Policy statement 

Confidentiality and trustworthiness are fundamental to the counselling and partnership relationships established by Try Talking Ltd. As such Try Talking Ltd is fully commitment to the Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulations (2018). 

Any personal data provided by you to Try Talking Ltd through any means (verbal, written, in electronic forms or by use of our website) will be held and processed in compliance with data protection principles set out in the regulations. Only data that you have given consent to be processed will be included, to ensure we can provide a professional service to you and to meet the legitimate interests of the business. 

Try Talking Ltd and specifically the Director Shelley Maddocks is the data controller and the scope of this policy is limited to the data processed by Try Talking Ltd only. Try Talking Ltd has partners and these organisations are linked via the Try Talking website but once transferred to the partner websites their own privacy policies take effect. 

If you have any questions regarding your personal information and the use of it by Try Talking Ltd, please contact the Director via the Enquiry Form on our website. 

Whether you are a client, partner or employee to Try Talking Ltd you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy. 

Information collected 

Counselling services – In order to assess suitability for counselling and schedule counselling appointments, clients will be asked to provide personal details including: 

  • Name 
  • Mobile number 
  • Email address 
  • Reason for enquiry 
  • Preferred contact time 
  • Preferred contact method 

During counselling sessions clients may disclose additional personal information, none of which will be processed (on paper or electronically) without additional consent. For example personal development requirements of the counsellor may result in a request to record sessions and only with specific consent would this be able to be undertaken. Clients are free to decline or withdraw this additional request at any stage, even after recordings have been made. 

Partnerships – In order to formalise partnership agreements to provide counselling services to support organisations mental health and well-being strategies, partners will be asked to provide personal details of nominated organisational contacts including: 

  • Name 
  • Mobile number 
  • Email address 
  • Role within the organisation 
  • Preferred contact time 
  • Preferred contact method 

Under no circumstance will client information, processed in order to provide counselling services within a partnership agreement, be shared with the partner organisation. 

Employment – Job applications for Try Talking Ltd will be advertised on our website and via other third party recruitment agents. Applicants will be required to provide contact details and personal information for themselves and nominated referees. This information is only processed for the purpose of the job application process and onward employment for successful candidates. Unsuccessful candidate’s information will not be retained after the completion of this specific recruitment process. Third party agents will be responsible for their own data processing and they are not within the scope of this policy. 

Website user(s) – Try Talking Ltd make use of Google Analytics to collect anonymous data relating to user behaviour and statics. The collection and use of this data by Google Inc. is subject to their own Privacy Policies. 

Information use 

Your information will be used by Try Talking Ltd in ways details below: 

  • To provide professional counselling services to clients as contracted. 
  • To provide professional counselling and partnership services to partners as agreed. 
  • To offer suitable counselling appointments and arrangements, including changes to appointments, between counsellors and clients. 
  • To notify clients and partners of any changes to our services. 
  • To request and collate client and partner feedback regarding the service provided with an aim to improve our services. 
  • To handle any customer service concerns or complaints. 
  • To administer our services, including client and partner arrangements, funding applications, financial control, service data analysis and research purposes. 
  • To comply with administrative, legal and contractual obligations as an employer. 
  • To enable appropriate professional development, emergency response and management of employees. 
  • To keep in touch with those who specifically consent to receive Try Talking Ltd news and social media communications. 

Information sharing 

Try Talking Ltd will not share personal client, partner or employee information with another third party, with the following exceptions. These exceptions are verbally explained within the first client session and to partners within partnership consultations. They are then documented in client contracts and partnership agreements that require a signature to proceed. 

Client consent – Due to the nature of the clients condition it may become appropriate to obtain consent from the client to contact next of kin, professional carers or another nominated person in the interests of the clients continued well-being outside of the sessions. Only if this consent is granted and necessity arises would contact be made. 

Serious harm – If clients disclose that they or someone else is at risk, Try Talking counsellors may need to escalate this to management and on to authorities where necessary. 

Criminality and compliance with Law – If clients disclose that they or someone else is involved in serious criminal acts such as drug trafficking, money laundering and acts of terrorism then the Try Talking Ltd and its employees are legal required to report this to the police. If a judge or coroner makes a legal order for a counsellor to release client notes this must be adhered to. 

BACP Code of Ethics – Try Talking Counsellors are members of and comply with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy ethical framework. These standards are available at www.bacp.co.uk. Therefore Try Talking Ltd will comply with the information sharing rules set out by this authority which will meet the requirements of British law. 

Employer requirements – As an employer Try Talking Ltd may contract with third party providers for payroll and financial control, HR or IT services and as such employee details may need to be shared securely. Try Talking Ltd will ensure that any third party service provider has adequate privacy and data protection policies and procedures in place as part of contractual arrangements. 

Information security 

All Try Talking personal data will be stored as securely as is reasonable possible. 

Paper forms – All paper forms are stored in locked cabinets on company premises and transferred to electronic records or images as soon as possible. Obsolete paper forms are then shredded before appropriate waste disposal. 

Electronic records – Personal identifiable data is maintained separately from all other records. Unauthorised access is prevented via a number of security levels. Firstly files are only available to those employees who have been specifically assigned and authorised to engage with them. Files are password protected and access to computers is via user authentication and password protection. Mobile devices are encrypted and maintained securely even when in transport or in partner or alternative clinic locations. Under no circumstances will mobile devices be left unattended without physical security, such as locked cabinets and offices. Locked vehicles do not constitute physical security and devices remaining on a person are deemed more secure. 

Try Talking Ltd cannot guarantee the security of web based information transmission, although we will work with competent IT service providers to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption as best as possible. Therefore web based information transmissions and emails are completed at the users own risk. As soon as the information is received by Try Talking Ltd our data privacy and protection procedures will commence to prevent unauthorised access and security breaches.

Your rights 

As a client, partner or employee you have the right to request the information Try Talking Ltd holds on you. You also have the right to request amendments to any inaccuracies observed. In addition you have the right to withdraw consent to process your data. This withdrawal can be undertaken at any time. If you withdraw during active counselling sessions, any future sessions will have to be terminated. If you would like to request this information, any corrections or withdraw of consent please contact the Director of Try Talking, Shelley Maddocks at shelley@trytalking.org.uk or via post to 90 Shady Lane, Manchester, M23 9NN. 

Policy control and renewal 

This policy along with others managing Try Talking Ltd’s procedures and practices will be reviewed at least annually by the Director of Try Talking Ltd. 

The footer in all policy documents includes the name, version, date of the policy and the number of pages included. 

Changes will be communicated via website notifications and to clients and partners directly.