West Suffolk College (WSC) is a General Further Education College set on an impressive campus in the heart of historic Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. It has ambitious plans to become a leading vocational and academic college, providing an outstanding education service to its students, and supporting the success of local businesses and the regional economy.
The DPO Centre worked with the senior management team at West Suffolk College to advise and investigate the challenges faced by the college. This involved the identification of the specific needs of the college through a comprehensive data discovery process and regular meetings with the senior management team.
Jules Bridges said, “For us, this process has been an awakening. Like Health and Safety regulations, GDPR is not there to stop us doing our job but it’s in place to make sure that we use the information safely and responsibly. The biggest challenge for us is educating our staff and providing solutions to them that enable them to carry on doing the great things that they are, whilst better protecting the data they are responsible for.”
The DPO Centre now provides WSC with an outsourced Data Protection Officer who will continue to help and support the college by implementing and monitoring its compliance framework, continuous staff training, breach management, ongoing impact assessments and any necessary communication with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Jules continues, “Ultimately, we feel ahead of the game and a leader in GDPR compared to our competitors in the sector. We’ve taken on the mantra, ‘If in doubt, don’t give it out, give me a shout’, so that staff think twice about what they are being asked to share, who with, for what purpose, on what lawful basis and when to contact me as the DPL (Data Protection Lead) for advice. It’s a cultural change that will take time to embed, but already I’m seeing changes in attitudes towards safer and improved data security.”