Privacy Notice: Student Counselling

Dumfries & Galloway College (the College) is providing you with this information to comply with data protection law to ensure that you are fully informed and that we are transparent in how we collect and use your personal data.

Your privacy and trust are very important to us and this Privacy Notice provides essential information about how the College handles your personal data and the rights you have in relation to how we use your data. The College is committed to complying with all applicable Data Protection legislation.

Who are we?

Dumfries & Galloway College is the ‘Controller’ and is responsible for looking after the personal data that you provide.

Registered office:

Dumfries & Galloway College
Bankend Road

For any queries or concerns about how your personal data is being processed you can contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO) at

Purpose for processing – why do we collect information about you?

We collect and use your information for the following purposes:

  • We use the information you provide to deliver an effective Counselling Service. This includes:
  • Helping us understand your needs, to decide if an appointment with one of the counsellors is appropriate and to make a referral to them.
  • Informing the counselling services of your needs so that you can access appropriate support.
  • Delivering support between you and your counsellor.
  • In the event of an emergency (where you may be deemed to be at risk to yourself or others and where significant information is shared that raises concern) counsellors will share limited information as part of the College’s safeguarding procedures.
  • We will also use your information for statistical reporting and data analysis to monitor usage and inform development of the counselling services provided. However, all data is anonymised (information that could identify you is removed) before being compiled into management reports. Any information you provide from your experience through formal and informal feedback will be used to improve the service. All feedback remains anonymous.

Our lawful bases (reasons) for processing your information are:

Use is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or to take steps, at your request, before entering into such a contract.

The data being used includes special category (sensitive) data. Our legal reason for using this sensitive data is/are:

Processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest enabled by the Data Protection Act 2018, Schedule 1 Part 2, 17 – Counselling and 18 – Safeguarding of children and individuals at risk.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect your name and contact details to allow us to identify you and communicate with you. Some ‘special category data’ about your mental health will be collected for the purposes of assessment and treatment.

How do we collect it?

Your personal information is collected when you complete a referral to the College counselling service and when you access the service.

If you were to withhold the information we require for this process, the consequences would be:

Without this information, we are not able to make a referral to the College counselling service and offer support.

Who do we share your information with?

Your personal information will be shared outside the Counselling Service in the following circumstances:

  1. If the Counsellor believes the threshold for Safeguarding has been reached, they will contact the Safeguarding Lead to determine the most appropriate action to be taken. The Counsellor will follow College policies regarding a referral to Adult or Children’s Services. Any disclosure would either be done as a safeguarding action in consultation with the College Safeguarding Lead, or with your informed consent to a third-party professional who is involved in your care such as a GP.
  2. If you have a pre-existing mental health condition which already being treated by another health professional, it may be that the Counsellor communicates with them to ensure joined up care.

The College will not share your personal information with any third parties or use the information provided for any purpose other than outlined above.

Details of data transfers to any third countries or international organisations

Your information will not be shared outside of the UK.

How do we look after your information and how long do we keep it for?

We will take all reasonable steps to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of information you give us. Your personal information will be stored securely and will only be accessed by authorised staff, agents, contractors and other organisations who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions, and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality and must comply with data protection law.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

Your information will be kept for 6 years in line with the College’s data retention schedule and then will be destroyed confidentially.

Automated decision making processes, including profiling

We do not use any automated decision-making about you.

Your rights

Under Data Protection laws you have certain rights in relation to how the College manages and uses your personal information:

  • The right to be informed (this is the Privacy Notice)
  • The right to access your personal data
  • The right to rectification if the personal data we hold about you is incorrect
  • The right to restrict processing of your personal data

In addition the following rights apply only in certain circumstances:

  • The right to withdraw consent at any time (if consent is our lawful basis for processing your data)
  • The right to object to our processing of your personal data
  • The right to request erasure (deletion) of your personal data
  • The right to data portability
  • The right not to be subject to automated decision making including profiling.

For more information about your rights please see

Contact us

If you have any issues about this notice or the way the College has handled your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer in the first instance:


Telephone: 01387 734 364 or write to:

Data Protection Officer
Dumfries & Galloway College
Bankend Road

Complaints to UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

If you are dissatisfied with the response from the College you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office about our handling of your data:

You can do this online: ICO Online

By telephone: 0303 123 1113

Or write to:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane