The Data Protection Act 1998 makes provisions for the regulation of the processing of information relating to individuals, including the obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such information.

Prospective students, employees and other stakeholders have to trust that their personal details will be safe at the university. We, at Robert Gordon University, are expected to safeguard personal information of both staff and students properly and not to abuse it. For this reason we have developed a robust Data Protection Policy (PDF) that would meet these needs. The university's registration number with the Information Commissioner's Office is Z5607918.

Request for References

We receive a number of requests for references for staff and prospective staff regarding job applications and for students and prospective students in connection with applications to study. Under the Data Protection Act, references are only liable for disclosure if the university has received them from its own members of staff for other Schools and Departments within RGU. However, references are exempt from disclosure under the Data Protection Act if they have been written by the university.

If the reference is to be disclosed to an individual, a Subject Access Request or SAR has to be validated and verified.

Under the Data Protection Act (1998), individuals (i.e. data subjects) have a right to know what data is held about them at RGU and a right to access their personal data. Data Subjects exercise this right by submitting a written request (Access request form) that must be accompanied by some form of photographic identification of the data subject (a copy of passport and/or driver's license).

Once the request has been validated and verified the university has 40 Working Days to respond.

Police Requests

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (Sections 28(1), 29(3) and Schedules 2, 3) the Police have a right of access to personal data held by Robert Gordon University.

These exemptions are concerned with safeguarding national security; the prevention or detection of crime; the prosecution or apprehension of offenders and protecting the vital interests of an individual or another.

Each Police Force in the UK should have a specific form, which relates to the requesting for the disclosure of personal data from external organisations that should be filled in and sent to the university. The request for disclosure of personal data form must not be used where only the purpose is to confirm known facts, for general intelligence, or for administrative reasons.