Privacy Policy

Full privacy notice

1. Introduction

The Office for Students (‘OfS’) is the regulator of the higher education sector in England and has certain statutory functions set out in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. You can find more information about the OfS and the work that we do on our website:

The Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) has a development group which works to develop and advocate TRAC and provides support to the higher education sector.

The OfS is committed to protecting your personal information and being clear about what information we hold about you and how we use it. This privacy notice tells you what to expect when the OfS collects personal information to recruit new members of the TRAC Development Group (TDG).

The OfS is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Our registration number is ZA309955 and you can check our entry details on the ICO’s website.

2. Data controller and Data Protection Officer

The OfS is the ‘data controller’ of any personal information collected within scope of this privacy notice. Our location and contact details are below:

Office for Students
Westward House
Lime Kiln Close
BS34 8SR

Tel: 0117 931 7317


Our Data Protection Officer (DPO) is the first point of contact for people whose information is processed. You can contact the DPO using the details above.

3. How we will use your information

We can only use your personal information where we have a specific purpose or purposes for doing so.

  • To conduct a shortlisting exercise
  • To invite you to interview (if relevant)
  • To monitor applicant pools for our equality and diversity data (you may prefer not to supply this data)
  • We publish non-identifiable data under our Public Sector Equality Duty.

If we want to use your personal information for a reason other than those purposes set out above, we will tell you before we start that use and provide further information about the new purpose(s).

4. Legal basis for using your personal information

Under data protection legislation, we require a legal basis to be able to process your personal information for the purposes set out above.

In this case, the legal bases are:

  • Legitimate interests – the OfS has a legitimate interest in processing your personal data to administer and consider your application
  • Contract – where processing is necessary to perform a contract or take steps, at your request, before entering a contract
  • Legal obligation – for us to establish and record the right to work, security checks, if you provide us with any information about reasonable adjustments so that we can comply with our obligations under the Equality Act 2010
  • Consent – for special category data (for example, ethnicity, gender reassignment, disability) should you choose to submit such information.

Withdrawal of consent

Consent must be a clear positive action that you have given your agreement to the use of your personal information – in this case, the use of special category data (for example, ethnicity, gender reassignment and disability information) should you choose to submit this when making your application. Consent can also be withdrawn at any point if you are no longer happy with the use of your personal information for a specific reason. If you to wish to withdraw consent, please do so in writing to:

Data Protection Officer
Office for Students
Westward House
Lime Kiln Close
BS34 8SR

Email address:

Once consent is withdrawn, we will destroy all relevant personal information unless we are relying on a different legal basis to justify keeping your personal information. If that is the case, we will tell you in writing. However, withdrawing your consent does not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before you withdrew consent.

5. What personal information we will collect

The personal information we will collect and use as part of this application process is set out below:

  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Current employer/organisation
  • Information provided within a personal statement.

Special category data

You can state ‘prefer not to say’ for all these categories:

  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation.

If an interview is required, we will ask if you require any reasonable adjustments to be made in relation to the interview process. This information will be held and used separately from the application form.

6. Who we give your personal information to

We will not routinely pass your information to any other organisation except where required to do so as part of our functions or by law. However, we may involve the Chair of the TDG or a group member in the recruitment process and candidates’ personal statements may be shared with them to help reach a decision on an appointment. Any special category data you provide will not be passed on to any other organisation, including the Chair or any other members of the TDG.

7. Where your personal information will be stored

Your personal information will be stored securely within the UK and will not be transferred outside that territory unless required by a court order.

8. How we protect your personal information

The OfS has a number of security measures in place to protect your personal information, listed below:

  • Accredited to the Cyber Essentials PLUS standard for cyber security
  • All staff are required to undertake training in data protection and information security on joining the OfS and then on an annual basis
  • Formal information security policies that must be read and understood by all staff
  • Personal information is only available to those members of staff who require access as part of their role.

9. Your rights over your personal information

Once your personal information has been collected, you have certain rights in relation to that personal information that may be exercised. You have the right to request:

  • a copy of your personal information
  • that your consent for the processing of equality and diversity data is withdrawn
  • that inaccurate personal information held about you is corrected
  • that your personal information should be deleted
  • that processing of your personal information is restricted
  • a copy of your information in a format that allows easy transfer (‘data portability’)
  • that you are not subject to automated decision making or profiling (if these take place).

All these rights have certain limitations depending on the request and the purpose for which we are holding your personal information. Further information can be found about these rights and our processes for handling such requests at:

10. How long we will hold your personal information

We are only able to retain a copy of your personal information as long as it is still needed for the purpose(s) for which it was collected. The personal information you have submitted will be kept for two years.

After that point, your personal information will be confidentially and securely disposed of.

11. Complaints about the use of your personal information

If you are unhappy with the way in which your personal information has been handled by the OfS, please contact us via our Data Protection Officer (details in section 2) and we will try to resolve your issue informally.

If we are not able to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you can also make a complaint to the data protection supervisory authority. In the UK, this is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and they can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113


12. Changes to this notice

We keep our privacy notices under regular review and we will inform you of any changes to this notice in writing.

This privacy notice was last updated on 22 February 2022.


Download the full privacy notice as a PDF: