Privacy notice - membership

We will always store your personal data securely. We will use the data you have provided to administer your membership and so that we can send relevant communications to you in ways that you have agreed to. You can update your mailing preferences at any time by logging into your online account

How will we use the information we collect about you?

You are providing the RCPCH with some of your personal data in your membership application and you will continue to provide us with subsequent information about yourself for many different purposes throughout your relationship with the College.

The College undertakes to look after this data with care and in accordance with UK data protection legislation which is currently GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in conjunction with the Data Protection Act 2018.

We will process your information in accordance with one of the following data protection legal grounds:

  • Where necessary for performance of a contract with you or with a view to entering into a contract with you for your membership
  • Where necessary in our legitimate interests as a charity, membership organisation and royal medical college
  • Where we have your consent

As part of our contract with you, we will process your personal data for the following purposes:

  • To process your application for membership and to administer your membership subscription if your application is successful. This will include sharing information across RCPCH departments to improve our communications and services or to verify qualifications and to maintain and administer our membership database.
  • To send you College notices by postal address and/or email address as required by College bylaw 17.1 (available on our Governance page). This includes notification about our Annual General Meeting.
  • If you are a UK Junior member, we will use your exam results to enable us to automatically upgrade you to Ordinary membership once you become eligible, in line with the College bylaws (available on our Governance page). We will of course write to you to let you know about the change in membership.
  • As part of your membership subscription we will also use your information to provide you with a number of benefits. This includes sending you our member magazine Focus, providing you with information about our annual RCPCH Conference and exhibition and sending you College and professional updates which may include information about joint initiatives or organisations we are partnering with where we are supervising or project managing the project. We will also use your details to send you Archive of Disease in Childhood (where eligible). If you do not want to receive this journal, please contact the Member Services on membership@rcpch.ac.uk. You can opt out of any of these benefits by changing your mailing preferences on your online account. Please be aware that if you decide to opt out of these, you will stop receiving some of the benefits we offer as part of your membership. 
  • We will display your work contact details and email address on our member directory which enables members to network. It can only be accessed by other current RCPCH members who are signed in to the RCPCH website. If you prefer, you can display your home contact details on the directory by editing your preferences via your online account.
  • If you apply to be a member of an RCPCH committee or are a member of Council we will use your personal data to process your application and for the purposes of administering the committee and contacting you about committee/Council business. For some roles, there is a requirement to have your chosen email address made publicly available on the RCPCH website. Where this is applicable, this will be detailed in the job description. If the applicant is unable to provide this it may affect the eligibility of the applicant.

If you do not provide us with your personal data for these purposes, we may be unable to offer you membership of the College.

We will collect and use your personal information where this is necessary in our legitimate interest for the following purposes:

  • Undertake statistical analysis of exam performance by different cohorts, protected characteristics etc so that we can monitor and improve our exams.
  • Undertake data quality checking of our training and trainee data to ensure that the information we hold is accurate and up to date.
  • We will also use your data in the following ways to communicate with you. You can opt out of receiving any of these at any time by updating your preferences on your online account.
    • We will update you about our audit work if you are participating in a particular audit, including clinical audits and the workforce census.
    • We will send you communications (usually by email) to keep you up to date with our training and education activities and to let you know about other membership types you are eligible for, how to apply and the benefits.
    • If you are eligible, we will also let you know about ACCEA (awards), and may contact previous winners of College awards.
    • We will also send you RCPCH surveys about child health and the College's work and activities so that we can use the feedback to research how we can improve the way we support our members and the profession.
    • We may use profiling techniques to provide us with more general information about you so that we are contacting you with the most appropriate communication. We will use information that you have provided to us and publicly available data which could include public databases (such as Companies House), news or other media. This activity assists us in understanding the background of our members and helps us to make appropriate requests to members who may have the means to be able to help attract, provide or support funding for RCPCH activity. 

Where we are relying on legitimate interests, we will always balance our legitimate interests against your rights as an individual and make sure we only use personal information in a way or for a purpose that you would reasonably expect in accordance with this notice and that does not intrude on your privacy or previously expressed marketing preferences.

Where you have provided us with your specific consent (opted in), we will send you direct marketing communications (usually by email) relating to the field of Paediatrics and Child Health and also information about how you can support the College further. This includes activities such as CPD (continuing professional development), volunteering opportunities and media articles. We may also communicate with you on behalf of other organisations where you have opted in to receive third party communications.

If you have opted in (via your online account), we will also send you SMS (text message) alerts if we need to relay an urgent message to you.

You can view and update your preferences at any time on your online account to opt into or out of communications.

Criminal offence data

We will only ask for criminal offence data (data relating to criminal convictions and offences, or related security measures) where this may restrict registering for membership, such as if there are any ongoing or completed regulatory action or criminal proceedings. We do not ask applicants resident in the UK to disclose convictions deemed as spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Only relevant convictions will be taken into account and disclosure will not necessarily be a bar to membership application. We will only process your criminal data where we have consent or where it is necessary for the College functions in ensuring the public is protected by ensuring only fit and proper persons are members.

To find out more details about how we comply with UK Data Protection Legislation when processing criminal conviction data, please read our data protection and confidentiality policy (section 10).

Information security

In accordance with data protection legislation, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you and we have measures in place to ensure your data is securely and safely stored and transferred where necessary.

To enable us to provide you with certain services, we may need to transfer your data outside of the EEA (European Economic Area). However, we will only do so where adequate and appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure compliance and to protect your data in line with GDPR.  We will also transfer data outside of the EEA if you have provided us with a contact email or address which is based outside of the EEA or explicitly consent to this.

Where do we get your personal data from?

Most of the data we use to administer your membership will be directly provided by you as part of your membership application form, or within the course of your business with the College.

However, if you are nominated for an honorary fellowship of the RCPCH, your data will be sourced from your nominator. To find out more about how we use your personal data for this process, see the Honorary Fellowship privacy notice.

Information we share

We will share information internally between relevant departments where necessary to fulfill our activities or to support our work. 

If a third party, such as another Royal Medical College or a potential employer, asks us to verify your RCPCH qualification or membership we will verify this along with date of conferment if requested as it is within our legitimate interests to do so to protect the reputation of the College.

We will also share information with third parties where there is a statutory requirement or legal obligation to do so. This may include but is not limited to the General Medical Council, postgraduate deaneries and overseas equivalents, Department of Health, NHS, examination centres or to prevent fraudulent activity.

We will share information with appropriate third parties where it is in our legitimate interest to improve clinical practice, medical training and our services and where it does not intrude on your privacy. We will always anonymise this data where possible. We may also share your data with a trusted partner organisation (if applicable) where it is necessary for us to be able to deliver member benefits (such as providing the Archives of Disease and Childhood journal). 

How long will we keep your information for?

We regularly review what information we hold about you and delete it in line with College Retention Schedules. When your membership expires we will retain your file for six years from the end of your membership in line with the Limitations Act 1980 and our College Retention Policy.

We currently store a core membership record on our database with details about you such as contact details and preferences, payment details, qualifications and work details. Some of this information, such as name, biographies and work history will be kept for the College Archives if it is of historical interest. We are currently developing a process to be able to review and securely and safely delete irrelevant information. Find out more about the College archive.

Currently, if your application is unsuccessful, we will retain a copy of the letter on your file so that it can be referred to if there are any further applications or concerns about the application in future. If you are then successful, your information will be incorporated into your membership file.

Accessing and updating your personal information

It is your responsibility to ensure that the details you provide to us for your membership are kept up to date and accurate. You can update your details at any time, including updating your mailing preferences, by logging in to your online account. Alternatively, you can contact membership by email at membership@rcpch.ac.uk or by phone at 020 7092 6000 (ask for Member Services).

Where you have consented to us using your personal data, you can withdraw consent at any time.

Under GDPR you have certain rights in regards to the data we hold about you. You can ask us to delete your personal data, change any inaccuracies, restrict what we use your personal data for or ask us to stop processing your data. You can also request that the data we hold about you is given back to you or given to another service provider in a commonly used format. This is called data portability. You are also entitled to a copy of the information we hold about you. However, there are some restrictions that apply to these requests, such as where we have overriding legal requirements we have to comply with. To find out more about your rights, visit the ICO website or to make a request please contact the Data Protection Officer on information.governance@rcpch.ac.uk or writing to: Data Protection Officer, RCPCH, 5-11 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SH.

You do also have the right to complain to the ICO if you have concerns about the way your personal data is being handled: casework@ico.org.uk.

Further information

If you want to find out more about how we process your information in relation to specific systems or processes that we manage, please read the appropriate privacy notice. Below are links to some of our main processes:

Compass - learning management system

RCPCH examinations (see Appendix A)

RCPCH ePortfolio (Kaizen)

Honorary Fellowship and James Spence Medal nominations

To find out more about how we process your personal data generally on our website, view the RCPCH website privacy notice


Last updated 12 March 2019