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Introduction

We abide by the BACP Ethical Guidelines and as such take your privacy issues seriously and are committed to protecting your personal information. This page explains what information is being collected about you, how personal information is being used, to whom personal information is being disclosed and how this personal information is stored and protected.


What information do we collect?

All information about counsellors that we list on search result pages or on counsellor profile pages is provided by the counsellors themselves when they register, and is collected by being self-input by the counsellor (or for agencies, the representative of the agency who registers on its behalf). Where practitioners provide incomplete information, but list a website on which more complete information is given, information from that source may be added, where applicable, or utilised to identify and correct apparent errors in the profile. No provided information is made public on the site until we have determined to our satifaction that the person who is registering is authorised to do so by the agency or counsellor in question.

The information we collect and hold about you will depend on whether or not you are a registered counsellor on the site.

If you register, your information won't be displayed before we have confirmation that the email address you specify is one that you really do have access to. This is done either by sending you an email at that address, which you must respond to, or by finding the same email address on the website of a recognised organisation (such as BACP or IACP) and listed as yours (or other documentation or contact details as appropriate).

If you register as a counsellor, you will be asked to submit personal and professional information. We use this information to allow us to carry out security checks on your qualifications and professional membership and we may display the following professional information about you as provided by or confirmed by the organisation we contact: the name of the organisation which confirmed your membership with them; the professional title, membership category or description of services that they hold for you; the name which they hold for you (or your agency name for organisational membership).

As a minimum, we display the following information publicly about your profile:

(a) either a practice name or a first name and surname
(b) one piece of contact information - either an email address or a telephone number
(c) either a practice address (minimally the area in which you practice and the first part of your postcode, if UK based) or a method of practicing remotely (eg. email, phone, online).

Where you do not provide the minimum information directly, we may use one or more of your publicly-listed details that are listed via a website or organisation associated with you (eg UKCP, or your own website).

Further information that you submit is under your control in relation to whether or not you want it to be displayed. Inappropriate or offensive information may be deleted from your profile, or your profile removed in this case.

As a precaution we look for evidence of your professional standing, e.g. on the UKCP or IACP website. Your profile will not be listed until we find and check such details. If, in the process of such checking, the organisation concerned provides any of the following information, we may indicate this publicly: your name or your organisation's name as held by the relevant professional body; and the professional title, practitioner type (counsellor, psychotherapist, etc) or membership category that they hold for you. From time to time we may ask you for a contact detail such as an address or phone number, for the purposes of verifying those details with the given organisation. Such details are not disclosed publicly, unless you choose to do so by listing them in your profile.

Whether you are a registered user or not, our website server follows the standard practice of collecting information such as:
(a) host names;
(b) IP addresses;
(c) domain name;
(d) the browser version and platform when information is requested;
(e) the time and date information is requested;
(f) a record of which pages have been requested.

We use this information to produce statistics in relation to which pages are being accessed, and occasionally to help trace any problems - for example if a user experiences problems that appear to be related to a specific browser version or platform. If you submit a message to a counsellor via our site, we reserve the right to pass on to the recipient, to your internet access provider, to the police, or to any organisation which deals with or investigates inappropriate or threatening messages, any information we have related to your use of the site which might help trace you or your message, or which could be used as evidence of misconduct.

The following counsellor information, if held by us, is not made public:
(a) whether and how much you contribute to the running of the site
(b) your login email and password
(c) messages sent by users of the site to counsellors via the site
(d) any emails between us
(e) contact information provided in the process of checking your details, that you have not listed in your profile

Should you, as a registered counsellor, add any of the above to public parts of your profile, we reserve the right to remove that information from public view. If you publicly disclose your full postcode or address in your profile, you do so at your own discretion.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with anyone.

All online financial transactions are carried out via PayPal, or similar established online payment operators. We never know, and do not store, any transaction information related to credit or debit cards.

If you contact us by letter, text or email, we may keep a record of that correspondence. If you contact us by telephone, we may keep a notes on your conversation. We may also ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them.

The personal data that we collect from you will be stored on our servers in secure facilities inside the European Economic Area ("EEA").


How is personal information used?

If you are registered with us, we may use your personal information to communicate with you generally so that you can get the most out of the services that we provide.

Other than what is made public in your profile or in search results listing your profile, we disclose your personally identifiable information only to our partners, agents or staff, who will be bound by duties of confidentiality.

We use your details for the purposes of fulfilling our obligations to you, or to organisations of which you claim to be a member or to work for, for the purposes of verifying your claims. It is our policy that all profile managers are professionally-qualified members of one of the recognised professional organisations listed on our help pages, and are bound to abide by the privacy and confidentiality strictures of that organisation's ethical code. As an organisation we abide by the BACP Ethical Guidelines for Good Practice.

If you are a user of the site who submits a personal message to a counselling/psychotherapy practitioner or agency listed on the site, your message will be emailed to an email address supplied by the counselling/psychotherapy practitioner or agency on registering. The content of your message is not stored on the site.

All Profile Managers are members of, or registered with, at least one organisation on the list of recognised organisations, usually BACP, and are bound by the principles of confidentiality set out in the BACP Ethical Guidelines. If you register, you will be given contact details and background information about the person managing your profile, either via email or via a clickable link on your login page.

Keeping your personal details private is very important to us. Other than the profile information that you provide for public viewing, none of your personal information is stored in such a way that it can be publicly accessed over the Internet.

However, no data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best efforts to ensure its security on our systems.

You have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with UK law. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

If you register on our site, we will use the information we hold to send you occasional newsletters or other communications. By registering on the site, you consent to us using the information we hold about you in this way.

We may disclose your personal information to third parties in the event that we sell or buy any business or assets. In this case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets; or if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our terms and conditions; or to protect our rights, property, or safety, or the legal or ethical rights of counsellors, clients or other interested parties. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection.

If you register on our website, we may contact any organisation which you claim or appear to be a member of, be registered with, or work for, to check your submitted details and to obtain a contact route (phone, email or postal) by which to communication with you to help check that you are who you say you are. During the checking process we may disclose to such organisations any of the information that you submit to us, for the purposed of making these security checks.

In the case that we have cause to suspect that there is a serious threat or risk of harm to yourself or others, we reserve the right to make any disclosures we deem advisable in relation to that threat or risk of harm. In the process of doing so, we will follow the BACP Ethical Guidelines for Good Practice.

In the case that we suspect or have evidence of serious criminal activity, breaches of the law, or breaches of the ethical code of any organisation of which you are a member or are registered with, we reserve the right to make any disclosures we deem appropriate to those circumstances, including reporting any such behaviour to the professional organisations to which you belong.

If we find that a third party is contacting counsellors for commercial reasons via the site's email submission facilities, we will endeavour to block those messages.


Listing on other Websites

From time to time are asked by other websites whether they can cite or use information that they find on this website. We will always check on the quality of any site that asks, and will say "no" if we feel they do not meet appropriate professional or ethical standards. Please note, however, that anyone can access any public page on the internet, including ours, and, like any other website on the internet, we have no control on what third parties do with publicly-available information.


How do we use cookies?

When you visit some pages on this website, your computer may be issued with cookies. These are text files placed on the user's device (computer or mobile phone), for the purposes of managing and improving the services on the website. Cookies do not contain any personally identifying information, and we do not link the information we stores in cookies to any personally identifiable information the user may submit via this website. Users have the opportunity to set their devices to refuse cookies or warn the user before accepting them. For information on how to do this, the user should refer to the help menu on the browser or visit http://www.aboutcookies.org/. By using this sebsite, you consent to the processing of your data by Google for statistical purposes.

Access to the secure areas of a website is dependent upon the use of cookies. Most browsers allow the user to control the cookies, including whether or not to accept them and how to remove them. If you disable cookies on your computer, some features of our website will be unavailable to you. In particular, you won't be able to log in and manage your profile.


Giving Consent

By submitting your information you consent to the use of that information as set out in this policy as it is now, or as changed in future. If we change our Privacy Policy we will post the changes on this page.


Licencing and registration

This site may utilise public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0. A data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, Registration Number Z1366981.