Record Keeping and Requesting Access to Counselling Records Policy
- All records are the property of the Counselling Service but, in compliance with GDPR, you have a right of access to all records kept on you. This Act requires us to inform you of the data we hold on you, and whether and how it is accessible to you. The information I hold is kept confidentially. It is only in cases of serious risk of harm that there is ever any question of information being passed on without the explicit consent of the client, or where the courts require us to provide information by law. The Service adheres to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
Records kept in the Service
- Registration details. Clients approaching us are asked to complete an online registration form, providing names and contact details. This information form is stored in a password protected Database, accessible only by members of the Counselling Service Team.
- Demographic data. All demographic data, which will be used anonymously for statistical analysis and reporting, is stored on a secure digital database. Access to this database is restricted to the Counselling Service Team and cannot be accessed outside of this Service.
- Records of the sessions. These are brief confidential records written by your counsellor about the content of the sessions they undertake with clients and entered onto the client’s file on our secure database after every session.
- The time scale for storage of records. All client information is deleted after 7 academic years unless the client is still active within the service.
If you wish to access your records
- We advise firstly that you discuss with your counsellor what the records would be for and the potential impact of releasing your records.
- If you wish to continue we will send you a release of records request response to be filled in and returned.
- You can arrange another appointment where you and your counsellor can go through the records.
- If you agree that releasing a copy of the records is appropriate, you will need to sign the release of notes consent form. You will also need to produce proof of identity.
- Records of what is discussed and agreed to will be kept in your file in the service on our secure digital database.