The PMA is a UK provider of leadership, management and practice management training with qualifications validated and administered via the ILM. PMA offers a specialist suite of qualifications ranging from Certificate of Excellence in Practice Management through to Level 3 & Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, which are awarded by the ILM.

This Data Protection policy applies to prospective and existing PMA Centres, PMA Trainers and Training Providers who offer PMA qualifications, endorsed and development programmes. The policy provides definition and examples of Data Protection Compliance and how this applies in connection with centres, providers and learners. The process and PMA standards required for Data Protection Compliance are described – it is expected that the centre or provider will apply similar standards to be compliant with the Data Protection Act 2018 (formerly Data Protection Act 1988) & GDPR.

Context and Overview

Key details
Policy prepared by: Ian Jones.
Approved by PMA Senior Management on: 20th May 2018.
Original Data Protection Policy became operational on: 20th July 2016.
Next formal review date: 20th October 2018.

The PMA needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.

These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.

This policy describes how this personal data will be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards — and to comply with the law.

Why this Data Protection/GDPR Policy exists
This data protection policy ensures the PMA:

  • Complies with UK Data Protection Law and GDPR legislation following good practice
  • Protects the rights of staff, customers, members and partners
  • Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
  • Makes the very best effort to ensure there are low risks of a data breach

Data Protection & GDPR
The New UK Data Protection Act 2018 (formerly The Data Protection Act 1998) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) describes how organisations — including the PMA— must collect, handle and store personal information. These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials. To comply with the law, personal information will be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.

The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:

  1. Be processed fairly and lawfully
  2. Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
  3. Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
  4. Be accurate and kept up to date
  5. Not be held for any longer than necessary
  6. Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
  7. Be protected in appropriate ways
  8. Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection

People, risks and responsibilities
Policy scope
This PMA Data Protection & General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Policy applies to:

  • The PMA head office
  • Any branches of PMA
  • All staff and any volunteers of PMA
  • All contractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of PMA

It applies to all data that the PMA holds relating to identifiable individuals. This includes:

  • Names of individuals
  • Postal addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • …plus any other information relating to individuals

Data Protection risks
This PMA Data Protection & General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Policy helps to protect the PMA and its staff, customers and members from some very real data security risks, including:

  • Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
  • Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals will be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
  • Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.

Everyone who works for or with the PMA has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately.
Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and Data Protection principles and inline with GDPR compliance requirements.

Key areas of responsibility:

  • The PMA Directors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that PMA meets its legal obligations.
  • The Data Protection leads, Austin Ambrose & Ian Jones, are responsible for:
    • Keeping the board updated about Data Protection & GDPR responsibilities, risks and issues.
    • Reviewing all Data Protection & GDPR procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
    • Arranging Data Protection & GDPR training and advice for the people covered by this policy.
    • Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.
    • Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data PMA holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’).
    • Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
  • The IT Manager, Dr James Rooney, is responsible for:
    • Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.
    • Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.
    • Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.
  • Commercial Director, Austin Ambrose, is responsible for:
    • Approving any data protection and GDPR statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.
    • Addressing any data protection and GDPR queries from journalists or media outlets like newspapers.
    • Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection and GDPR principles.

General staff guidelines
The only people able to access data covered by this policy will be those who need it for their work.

  • Data will not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from their line managers.
  • The PMA will provide training to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
  • Employees will keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
  • In particular, strong passwords will be used and they will never be shared.
  • Personal data will not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.
  • Data will be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it will be deleted and disposed of.
  • Employees will request help from their line manager or the data protection officer if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now come into force on 25th May 2018. GDPR does not replace the Data Protection Act but it adds to its powers and intensifies data protection regulation alongside the new Data Protection Act 2018.

Employers will carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process to ensure that it meets GDPR conditions for employee consent.

New governance and record-keeping requirements mean that employers will also have to create or amend policies and processes on privacy notices, data breach responses and subject access requests.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidance
Guidance from the national GDPR working group and IGA has helped the NHS, social care and partner organisations prepare for EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The link below has provided a wealth of information and we continually monitor these resource to ensure compliance with any specific requirements within the NHS.

Data storage
These rules describe how and where data will be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the IT manager or Data Controller.

When data is stored on paper, it will be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it. These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:

  • When not required, the paper or files will be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
  • Employees will make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
  • Data printouts will be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.

When data is stored electronically, it will be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:

  • Data will be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
  • If data is stored on removable media (like a CD or DVD), these will be kept locked away securely when not being used.
  • Data will only be stored on designated drives and servers, and will only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
  • Servers containing personal data will be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
  • Data will be backed up frequently. Those backups will be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
  • Data will never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
  • All servers and computers containing data will be protected by approved security software and a firewall.

Data use
Personal data is of no value to the PMA unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption or theft:

  • When working with personal data, employees will ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
  • Personal data will not be shared informally.
  • Data will be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The IT manager can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
  • Personal data will never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
  • Employees will not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.

Data accuracy
The PMA takes all reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date. The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort PMA will put into ensuring its accuracy.

It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.

  • Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff will not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
  • Staff will take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they call.
  • The PMA will make it easy for data subjects to update the information PMA holds about them.
  • Data will be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number, it will be removed from the database.
  • It is the Marketing manager’s responsibility to ensure marketing databases are checked against industry suppression files every six months.

About cookies
A cookie is a file containing an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser. The identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.
Cookies do not typically contain any information that personally identifies a user, but personal information that we store about you may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.

Cookies that PMA use
PMA use cookies for the following purposes:

  • PHPSESSID – This cookie is used for managing user session on the website

Our service providers use cookies and those cookies may be stored on your computer when you visit our website.

  • PMA website uses a WordPress architecture – and as an integral component the following cookies are deployed on the website for the following reasons:
    • wordfence_verifiedHuman – Cookie set by the Wordfence Security WordPress plugin protects the site against malicious attacks.
    • wfvt_ – Cookie set by the Wordfence Security is a WordPress plugin which notes information about your general geographic location.
    • wordpress_* WordPress cookie for a logged in user.
  • PMA uses Google Analytics to analyse the use of our website. Google Analytics gathers information about website use by means of cookies. The information gathered relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of our website. Google’s privacy notice is available at: The relevant cookies are:
    • _gat – This cookie is used for Google Analytics to throttle request rate.
    • _ga – This cookie is used for Google Analytics to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier.
  • Social Media Facebook
    •  fr – Allows you to control the “Follow us on Facebook” and “Like” buttons on Facebook
  • Social Media Twitter
    • The following cookies are used by Twitter in order to integrate functionality into the PMA website in the form of Twitter feeds and follow buttons. The cookies are used for a variety of purposes including analytics:
      • _ga
      • _gid
      • guest_id
      • personalization_id
      • pid

Managing cookies

Our details
The PMA website is owned and operated by The Practice Managers Association.
We are registered in England and Wales under registration number 08726515 and our registered office address is: 7 St Petersgate, Stockport, Cheshire SK1 1EB.

You can contact us:
(a) by post, to the postal address given above
(b) using our website contact form
(c) by telephone, on +44 (0) 330 111 6459
(d) by email, using the email address published on our website

Data Controller
Our data controllers are Mr Ian Jones or Mr Austin Ambrose and he can be contacted via email: or

Subject access requests
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by PMA are entitled to:

  • Ask what information the company holds about them and why.
  • Ask how to gain access to it.
  • Be informed how to keep it up to date.
  • Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.

If an individual contacts the PMA requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.

Subject access requests from individuals can be made by email, addressed to the data controller at or The data controllers can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this.

The PMA data controllers will aim to provide the relevant data within 30 days and will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.

Disclosing data for other reasons
In certain circumstances, the New UK Data Protection Act 2018 (formerly The Data Protection Act 1998) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.

Under these circumstances, PMA will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.

Providing information
The PMA aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:

  • How the data is being used
  • How to exercise their rights

To these ends, the PMA has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company.
This is available at:

A version of this statement is also available on the PMA website.

Emergency notification contacts

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon
07964 705839
James Rooney
07850 877519

Revisions control

Date Summary of changes made Changes made by (Name)
May 12th 2016 Data Protection Policy created for PMA Ian Jones
June 16th 2016 Incorporated details of PMA Privacy Statement Ian Jones
1st Nov 2016 Updated Data Use bullet points Ian Jones
20th Sept 2017 GDPR update Ian Jones
20th May 2018 UK Data Protection and GDPR regulation update Ian Jones

Next formal review date: 20th October 2018.