Confidentiality and data protection are major issues within health and social care and this is reflected within the qualifications framework. There are a number of pieces of legislation that pertain to confidentiality and data protection.
It is important to remember that evidence and assessment records are confidential information and portfolios, assessor and IQA records must be kept in a safe place to ensure that unauthorized people do not have access to them. Storage of evidence, confidentiality and data protection policies are discussed and documented by the candidate and assessor during completion of the pre-assessment checklist. IQAs check to ensure these policies have been discussed and understood by checking for signatures and interviewing candidates. If the portfolio is kept at the place of work, ideally it should be in a locked cupboard.
Candidates may quite appropriately cite service users’ confidential records as evidence in their qualification as long as the service user or their advocate has given permission and informed consent for records to be used for this purpose. Confidential records should never be included in candidates’ portfolios of evidence and should be examined in situ by the assessor. Assessors/candidates should describe and record what evidence such documents provide and where the evidence is located.
External consultants may wish to discuss such evidence with the centre as part of the verification process, but would not normally require sight of confidential service user’s records.
However, should the external consultant have concerns about the quality of such evidence, they will, after discussion with their lead verifier, acquaint the centre management with their concerns, and seek consent to access such records from the organization which has responsibility for the safe keeping of the particular service user’s confidential records in question.
Create and maintain computer and paper records on candidates, assessors and IQAs both during the course and following completion. These records will be processed in order to maintain the centre records and will be held in compliance with the principles of the Data Protection Act. These records may be used for reports both internally and to external bodies working with in learner administration, including information required for financial administration A candidate, assessor or internal quality assurer has the right to ask to see details of any personal information has stored about them. A request must be made in writing.