Privacy and Cookies
This Privacy Notice covers processing of personal data relating to this website and by the Chief Executive of Skills Funding more generally.
The Chief Executive of Skills Funding (“the Chief Executive”) is a corporation sole – a statutory office created under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (“the Act”). Under the Act, the Chief Executive may appoint people in the civil service of the State. These employees are commonly and collectively referred to as the Skills Funding Agency. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Chief Executive is registered as a data controller for personal data processed by the Skills Funding Agency and other third parties contracted to process data for the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive’s Data Protection registration can be viewed on the Information Commissioner’s website.
Changes to this Privacy Notice
The Skills Funding Agency may amend this Privacy Notice from time to time. If we make any substantial changes in the way we use your personal information we will make that information available by posting a notice on this site.
Children and privacy
Our website does not target and is not intended to attract children under the age of 14. The Skills Funding Agency does not knowingly solicit personal information from children under the age of 14 or send them requests for personal information.
The Chief Executive generally collects data for the purposes of fulfilling his own statutory functions. Where the Chief Executive shares data with a third party who undertakes work for the Chief Executive, the Chief Executive requires that the sharing is undertaken under contract and is subject to a data sharing agreement, specifying the secure management of the data.
Data might also be shared with other bodies, as informed to learners, for the purposes of those organisations fulfilling their own statutory purposes. Such sharing is undertaken using a standard data sharing agreement for specified legitimate and restricted purposes.
The security of the Chief Executive’s systems which store data are regularly and independently reviewed. As a further measure of assurance, the systems are also subjected to Privacy Impact Assessment and Data Protection Compliance check reviews as promoted by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Questions or concerns about personal data
If you have any questions or concerns about our collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information, please write to the Skill Funding Agency’s Information Rights Manager, Cheylesmore House, Quinton Road, Coventry, CV1 2WT.
The Skills Funding Agency website, with the exception of any registration or subscription services and discussion facilities does not capture or store personal information, but merely logs the user's IP address (the Internet address of your computer) to give us an idea of which part of our website is visited and how long is spent there.
If you register to receive updates, your information will be held on a secure server and the data will not be shared with any organisations outside government. It will be used only to provide you with email updates on the topics you have requested or postal information if you request that service. If you respond online to a consultation exercise, your data will only be used to facilitate the analysis of responses and will be deleted subsequently.
This privacy statement for this website only covers the Skills Funding Agency website and subsequent sub-sites of that domain, and those other sites specifically referred to in this statement. Other websites linked to or from the Skills Funding Agency website are not covered by this privacy statement.
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 used 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
You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them through "Internet browser cookies - what they are and how to manage them"
Cookies for improving service
Typical content: Randomly generated string of letters and numbers
Expires: At end of session
Typical content: Randomly generated string of letters and numbers
Expires: 10 years
What information is gathered by this website, and how it is used by the Skills Funding Agency
The Skills Funding Agency gathers certain types of information about visitors to this website. It is important, therefore, that visitors know what is gathered and how it is used. The Skills Funding Agency may use information for the following purposes
- to fulfil your requests for certain services
- to personalise your experience on the website
- to keep you up to date on the latest service announcements or other information the Skills Funding Agency thinks you'd like to hear about either from us or from our partners
- to understand your needs and provide you with better services
- to track usage.
Information sharing and disclosure
By providing personal information you are deemed to consent to your personal information being shared outside the Skills Funding Agency in the following circumstances:
- where the Skills Funding Agency needs to share your information to provide the service you have requested
- where the Skills Funding Agency needs to send the information to third parties who work on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency to provide a service to you (we will only provide the information they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose)
- where the Skills Funding Agency wants to keep you up to date on the latest service announcements, software updates or other information the Skills Funding Agency thinks you would like to hear about either from us or from our business partners the Skills Funding Agency will also disclose your personal information if required to do so by law in urgent circumstances, to protect personal safety, the public or our website.
Skills Funding Agency data is stored in controlled servers with limited access. Your information may be stored and processed in the United Kingdom where Skills Funding Agency or its business partners are located.
Mailing Lists and forums (including the Learning Records Service, the Data Service, the information authority, Apprenticeships and the Next Step or National Careers Service)
Users of the mailing lists and forums must register separately for these services. These services are free and on the whole will only require registration when posting messages. Details of how to register and remove personal details from mailing lists and forums are located with the mailing lists.
Do not register for either of these services if you do not want other subscribers to Skills Funding Agency mailing lists and/or forums to have access to your email address. Subscribers should only use these services for authorised purposes, and should under no circumstances divulge the email addresses of other subscribers to unconnected third parties.
Any unauthorised use may result in the offending subscriber's subscription being cancelled and, depending on the severity of the unauthorised action, the commencement of civil proceedings against the offender. If any subscriber is unsure as to whether or not a particular course of action is authorised, he/she should contact the Skills Funding Agency in the first instance.
The views and opinions expressed in any email either to a notice board or to a subscriber's personal e-mail address are the author's own and may not reflect the views and opinions of the Skills Funding Agency. In addition, the Skills Funding Agency cannot be held responsible for any acts or omissions of subscribers or for any breaches of data protection legislation by subscribers.
Learner data is collected by the Chief Executive of Skills Funding as required under contractual funding arrangements and financial memorandums with providers of learning – for example, Further Education colleges and private training organisations. The data collected from learners is processed by the Data Service, a part of the Skills Funding Agency, as explained in the Privacy Notice issued by providers to each learner.
The data is primarily used by the Chief Executive of Skills Funding to perform his statutory functions as set out in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. Where personal data is required for the Young People’s Learning Agency for England (“the YPLA”) or any of its successor bodies, to perform its statutory functions, this data is collected and processed by the Data Service on behalf of the YPLA, or its successor bodies.
Information provided by learners may be shared with other organisations for purposes of administration, the provision of career and other guidance and statistical and research purposes, relating to education or training. Other organisations include the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Education, the Department for Works and Pensions, Local Authorities, Connexions, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, educational institutions and organisations performing research and statistical work on behalf of the Chief Executive of Skills Funding, the YPLA, or partners of those organisations.
Further information about the Data Service is available on the Data Service website.
The learner data processed by the Chief Executive is known as the Individualised Learner Record or ILR. The specification and standards for the ILR are agreed by the information authority, whose board comprises representatives from across the Further Education sector. The specification and standards are agreed and published for each academic year from 1 August – 31 July. The secretariat to the information Authority is part of the Skills Funding Agency.
Further details of the ILR specification, detailing the purposes for the collection of ILR data are published on the information authority website.
Learner data is also collected and supplied to the Learning Records Service, a part of the Skills Funding Agency. This personal data is used by the Chief Executive to issue learners with a Unique Learner Number (ULN), and to create and maintain the Personal Learning Record. Information held in the Personal Learning Record is shared with third parties such as providers of learning with the consent of the learner.
Further details of how this personal data is processed for these purposes can be found at the Learning Records Service website.
In order to meet statutory functions laid down under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, the Chief Executive of Skills Funding delegates his authority relating to Apprenticeships (as directed by the Secretary of State) to the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). The Chief Executive of Skills Funding remains the data controller of personal data processed by NAS for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998.
As part of this service, individuals can apply for apprenticeships and be kept informed of apprenticeship opportunities. Personal data is processed to match registered candidate requirements to possible vacancies for apprenticeships, including those employers or providers offering a guaranteed interview scheme. Learning Providers may act on behalf of their employers to sift and shortlist candidates for interview that meet the criteria set by the employer. This service also enables Connexions, Jobcentre Plus (JC+), and the Chief Executive and his staff and organisations contracted by him to deliver the Next Step and the National Careers Service and their employees or agents to search for apprenticeship vacancies and pass details of the vacancy to clients for the purpose of providing careers advice and guidance. Full details of what personal data is collected and how it is processed is included when individuals register for this service on the Apprenticeships website
Adult information and advice (Next Step Service and National Careers Service)
The Chief Executive of Skills Funding encourages participation within education and learning through the provision of information and advice services to support adults. Data is collected to enable delivery of the services requested. Some optional demographic information (for example, ethnicity, declared disability) is requested to enable the Chief Executive to monitor the performance of the service against equality and diversity objectives, and to ensure that the Skills Funding Agency is targeting the service to meet priority audience groups. A Lifelong Learning Account (formerly known as a Skills Account) can be created and maintained for individuals to assist in receiving the service and removing the need to repeatedly request the same information. For the purposes of protecting personal information stored in the Lifelong Learning Account, individuals are required to answer security questions to access their own information.
Further details about the service are provided on the Next Step website.
Employees - Skills Funding Agency recruitment and employment
Applicants for employment vacancies register separately for these services, enabling individuals to apply for employment vacancies with the Skills Funding Agency and to be kept informed of possible employment opportunities. Personal data is retained for these purposes. Data will be processed by Oracle on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency and where data is transferred and stored outside of EU boundaries, it will be protected and remain the responsibility of the Skills Funding Agency. Data will be stored for up to six months after the completion of an employment application and retained further if an application results in an offer of employment being made for the purposes of processing that offer. The data will be periodically and securely destroyed.
Information is collected and used about employees of the Skills Funding Agency for the purposes of operating the business of the Skills Funding Agency, creating and maintaining an employment record, the provision of other services in connection with employment (for example, the provision of pension or flexible benefits) within the organisation, compiling information relating to employment for the inclusion in aggregated statistics to enable analyses of the organisation and responding to tax and pension enquiries. This includes information provided during the course of employment and through use of Oracle self-service. Information will be processed by the Skills Funding Agency, or on its behalf, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Personal data will be periodically and securely deleted.