidation e-Portfolio, Research Ready, Practice Accreditation, Self Service Area and Online learning sites.

Why do we use cookies?

  • To provide personalised services to individual users. and to improve your user experience by enabling the website to ‘remember’ you, either for the duration of your visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).
  • To help us to monitor and improve the services we offer

Managing Cookies

For more information about cookies and managing them, please visit aboutcookies.org.uk, which includes, information about how they can be disabled in most commonly used browsers. However you should be aware that disabling certain cookies may cause the website not to function properly

The RCGP shop pages provide further information about processing of data collected via online ordering.

  • RCGP shop terms and conditions [internal link]

Processing and retention of personal data

All personal data is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not pass any of your personal data to outside organisations or individuals without your express consent.

You have a right to know about the personal information the RCGP holds about you, and to have your data corrected or deleted. Please address requests or queries about our data protection policies to the Data Protection Officer.

RCGP general privacy policy

RCGP needs to collect and use certain types of information about people with whom it deals in order to operate. These include current, past and prospective employees, suppliers, clients/customers, and others with whom it communicates. In addition, it may occasionally be required by law to collect and use certain types of information of this kind to comply with the requirements of government departments for business data, for example. This personal information must be dealt with properly, however it is collected, recorded and used – whether on paper, in a computer, or recorded on other material – and there are safeguards to ensure this in the Data Protection Act 1998.

We regard the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to successful operations, and to maintaining confidence between those with whom we deal and ourselves. We ensure that our organisation treats personal information lawfully and correctly.

To this end we fully endorse and adhere to the Principles of Data Protection, as enumerated in the Data Protection Act 1998.and have developed and implemented policies, procedures and controls to assist with data protection compliance.

Specifically, the Principles require that personal information:

  • shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met
  • shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes
  • shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed
  • shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes
  • shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act
  • appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data
  • shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data

Therefore, RCGP will, through appropriate management, strict application of criteria and controls:

  • observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information
  • meet its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used
  • collect and process appropriate information, and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements
  • ensure the quality of information used
  • apply strict checks to determine the length of time information is held
  • ensure that the rights of people about whom information is held, are able to be fully exercised under the Act (these include: the right to be informed that processing is being undertaken, the right of access to one’s personal information, the right to prevent processing in certain circumstances and the right to correct, rectify, block or erase information which is regarded as wrong information)
  • take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information
  • ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards
  • ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to safeguard any personal data that is processed on its behalf by other organisations

In addition, RCGP will ensure that:

  • anybody wanting to make enquiries about handling personal information knows what to do
  • queries about handling personal information are promptly and courteously dealt with
  • methods of handling personal information are clearly described
  • a regular review and audit is made of the way personal information is managed
  • methods of handling personal information are regularly assessed and evaluated
  • performance with handling personal information is regularly assessed and evaluated

Contact us

If you have any queries about the RCGP Data Protection Policy contact meastwell@rcgp.org.uk.

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