CanalAbility (“We”) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

Privacy Notice 

Who we are 

CanalAbility is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of data subjects and safely and securely processing their data in accordance with all of our legal obligations. 

We hold personal data about our employees, clients, volunteers, suppliers and other individuals for a variety of business purposes. ‘Personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.  Personal data we gather may include: individuals’ phone number, home address, email address, educational background, financial and pay details, National Insurance number, details of certificates and diplomas, education and skills, marital status, nationality, job title, and CV. This Privacy Notice sets out how we seek to protect personal data and ensure that our staff understand the rules governing their use of the personal data to which they have access in the course of their work.  It explains when and why we collect personal data, how we use it, the limited conditions under which we may disclose it, and how we keep it secure. 

Our procedures 

Fair and lawful processing 

We must process personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with individuals’ rights under the first Principle. This generally means that we should not process personal data unless the individual whose details we are processing has consented to this happening. 

If we cannot apply a lawful basis (explained below), our processing does not conform to the first principle and will be unlawful. Data subjects have the right to have any data unlawfully processed erased. 

Lawful basis for processing data 

We must establish a lawful basis for processing data. Ensure that any data you are responsible for managing has a written lawful basis approved by the responsible senior staff member. It is your responsibility to check the lawful basis for any data you are working with and ensure all of your actions comply with the lawful basis. At least one of the following conditions must apply whenever we process personal data: 


We hold recent, clear, explicit, and defined consent for the individual’s data to be processed for a specific purpose. 


The processing is necessary to fulfil or prepare a contract for the individual. 

Legal obligation  

We have a legal obligation to process the data (excluding a contract). 

Vital interests  

Processing the data is necessary to protect a person’s life or in a medical situation. 

Public function   

Processing necessary to carry out a public function, a task of public interest or the function has a clear basis in law. 

Lgitimate interest   

The processing is necessary for our legitimate interests. This condition does not apply if there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides the legitimate interest. 

Types of Data we Collect 

Mailing Lists: 

As part of the registration process for our e-newsletter, we collect personal information. We use that information to tell you about CanalAbility news and events (which you’ve asked us to tell you about); to contact you if we need to obtain or provide additional information; to check our records are right; and to check annually that you’re happy and satisfied. We do not rent or trade email lists with other organisations or businesses. 

We use Microsoft Outlook and Mailchimp to deliver our newsletter. You can unsubscribe to general mailings at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe section on one of our emails or by emailing . CanalAbility collects this data under the legal basis of Contract. 

Event Booking: 

When we hold events or workshops we ask you to book a space.  We use Eventbrite for this.  You will be asked to share some personal information, including an email address.  See Eventbrite’s Privacy Policy for more information on how they process your data.  CanalAbility will not use your personal data given through event bookings for any purpose other than to provide you with details pertinent to your booking.  If you do not wish to use Eventbrite for bookings, CanalAbility will provide you with an alternative booking option, such as an email address. CanalAbility collects this information under the legal basis of Contract. 

CanalAbility Personnel Data:   

Personnel Data is kept on all staff and volunteers employed by CanalAbility. This includes applications by prospective staff and volunteers.  Staff Personnel folders are stored in a lockable filing cabinet in the Main Office – also lockable. Copies of staff personal details, supervisions, contracts, are kept by Line Managers in lockable filing cabinets.  A manual record of hours, holidays, sick absence and salary is kept in the lockable cabinets. Volunteer files are stored in a locked filing cabinet. 

Records are retained as described in Retention of Records and employees/volunteers can access information as described in Rights of Access to Information. CanalAbility collects this information under the legal basis of Contract. 

Database of Organisation Data:   

CanalAbility holds a database of organisations that have accessed information which is accessed from the office computers (these are password protected) and stored on Cloud. 

Organisations can request in writing or via e-mail if they wish to be removed from the CanalAbility database. 

Rights of Access to information describes how organisations can request information. 

CanalAbility collects this data under the legal basis of Consent. 

Market research and surveys:

We may invite you to participate in surveys or market research to help us improve our website, fundraising, services and strategic development. Participation is always voluntary and no individuals will be identified as a result of this research, unless you consent to us publishing your feedback.

Database of Individual Supporters and Association Members:  

CanalAbility holds a database of Individual supporters and Association members that have been involved in supporting the organisation which is accessed from the office computers (these are password protected) and stored on Cloud. 

Individuals complete a form seeking their permission to keep details in order to keep them informed of CanalAbility workplan and progress against our stated objectives. 

Individuals can request in writing or via e-mail if they wish to be removed from the CanalAbility database. 

Rights of Access to information describes how individuals and organisations can request information. 

CanalAbility collects this information under the legal basis of Consent. 

Database of Suppliers:  

CanalAbility holds a database of all suppliers which is accessed from the office computers (these are password protected) and stored on Cloud.  Contacts in these categories are asked permission to hold their contact details in order to communicate with them easily.  Individuals can request in writing if they wish to be removed from CanalAbility database. 

Rights of Access to Information describes how organisations can request information. 

CanalAbility collects this data under the legal basis of Contract.  

Database of Individual Service Users/Beneficiaries:   

CanalAbility holds a database of all individual beneficiaries and service users which is accessed from the office computers (these are password protected) and stored on Cloud. 

Individuals in these categories are asked permission to hold their contact details in order to communicate with them easily. 

Individuals can request in writing or via e-mail if they wish to be removed from the CanaAbility database. 

Rights of Access to information describes how organisations can request information. 

CanalAbility collects this information under the legal basis of Legitimate Interest. 

Photo/Quote Consents:   

CanalAbility uses photos and quotes of/from clients, partners, staff, volunteers and service users. We hold these images electronically on password protected Cloud and any quotes are written and kept in a locked filing cabinet if they are not anonymised. 

We collect this data under the legal basis of Consent and we allow the data subject to stipulate the period for which we can hold/use the data and in what method we can use it i.e. reports, promotional materials, external promotion and/or internal promotion. 

Data retention  

We must retain personal data for no longer than is necessary. What is necessary will depend on the circumstances of each case, taking into account the reasons that the personal data was obtained, but should be determined in a manner consistent with our data retention guidelines. 

CanalAbility sets out the following guidelines for retaining data. These guidelines relate to all employees at CanalAbility who may hold information about individuals. N/B –  this includes computer records as well as manual files. 

Applicants for jobs who are not short-listed for interview                  6 months 

Applicants short-listed for interview that are not successful             12 months 

Ex-employees                                                                                                5 years 

Summary of record of service of ex-employees                                    10 years 

Files on ex-service users should be kept for no longer than              2 years 

If under-18                                                                                                  12 months 

Financial records                                                                                        as per legal guidance 

Ex-volunteer records                                                                                 2 years 

If under-18                                                                                                  12 months   

Who do we share your information with?

We will only use your information for the purposes for which it was obtained. We will not, under any circumstances, sell or share your personal information with any third party for their own purposes, and you will not receive marketing from any other companies, charities or other organisations as a result of giving your details to us.

We will only share your data for the following purposes:

Third party suppliers: We may need to share your information with data hosting providers or service providers who help us to deliver our services, projects, or donation and fundraising activities and appeals. These providers will only act under our instruction and are subject to pre-contract scrutiny and contractual obligations containing strict data protection clauses.
Where legally required: We will comply with requests where disclosure is required by law, for example, we may disclose your personal information to the government for tax investigation purposes, or to law enforcement agencies for the prevention and detection of crime. We may also share your information with the emergency services if we reasonably think there is a risk of serious harm or abuse to you or someone else.
We always aim to ensure that personal information is only used by those third parties for lawful purposes in accordance with this Privacy Notice.

Transferring data internationally  

There are restrictions on international transfers of personal data. CanalAbility does not transfer personal data abroad, or anywhere else outside of normal rules and procedures. 

Access to your personal information 

You have rights to your data which we must respect and comply with to the best of our ability. We must ensure that you can exercise your rights in the following ways: 

Subject Access Requests 

What is a subject access request?  

An individual has the right to receive confirmation that their data is being processed, access to their personal data and supplementary information which means the information which should be provided in a privacy notice. 

How we deal with subject access requests  

We must provide an individual with a copy of the information they request, free of charge. This must occur without delay, and within one month of receipt of the request. We endeavour to provide data subjects access to their information in commonly used formats, in particular if information is supplied electronically.  Where possible, we will provide direct access to the information through a remote accessed secure system. 

If complying with the request is complex or numerous, the deadline can be extended by two months, but the individual must be informed within one month. You must obtain approval from the responsible senior staff member before extending the deadline. 

We can refuse to respond to certain requests, and can, in circumstances of the request being manifestly unfounded or excessive, charge a fee. If the request is for a large quantity of data, we can request the individual specify the information they are requesting. This can only be done with express permission from the responsible senior staff member. 

Once a subject access request has been made, you must not change or amend any of the data that has been requested. Doing so is a criminal offence. 

Data portability requests  

We must provide the data requested (for data portability situations) in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. This would normally be a CSV file, although other formats are acceptable. We must provide this data either to the individual who has requested it, or to the data controller they have requested it be sent to. This must be done free of charge and without delay, and no later than one month. This can be extended to two months for complex or numerous requests, but the individual must be informed of the extension within one month and you must receive express permission from the responsible senior staff member first. 

Right to erasure 

What is the right to erasure?   

Individuals have a right to have their data erased and for processing to cease in the following circumstances: 

  • Where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected and / or processed 
  • Where consent is withdrawn 
  • Where the individual objects to processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing the processing 
  • The personal data was unlawfully processed or otherwise breached data protection laws 
  • To comply with a legal obligation 
  • The processing relates to a child 

How we deal with the right to erasure   

We can only refuse to comply with a right to erasure in the following circumstances: 

  •  To exercise the right of freedom of expression and information 
  • To comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority 
  • For public health purposes in the public interest 
  • For archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research, historical research or statistical purposes 
  • The exercise or defence of legal claims 

If personal data that needs to be erased has been passed onto other parties or recipients, they must be contacted and informed of their obligation to erase the data. If the individual asks, we must inform them of those recipients. 

The right to object   

Individuals have the right to object to their data being used on grounds relating to their particular situation. We must cease processing unless: 

We have legitimate grounds for processing which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the individual. 

The processing relates to the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. 

We must always inform the individual of their right to object at the first point of communication, i.e. in the privacy notice. We must offer a way for individuals to object online. 

The right to restrict automated profiling or decision making   

We may only carry out automated profiling or decision making that has a legal or similarly significant effect on an individual in the following circumstances: 

  •  It is necessary for the entry into or performance of a contract. 
  • Based on the individual’s explicit consent. 
  • Otherwise authorised by law. 
  • In these circumstances, we must: 
    • Give individuals detailed information about the automated processing. 
    • Offer simple ways for them to request human intervention or challenge any decision about them. 
    • Carry out regular checks and user testing to ensure our systems are working as intended. 

Third parties 

Using third party controllers and processors   

CanalAbility has written contracts in place with any third party data controllers and processors that we use. The contract must contain specific clauses which set out our and their liabilities, obligations and responsibilities. 

As a data controller, we only appoint processors who can provide sufficient guarantees under GDPR and that the rights of data subjects will be respected and protected. 

As a data processor, we only act on the documented instructions of a controller. We acknowledge our responsibilities as a data processor under GDPR and we will protect and respect the rights of data subjects. 


Our contracts comply with the standards set out by the ICO and, where possible, follow the standard contractual clauses which are available. Our contracts with data controllers and data processors must set out the subject matter and duration of the processing, the nature and stated purpose of the processing activities, the types of personal data and categories of data subject, and the obligations and rights of the controller. 

Changes to this Privacy Notice   

We will review this Privacy Notice annually.  We review our Data Protection Policy and Procedures quarterly alongside the data we are processing to ensure compliance to the General Data Protection Regulations.

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