AQA is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of your personal data. This privacy notice explains how your data is collected, used, transferred and disclosed by us. It applies to data collected when you participate in our examinations, training or events; use our website, products or services; interact with us through social media, email, post, text or phone; apply for employment with us; or are employed by us.
This privacy notice explains:
AQA is an independent educational charity and the largest provider of academic qualifications taught in schools and colleges in the UK and our qualifications are taught in over 30 countries around the world. We set and mark a range of examination papers including GCSEs, AS and A-levels, the Extended Project Qualification, the AQA Baccalaureate, Tech-levels and Technical Awards. We collect personal data for the purposes of administering examinations, supporting teachers, providing services to exam centres, recruiting and managing AQA employees and contractors, processing and validating payments, carrying out market research, and recommending products and services that might interest you.
The separate and distinct legal entities that make up the AQA family (referred to collectively as “AQA”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice) that are responsible for your personal data include:
This also includes any other businesses we may add to this group in the future. If you would like more information about which company you’re dealing with, please refer to the terms and conditions of the product or service you’re using.
AQA has established a Data Protection Office to oversee the activities we undertake to ensure that your personal data is handed ethically and in line with our legal obligations. If you have any questions about the way in which we collect, hold or process your data please send then to our Data Protection Office at GDPRenquiries@aqa.org.uk. Our Data Protection Officer is Clare Kay.
Personal data is any information which identifies and is about a living person. It might be possible to identify the individual through a single, specific identifier, such as a name; or by combining several different identifiers, such as job role and team. Some information is considered particularly sensitive because of the serious impact that it might have on the individual concerned if the data was lost or stolen. This ‘special category’ data includes: racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; trade union membership; health; sex life or sexual orientation; and genetic and biometric data (such as your fingerprint). We may collect special categories of personal data about pupils, examination candidates, job applicants, event attendees, and employees, where we have a lawful basis to do so.
We have put appropriate organisational safeguards and security measures in place to protect your data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. We keep your data confidential within a secure infrastructure protected by multiple firewalls and we are committed to keeping the security of these systems as up-to-date and as secure as possible. We already encrypt special category data within some of our products. We also limit access to your personal data to those employees, associates, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know it. They will only be permitted to process your data on our instructions and will always be subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We require any third party who is contracted to process your personal data on our behalf to have security measures in place to protect your data and to treat such data in accordance with the law. We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and the UK Information Commissioner of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
The following groups of personal data may be collected and processed by AQA:
In addition, we may collect the following additional groups of data with respect to job applicants, employees or ex-employees, associates, contractors, and temporary employees:
We also collect, use and share aggregated data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.
We may collect personal data from you when you: register at an approved centre; participate in our examinations, training, surveys or related events; use our website, app, products or services; interact with us through social media, email, post, text or phone, or use one of our cookies. In addition, we will also collect personal data from job applicants, employees, ex-employees, associates, trustees, contractors and temporary employees during their recruitment screening and throughout the tenure of their employment with us.
The law requires us to inform you of the legal basis for collecting and processing your personal data, where we are the Data Controller, or Joint Data Controller. These include:
Your personal data is used by us to support a range of different purposes and activities. These are listed in the table below together with the types of data used and the legal base(s) we rely on when processing them, including where appropriate, our legitimate interests. Please be aware that we may process your personal data using more than one lawful basis, depending on the specific activity involved. Please contact us if you need details about the specific lawful basis we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one basis is set out below.
|Purpose / Activity||Type of Data||Lawful Basis|
|To set and mark tests and examination papers and maintain a permanent record of the examination results (this includes the security and integrity of the examination process, the timely delivery of accurate results to students; and our compliance with statutory regulations).||
|To develop, deliver and publicise educational products, standards, qualifications, resources and training (this includes the provision and funding of research to inform education policy and improve assessment practice.||
|To promote education for the public benefit (this includes the provision of dedicated support and mentoring to young people through the AQA Unlocking Potential programme).||
|To manage our relationship with you, including: providing you with any information, products or services that you request from us; notifying you about changes to our products, services, events, terms and conditions or privacy notice; statistical analysis, market research, marketing and support.||
|To create an account, register you as a new customer and administer your account.||
|To process and deliver your order including: delivery of products and product features, recording your order details; keeping you informed about the order status; issuing product renewal notices, taking and processing payments and refunds, collecting money owed to us; and assisting fraud prevention and detection.||
|To use data analytics to: improve our website, products, services, marketing, customer relationships and experiences; and for market research, statistical and survey purposes.||
|To register you for email updates, and recommend products and services and events that may be of interest to you.||
|To gather your opinions on our products and services, or on your experiences of education.||
|To protect the security of commercial and personal and special category data in our care by securing and monitoring activity within our network, internet and email.||
For job applicants, employees, ex-employees, associates, contractors and temporary employees only:
|Purpose / Activity||Type of Data||Lawful Basis|
|To recruit the right people for our business, and manage their working relationship with us, including job role and responsibilities, salary or fee payments, progression, training, performance management and disciplinary or grievance procedures.||
|To arrange travel for you on AQA business and making appropriate safety arrangements for this, including monitoring your travel.||
We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we wish to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so. We may process personal data without your consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks may be carried out on job applicants or employees employed for specific roles, with their consent, to guard against the risk of fraud or other unlawful acts being inflicted upon our candidates, customers, partners or employees. We would encourage you to discuss any concerns you have regarding DBS checks with us directly.
We will keep your personal data for no longer than is necessary for the purpose(s) it was provided for and to meet our accounting, reporting, legal obligations and public interest responsibilities. Further details of the retention periods we apply to your data are available on request from GDPRenquiries@aqa.org.uk.
If you have any questions about how AQA use any of your personal data, please contact our Data Protection Office at GDPRenquiries@aqa.org.uk.
We may send you information about our examinations, products, services, activities and forthcoming events: by email if you have signed up to our email newsletters; or in accordance with your communication preferences if you have provided us with your details when you registered with us or consented to receiving such communications. If you do not wish to continue receiving information from us, you can ‘opt-out’ at any time by using the “Unsubscribe” link included in the footer of an email sent by us or by contacting us directly at GDPRenquiries@aqa.org.uk.
We will process all opt-out requests as soon as possible, but please note that due to the nature of our IT systems it may take a few days for any opt-out request to be implemented.
Our website may include links to and from the websites of our partners and other relevant organisations. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites will have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to their websites.
We use a range of analytics and targeted advertising tools to deliver relevant website content and information to you. For example, we use tools such as Google Analytics to target and improve our marketing campaigns, marketing strategies and Website content. We may also use tools provided by other third parties such as Mouseflow to perform similar tasks that help to keep our website updated and relevant to you.
We may also collect your data where you partially complete and/or abandon data entered on our websites and/or other online forms and may use this data to contact you to remind you to complete any outstanding information and/or for marketing purposes.
Please note: you can opt-out of the Google Display Advertising Features using Ad Settings or the Google Analytics opt-out browser add on. In addition, the Digital Advertising Alliance (which includes companies such as Google and Facebook) provides a tool called WebChoices that can perform a quick scan of your computer or mobile device(s) and adjust your browser preferences accordingly. Doing so, however, may restrict the functionality of our website and a large proportion of other websites around the world as cookies are a common feature of most modern websites.
We may disclose and share your personal data with the parties set out below, for the purposes outlined in the tables above:
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
We may add to your personal data any information we obtain from third parties that are allowed to share your data with us. This may include data from our examination centres, schools and colleges, the Department for Education, search data providers or public sources. In each case we will do only what is allowed by relevant laws.
We may share non-personally identifiable information about the use of our websites or products publicly or with third parties, however, this will not include data that can be used to identify you.
We may use service providers based outside of the EEA to help us provide our websites and products (for example, marketing service providers). This means that we may transfer some of your data to service providers outside the EEA for the purpose of providing our applications, services and advertising to you.
Where data is transferred outside of the EEA to our service providers, we take steps to ensure that appropriate measures and controls are in place to protect that data in accordance with relevant data protection laws and regulations. In each case, such transfers are made in accordance with the requirements of Regulations (EU) 2016/679 (the General Data Protection Regulations or “GDPR”) and may be based on the use of the European Commission’s Standard Model Clauses for transfers of personal data outside the EEA. More information about this is available here.
By using our websites or products or by interacting with us in the ways described in this Privacy Notice, you consent to the transfer of your data outside the EEA in the circumstances set out in this Privacy Notice. If you do not want your data to be transferred outside the EEA you should not use our websites or products.
You have several rights under the data privacy legislation. This includes, under certain circumstances, the right to:
Details of each of these rights are set out below:
If you wish to exercise any of these rights, or lodge a complaint please contact our Data Protection Office at GDPRenquiries@aqa.org.uk. You will not normally have to pay a fee, however, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances. We will always try to respond to any legitimate request within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.
If you have any questions or concerns about the way in which we collect, hold or process your data, or simply wish to exercise your rights (as identified in the previous section) please contact us directly. The address for our Data Protection Office is GDPRenquiries@aqa.org.uk. Our Data Protection Officer is Clare Kay.
Version 1.0 – Last Updated 8.20am 11th May 2018.