Colleges Scotland aims to provide a safe and secure experience for all our users. The information that we collect about you will always be used lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and once in force, the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc)(EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (collectively the “Data Protection Legislation”).

Colleges Scotland is the controller over any personal data we process about you for the purposes set out in this Privacy Notice. If you have any questions or concerns about Colleges Scotland’s processing of your personal data, please contact our Data Protection Officer at

Personal Information We Collect

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:

  • Identity Data includes [first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier and title].
  • Contact Data includes [address, email address and telephone numbers].
  • Technical Data includes [internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform, and other technology on the devices you use to access this website].
  • Profile Data includes [your username and password, preferences, feedback and survey responses].
  • Usage Data includes [information about how you use our website, products and services].
  • Marketing and Communications Data includes [your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences].

We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health, and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.

We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data could be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data will not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this Privacy Notice.

Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you, and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with services). In this case, we may have to cancel a service you have with us but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.

How We Collect Your Personal Information

Colleges Scotland will obtain your data from the following sources:

  • Direct interactions. You may give us your [Identity and Contact Data] by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:
    • request to receive communications from Colleges Scotland,
    • on the Colleges Scotland website, we collect information when you complete the ‘Create an Account’ form to request log-in details for the Members Area,
    • enter a survey; or
    • give us feedback or contact us.
  • Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our website, we will automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies. Please see the section on Cookies below for more information.

How We Use Your Personal Information

We may use your personal information to contact you regarding our work on behalf of the college sector. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal obligation.

Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data although we will get your consent before sending third party direct marketing communications to you via email.

Change of Purpose

We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact our DPO.

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

How to Access Your Personal Information

If you wish to view the personal information which we hold about you or to inform us of an amendment to your personal information, please email

If you no longer wish to receive communications from Colleges Scotland, you can withdraw consent at any time by emailing

Sharing your Personal Information

We may share your information with the following stakeholders (Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council and colleges) to enable us to carry out work on behalf of the college sector.

The data on this website is hosted by Web Foundry. We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

How Long We will Keep Your Personal Information

We will only retain your personal data for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements. We may retain your personal data for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or other requirements.

Details of retention periods for different aspects of your Personal Data are available from the DPO.

Security of Your Personal Information

We ensure security measures are in place to protect your information from access by unauthorised persons and against unlawful processing, loss or damage.

Your Rights

The Data Protection Legislation provides a range of rights for individuals. Please contact the DPO if you would like to exercise any of your rights or you have any queries. The rights you can have over your data are as follows:

  • The right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data.
  • The right of access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • The right to rectification of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • the right to erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
  • The right to restrict processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal data about you in the following scenarios:
    • If you want us to establish the data's accuracy.
    • Where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it.
    • Where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
    • You have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
  • The right to data portability of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
  • The right to object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
  • The right to withdraw consent where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we could refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (“ICO”), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues ( We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance. Further information about your rights can be accessed on the ICO website at

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We keep this Privacy Notice under regular review. Any changes we may make to our Privacy Notice in the future will be communicated to you in some manner.

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.

Data Protection Officer

The Data Protection Officer is Jen Johnston who can be contacted by emailing:


We comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2002. When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be set to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password, so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast.

Our Use of Cookies

Cookies for Managing Your Current Visit

Cookie Name Description Type/Lifespan
39a1bbf44b1f37a296bab195dc912084 This cookie is initialised every time a new visitor, visits the website. When user exits browser

Cookies for Improving Service

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This is to ensure that the service is available when you want it and fast. Some examples are outlined below:

Cookie Name Typical Content Type/Lifespan
_utma Randomly generated number Persistent
2 years
_utmb Randomly generated number Persistent
30 minutes
_utmc Randomly generated number When user exits browser
_utmz Randomly generated number - Information on how the site was reached (eg. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search) Persistent
6 months

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

Facebook sets cookies to allow you to share content from our website and to help make logging in easier. Some examples are outlined below:

Cookie Name Description Type/Lifespan
act, csm, fr, p, presence, s, sub, x-src These cookies allow the 'Like' button to work so that the user can share content from the website on their own Facebook page. Various
c_user Allows users to 'Like' pages on the website without logging in, as Facebook checks your User ID. Persistent
30 days
datr Created when a web browser accesses (eg. when the user hits the 'Like' button). Persistent
690 days
lu Used to prefill the user's facebook email address on the login screen. Persistent
690 days
xs This is a session cookie. It creates a unique ID for each visit. Persistent
30 days

For further details on the cookies set by Facebook, please refer to the Facebook Privacy Policy.

How to Control Cookies

Find out how to control cookies on the website.