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Privacy Information Notice for Candidates and Applicants

What is the purpose of this notice?

The University of Suffolk is a "data controller". This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. Because you are applying for work with us (whether as an employee, worker or contractor), this privacy notice makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the recruitment exercise, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR).

Data protection principles

We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  • Kept securely.


The kind of information we hold about you

In connection with your application for work with us, we may collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:

  • The information you have provided to us in your curriculum vitae and covering letter.
  • The information you have provided on our application form, including name/s, title, address, telephone numbers, personal email address, National Insurance number, current employer, job title, notice required, current salary, reason for leaving, name and contact details of your referees, any additional information you have given, your entitlement to work in the UK.
  • Any information you provide to us during an interview. 
  • Any information that you provide to us as part of the application process including any test results.


We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information:

  • Information about your race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, marital status, gender, transgender and sexual orientation.
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences.


How is your personal information collected?

We may collect personal information about candidates from the following sources:

  • You, the candidate.
  • A recruitment agency, from which we may collect the following categories of data: name, title, address, telephone number, personal email address, date of birth, gender, employment history, qualifications.
  • Where applicable a background check provider, from which we collect the following categories of data: for example registration with the relevant Professional Body, e.g. the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
  • The Disclosure and Barring Service in respect of criminal convictions.
  • Your named referees.


How we will use information about you

We will use the personal information we collect about you to:

  • Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role.
  • Carry out background and reference checks, where applicable.
  • Communicate with you about the recruitment process.
  • Keep records related to our hiring processes.
  • Comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

We also need to process your personal information to decide whether to enter into a contract with you.

Your Application form, CV, covering letter and Equal Opportunities form will be held securely in the HR department and may be seen by the HR Team. Your documents, minus the Equal Opportunities form will be passed to the recruiting panel who will assess whether you meet the criteria to be called for interview. The interview panel will each be given a copy of your application documents. After the interviews the copies of application documents used by the panel, any notes they made or scoring documents are returned to the HR department. A copy of each applicants’ documents, any notes and scoring matrices are retained for 8 months from the date of interview. All other copies are securely destroyed.

If we decide to call you for an interview, we will use the information you provide to us at the interview to decide whether to offer you the role. If we decide to offer you the role, we may then take up references and/or carry out a criminal record disclosure and barring service check and/or carry out any other checks before confirming your appointment.


If you fail to provide personal information

If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history), we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if we require references for this role and you fail to provide us with relevant details, we will not be able to take your application further.


How we use particularly sensitive personal information in recruitment

We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:

  • We will use information about your disability status to consider whether we need to provide appropriate adjustments during the recruitment process, for example whether adjustments need to be made during an interview.
  • We will use information you have provided on the Equal Opportunities form such as gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age group and disability, in a statistical form so that we can monitor our recruitment policies and practices and comply with statutory requirements. Please note, that failure to complete an Equal Opportunities form will not affect your application.


Information about criminal convictions

We may only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations. Less commonly, we may use information relating to criminal convictions where it is necessary in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else's interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public. We envisage that we will process information about criminal convictions.

Where necessary we will collect information about your criminal convictions history if we would like to offer you the role (conditional on checks and any other conditions, such as references, being satisfactory). For certain posts we are required to carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service check in order to satisfy ourselves that there is nothing in your criminal convictions history, which makes you unsuitable for the role. In particular:

  • We are legally required by certain regulatory bodies such as the NMC to carry out criminal record checks for those carrying out a role. OR
  • The role is one which is listed on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (SI 1975/1023) and/or is also specified in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations (SI 2002/233) so is eligible for a standard OR enhanced check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. OR
  • The role requires a high degree of trust and integrity and so we would like to ask you to seek a basic disclosure of your criminal records history, for example roles in Finance regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We have in place an appropriate policy document and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data. If offered a role which is subject to a standard or an enhanced DBS check you will be asked to read the standard/enhanced check privacy policy for applicants and to understand how the DBS will process your personal data and the options available for submitting an application.


Automated decision-making

We currently do not use automated decision-making tools.


Data sharing

Why might you share my personal information with third parties?

The organisation will not share your data with third parties for the purposes of recruitment, except in the case of an external person or partner organisation being involved in the shortlisting or interview process, e.g. NHS personnel, Department for Education personnel. In these instances, the information provided to the third party will be your application documents as submitted by you with the Equal Opportunities form removed.

If your application for employment is successful and we make you an offer of employment, we will then approach your referees for references. We will send them your name and the Job Description for the post you are being offered. For some posts we may seek references before interview. We may use employment background check providers to obtain necessary background checks and the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks. Please see our Privacy Statement for Employees and Workers.


Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. Details of these measures may be obtained from Fiona Fisk, email:

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.


Data retention

How long will you use my information for?

We will retain your personal information for a period 8 months after we have communicated to you our decision about whether to appoint you to the role. We retain your personal information for that period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the recruitment exercise in a fair and transparent way. After this period, we will securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our data retention policy.

If we wish to retain your personal information on file, on the basis that a further opportunity may arise in future and we may wish to consider you for that, we will write to you separately, seeking your explicit consent to retain your personal information for a fixed period on that basis.


Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction

Your rights in connection with personal information

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact Fiona Fisk, email: in writing.


Right to withdraw consent

When you applied for this role, you provided consent to us processing your personal information for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact Human Resources Department, email: Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your application and, subject to our retention policy, we will dispose of your personal data securely.


Compliance Contact

We have an appointed data protection officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the DPO Fiona Fisk, You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.


Changes to this privacy notice

We may update this privacy notice at any time, and we will provide a new privacy notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.

Privacy notices may be viewed at any time on the University’s website.


If you have any questions about this privacy notice, please contact the Data Protection Officer, Fiona Fisk,

Privacy Information Notice - V1.1 Aug 19