GDPR – Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Introduction, commitment and compliance

At Progress to Excellence Ltd (PtoE) we have to collect, store and process personal data in order to complete the service of providing high quality training, development and support to both learners and employers. Personal information must be handled and dealt with properly, however it is collected, recorded and used, and whether it be on paper, in computer records or recorded by any other means.

PtoE regard the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to the operation of a viable and successful business, as well as helpi­ng to maintain confidence between the organisation and those with whom we carry out business with. PtoE will ensure that it treats personal information lawfully and correctly; committing to uphold data protection law in all aspects.

As a national training provider, PtoE recognises that it processes sensitive personal information. To this end, the organisation fully endorses and adheres to the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This policy relates to the processing of personal data in manual and electronic records kept by PtoE. The policy applies to the personal data of learners, employers, stakeholders and any other organisation it comes in to contact with. These are referred to in this policy as relevant individuals.

Detailed in this policy will be an explanation of what personal data (information) PtoE holds, how it is collected and how it may be used and possibly shared. PtoE is required to notify the data subject of this information under the Data Protection Act 1998/The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679).


Progress to Excellence Ltd (PtoE) is a ‘data controller’ and gathers and uses certain information about you, the relevant individual. In this policy, references to ‘we’ or ‘us’ means Progress to Excellence Ltd, also referred to as PtoE or the Company.

“Personal data” is information that relates to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified from that information, for example, a person’s name, identification number, location, online identifier. It can also include pseudonymised data.

“Special categories of personal data” is data which relates to an individual’s health, sex life, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, political opinion, religion, and trade union membership. It also includes genetic and biometric data (where used for ID purposes).

“Data processing” is any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as: collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.

Data protection principles

Under GDPR, all personal data obtained and held by us must be processed according to a set of core principles. In accordance with these principles, we will ensure that:

  • Processing will be fair, lawful and transparent
  • Data will be collected for specific, explicit, and legitimate purposes
  • Data collected will be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing
  • Data will be kept accurate and up to date. Data which is found to be inaccurate will be rectified or erased without delay
  • Data will not kept for longer than is necessary for its given purpose
  • Data will be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage by using appropriate technical or organisation measures
  • We will comply with the relevant GDPR procedures for international transferring of personal data.

PtoE keeps several categories of personal data relating to learners, employers and stakeholders in order to carry out effective and efficient processes. This data is kept in secure platforms/files related to the specific relevant individual. Access to this information is limited to dedicated staff who specifically need this information to complete their role.


Data subjects have the following rights in relation to personal data being held:

  • The right to be informed about the data PtoE holds on you and what is done with it
  • The right of access to the data PtoE holds on you. More information on this can be found in the section headed “Access to Data” below and in our separate policy; Data Subjects Rights and Requests Policy and Procedure
  • The right for any inaccuracies in the data we hold on you, however they come to light, to be corrected. This is also known as ‘rectification’
  • The right to have data deleted in certain circumstances. This is also known as ‘erasure’
  • The right to restrict the processing of the data
  • The right to transfer the data we hold on you to another party. This is also known as ‘portability’
  • The right to object to the inclusion of any information
  • The right to regulate any automated decision-making and profiling of personal data.

As detailed, a full breakdown of rights and requests are detailed in the Data Subjects Rights and Requests Policy and Procedure.


In order to protect the personal data of relevant individuals, those within our business who must process data as part of their role have been made aware of our policies on data protection and given sufficient training and guidance around GDPR.

PtoE has appointed a Data Protection Officer with the responsibility for reviewing and auditing data protection systems.

Lawful basis of processing

PtoE acknowledges that processing may only be carried out where a lawful basis for that processing exists and have assigned a lawful basis against each processing activity.

Where no other lawful basis applies, PtoE may seek to rely on the relevant individual’s consent in order to process data. However, PtoE recognises the high standard attached to its use. As an organisation, we understand that consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Where consent is to be sought, PtoE will do so on a specific and individual basis where appropriate. Relevant individuals will be given clear instructions on the desired processing activity, informed of the consequences of their consent and of their clear right to withdraw consent at any time.

Access to data

As stated above, relevant individuals have a right to access the personal data that we hold on them.

To exercise this right, relevant individuals should make a Subject Access Request. PtoE will comply with the request without delay, and within one month unless, in accordance with legislation, we decide that an extension is required. Those who make a request will be kept fully informed of any decision to extend the time limit.

No charge will be made for complying with a request unless the request is manifestly unfounded, excessive or repetitive, or unless a request is made for duplicate copies to be provided to parties other than the relevant individual making the request. In these circumstances, a reasonable charge will be applied.

Further information on making a subject access request is contained in our Data Subjects Rights and Requests Policy and Procedure.

Data security

PtoE have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, used, or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

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

The following security measures have been put in place to protect the safety of all PtoE data:

  • Appointment of a Data Protection Officer
  • Heightened and improved security software, encryptions and threat detection:
  • *Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite E3
  • *Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection License
  • *WatchGuard Firebox M370
  • *SSL Wildcard Certificate
  • *AVG Business Edition
  • *Microsoft Windows Active Directory
  • *Secure Website License (SSL)
  • CNS IT Ltd – contracted professional business IT support company
  • Clear reporting lines
  • Staff training and awareness.

*Upgrades to our system currently being implemented.

PtoE is currently pursuing ISO9001 quality management system accreditation. This will be finalised by September 2018.

Security processes and training

PtoE have given CNS IT Ltd full jurisdiction to manage our  IT infrastructure, this includes everything from: cabling, licenses, network management, servers and backups.

System backups are completed daily – the onsite backup consists of all servers (DC, APP, Hyper, Exchange and Terminal), application and all mailboxes. The offsite backup is taken daily; this consists of vital folders, all mailboxes, and Servers DC and APP.

PtoE run a two-tier password function; CNS have one access point and PtoE have the other (access to internal administration passwords are limited to MIS Manager and MIS Officer). All PCs are locked down and restricted in line with standard protocols. All staff members are not permitted to install software that fundamentally changes the make-up of a machine without authorisation from a designated Company administrator.

Every piece of electronic mail that goes through PtoE’s exchange server is first scanned by a bespoke spam filtering system. This system is housed in a CNS partner datacentre, with multiple servers and dual dark-fibre links for additional backup protection, giving enhanced security and system availability.

All staff at PtoE have been suitably trained and made aware of their responsibilities around GDPR. It is compulsory to complete a GDPR awareness module that encompasses basic information about confidentiality, data protection and the actions to take upon identifying a potential data breach. PtoE implores staff to be vigilant and alert for any breaches of data or individual rights.

All staff who need to use the computer system are trained to protect individuals’ private data, to ensure data security, and to understand the consequences to them as individuals and to PtoE, of any potential lapses and breaches of PtoE’s policies and procedures.

PtoE has appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) due to the special categories of personal data processed. It is the responsibility of the DPO to ensure companywide GDPR compliance, the DPO is:

Michael Williams –

At PtoE, staff adhere to  a Clear Desk policy, ensuring that the threat of confidential information being accessed/distributed to the wrong individuals is minimised.

All PtoE staff must ensure that any private and confidential information is stored appropriately in drawers and cabinets out of sight when not in use. The information must be kept locked and secure. All PtoE staff are to tidy away documents of a private and confidential nature when they are away from their desk/workstation for more than a short period of time, namely at lunchtime, when attending meetings and overnight.

Furthermore, there must be a clear and specific reason why confidential information is being held. Once the purpose/timeframe for storing this information has passed, it must be correctly disposed of. All confidential waste must be correctly disposed of via confidential waste disposal – specifically situated at head office with a set collection date every month.

Computers and laptops must be screen locked when workstations are unattended, at all times. Work phones should always be locked with a secure pin code.

PtoE staff should make sure that any documents on their desk/workstation are not visible to visitors, members of the public or colleagues who are not authorised to see them. Sensitive information, when printed, should be cleared from printers immediately.

The DPO will complete randomised system reviews and audits of collected data every quarter, this is to ensure that data is being correctly processed and utilised. Additionally, PtoE reviews its data storage and requirements at the beginning of every contract year (Aug-July) to align itself with government and awarding organisational regulations and requirements.

Data storage and processing

As a national training provider, PtoE is both a controller and processor of personal data, along with special categories of personal data. It is in this respect that a DPO has been put in place to oversee continuous GDPR compliance.

PtoE only processes the aforementioned personal data (and special categories of data) on the condition that explicit consent is freely given. Processing this data is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights enabling PtoE to deliver the highest standard of qualifications, whilst complying with the rules and regulations as set out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Ofsted and awarding organisations.

By collecting special categories of data, PtoE can support its learners to the highest degree, through analysis and monitoring of health, safety, equality, diversity and safeguarding data. Additionally, it is an essential Ofsted requirement to process this data.

About the information we collect and hold

The table set out in schedule 1 summarises, typically, the types of information PtoE collects and holds, how and why we do so, how we use it and with whom it may be shared.

PtoE may also need to share some of the categories of personal information set out in schedule 1 with other parties, such as: external contractors, professional advisers, systems suppliers (hosting providers) and potential purchasers of some, or all of our business, or on a re-structuring. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.

As a training provider, PtoE may also be required to share some personal information with our regulators and awarding bodies, including, but not limited to: Department for Education (DfE), Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Learning Record Service (LRS), The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations (Ofqual), insurers, or as required to comply with the law.

The awarding organisations PtoE utilise are as follows: Skillsfirst, Pearson/Edexcel, City and Guilds (ILM), VTCT and ATHE. When working with these registered awarding organisations, PtoE has sought to confirm that they are in fact GDPR compliant.

PtoE seek to ensure that information collection and processing is always proportionate. We will notify any data subjects of any changes to information we collect, or to the purposes for which we collect and process it.

Where information may be held at our offices, and third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above. This is integral to PtoE’s business operations; PtoE cannot provide its services without this.

View Schedule 1 here.

Marketing, communication, social media and privacy

PtoE has dedicated specific policies to cover: website and cookies, social media, mobile phones and e-safety.

For marketing purposes, PtoE strictly adheres to GDPR protocol. This is why, at enrolment/application stage, we ensure marketing preferences are confirmed and learners/employers have opted in.

Our promise

PtoE confirms that it will, in all aspects of its business, comply with GDPR. PtoE confirms that personal information will be dealt with properly, no matter how it is collected, recorded and used; whether on paper, in a computer, or recorded on other material.

There are safeguards to ensure this in Data Protection Act 1998/The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) – (Company registration number: Z6847140).

PtoE regards the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important and therefore ensures that personal information is treated lawfully and correctly. To this end the company fully endorses and adheres to the principles of GDPR. PtoE 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, can be fully exercised under the Act
  • Take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information
  • Treat people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information.

In addition, the Company will ensure that:

  • There is someone with specific responsibility for data protection. This is Michael Williams; Quality, Compliance and Data Protection Officer
  • Everyone managing and handling personal information understands that they are contractually responsible for following GDPR practice
  • Everyone managing and handling personal information is appropriately trained to do so as well as being appropriately supervised
  • A regular review and audit is made of the way personal information is held, managed and used.

Any breach of rules and procedures identified in this policy by a staff member may lead to disciplinary action being taken. This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the Data Protection Act 1998/The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679).

If you have any questions relating to our GDPR and privacy notices or any concerns please contact our designated Data Protection Officer or alternatively, please complete the GDPR Request Form.