Student Support and Wellbeing privacy notice

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) is a department within the Student and Registry Services Division of UCL.

This privacy notice applies to various teams which make-up the SSW service which includes:

  • Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing (DMHW)
  • Study Abroad and International Student Support
  • Student Adviser Operations and Business Partnership
  • Student Enquiries Centre (including the Specialist Housing Advice Service) (SEC)
  • Student Psychological and Counselling Services (SPCS)
  • Development, Campaigns, and Projects (DCP)
  • Chaplaincy and Interfaith Advice
  • Wardens and Student Residence Advisers

The information provided here about the Student Support and Wellbeing service is supplementary to the main UCL Student Privacy Notice.

Confidentiality, data protection and safeguarding children and individuals at risk

We have a firm commitment to confidentiality and data protection. This commitment is in accordance with UCL's Student Privacy Policy and broader Data Protection legislation. That means that we will use your data as set out in the principles of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and all current Data Protection Legislation.

Any information you provide to us, whether in writing or verbally with a member of staff, will only be shared outside our service in situations where a member of staff is concerned about your wellbeing, believes you are in danger of harming yourself or others, if there is a risk of serious harm to an individual, or where necessary for the detection and/or prevention of serious crime.

Sharing your information

SSW staff will make considered decisions on who to share your information with. 

This includes contacting your trusted contact, third party organisations and other professionals, either within or external to the University, such as your General Practitioner (GP) or crisis mental health service, for the purpose of providing support.

Disability declarations

If a student declares a disability, and we are aware of barriers to teaching and learning we will put in place anticipatory adjustments and inform the student.

By registering with the service, students are agreeing to sharing information with the relevant departments at UCL for reasonable adjustments and with external providers for non-medical support such as Study Skills and Specialist Mental Health Mentoring.

In some cases, our qualified counsellors are professionally bound to share relevant information about counselling clients with other counselling professionals such as clinical supervisors and other trusted colleagues.

Only a minimum of personally identifiable data will be shared, in order to protect the confidentiality of our clients and any third parties. Counsellors share information in this way in order to promote safe, effective and ethical therapy.

Our legal basis for processing personal data and special category data

The lawful basis for processing your data is the performance of a task in the public interest, legal interest and vital interest. UCL processes personal data in its capacity as a public authority in connection with its core purposes of education, research and innovation.

Read more in UCL’s Statement of Tasks in the Public Interest

We will share data with emergency services when we need to

Your personal data may be processed by SSW and transferred to the emergency services and other services as necessary where this is required to protect your vital interests.

The condition for processing special category data is for the purpose of the provision of wellbeing support, healthcare (psychological and counselling support), safeguarding and monitoring risk. Statistical data is collected (including during therapeutic intervention) and may be used for annual reports, Freedom of Information requests and research purposes.

All statistical data provided is anonymised and will not contain data that would make you personally identifiable in any way, ensuring confidentiality is maintained.

We might refer you to partner organisations

To ensure that you access the most appropriate referral pathway to support, SSW may refer you to one of our partner organisations.

To undertake your referral, SSW will share your personal data with our partner organisations, to include for example the information provided on your SPCS registration form, assessment report, counselling records, as well as any other relevant information related to your engagement with SSW. We will notify you once your referral has been completed.

Following the referral, our partner organisation will contact you directly to arrange your appointments. Your personal information is kept secure and confidential.

We store your data securely and our suppliers do the same

The SSW service stores all information about each student on secure and confidential databases, which are kept separate to the student records system. Occasionally we may need IT assistance with our enquiry and case management systems. UCL staff, and our external suppliers, are bound by Data Protection legislation and will not disclose or pass on information from the systems.

Requesting access to your records

Students have the right to request access to or a copy of information stored about them through a Subject Access Request.

Read more information on your rights in our UCL Student Privacy Notice

How we retain your data

All data is held in line with UCL’s Data Retention Policy.

The SPCS team retains counselling records according to the criteria specified by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and records that hold psychiatric data are held according to the criteria specified by the British Medical Association.

If you need to submit a complaint

If you have any questions about confidentiality or would like to raise a complaint, please contact us through askUCL. You can also read information about the UCL Student Complaints Procedure.

Access askUCL

Get more information

Last updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024