Hello readers, and welcome back to the ACE360 blog! In today’s article we are discussing all things GDPR as part of our Apprenticeship Solution Advice series.

What Is GDPR?

Put simply, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and is legislation that came into effect in May 2018.

GDPR is a broad regulation designed to protect individuals within the EU’s personal data and privacy. It has been installed by the EU to help give back control of individual’s data – predominantly how it is collected, processed, stored and used.

Interestingly, GDPR regulations apply to every company across the globe so long as they process data within the EU and UK.

Despite the UK no longer being in the EU, GDPR became law on the 1st of January 2021 and is formally referred to ‘the UK General Data Protection Regulation’ within the British Isles.

What Does GDPR Mean?

At first GDPR can seem complicated, and sometimes seem like an extra hassle, but be assured that this is a very positive step towards proper handling and storage of sensitive data and represents a positive shift towards consumer privacy and security.

Some of the key areas include:

Data Breaches – Under GDPR regulations, organisations are required to report specific types of data breaches to appropriate authorities.

Data Request – Individuals are permitted to request digital copies of their personal data, and usually do so when, for example, transitioning to an alternative service provider.

Right To Erase Data – Customers are now within their rights to request that companies erase all personal data stored on their record with the exception of if companies require this data for legal reasons (for example, tax purposes).

Right To Know – Individuals can now ask businesses to provide the information that is held about them, and although this isn’t a new right, businesses must now respond to requests within a specified time frame (1 month) and cannot in any circumstance request a fee for doing so – this wasn’t previously the case.

Visibility Of Contracts and Terms And Conditions – It is now a requirement that these are accessible, clear and easy to understand with minimal to no legal jargon. An ideal place to display these is on a company website.

Data Collection Methods – Now organisations can only collect data when they have a legal reason to do so. For example, to complete a binding contract. Also, a customer may ask an organisation to send them information regarding a product or service (marketing materials). Either way, organisations must make it obvious what the purpose of data collection is (and only use it for this specific reason!).

Personal Data About EU-Based People -This includes customers, suppliers, employees and other individuals businesses collect personal data from. This can include names, banking details, medical records and contact information.

GDPR For Small Businesses & EPAOs – A Summary

In summary, GDPR is an extremely important regulation to abide by as a small business. Essentially, GDPR boils down to being clear and ethical with business practices and data processing – i.e. what data is stored, what you intend to use it for and the processes that are in place to ensure responsible management of consumer data in line with legislation.

It can be daunting to get things right though if you’re a small business and have minimal resources. In the next section, we explain how you can ensure stringent and reliable GDPR processes for your End Point Assessment Organisation through use of our industry leading Apprenticeship Solution.

How To Ensure GDPR As An EPAO?

As mentioned in the previous section, efficient and stringent collection, storage and processing of Apprenticeship data should be the absolute priority for all EPAOs and training organisations in 2022.

As the industry collectively transitions from Apprenticeship Frameworks to Apprenticeship Standards, there has never been such a need for the cost-effective and reliable apprenticeship solution that ACE360 provides.

In essence, ACE360 acts as a standardised platform for training providers, employers and end point assessment organsiations when handling apprenticeship records in a centralised and GDPR compliant way, with the added benefit of also offering reporting and analytical functionality which makes compliant end point assessment a breeze whilst enhancing communication between your partner organisations.

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