Privacy Statement

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • visitors to our websites or online portal
  • people who contact us in relation to comments, suggestions or enquiries
  • people who make a complaint to us
  • people who subscribe to our newsletters or request a publication from us
  • job applicants and our current and former employees
  • our panel and Area Support Team (AST) members and the Clerk to the AST (and their teams)
  • our Board members

Visitors to our websites or online portal

When someone visits our websites we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting either of our websites. We will not associate any data gathered from these websites with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it. CHS has the following websites:

  • CHS website -
  • CHS recruitment website -
  • CHS Children’s Hearings Information and Resource Portal (for CHS staff, Board, panel members and AST members only) –

Use of Cookies by CHS

You can read more about how we use cookies on our cookies page.

People who contact us


CHS is part of the GSI network. Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored by the Scottish Government for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with their policy. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.


If you telephone the CHS office we will keep a log of your call so that we can pass it to the correct person for response. We will also use this information to help us to improve our service.


CHS logs all incoming and outgoing mail. We will scan and store any incoming mail in our IT systems and retain this information in line with our Retention and Disposal Schedule.


You can contact CHS through our websites and online portal. We will process the information you provide through our websites or online portal to respond to your enquiry.

People who make a complaint to us

When we receive a complaint from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on our performance responding to complaints. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our Retention and Disposal Schedule. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

People who subscribe to our newsletters or receive publications from CHS

We sometimes use a third party, MailChimp, to send out publications. We gather statistics around email opening and clicks in order to help us monitor and improve our newsletters. This is in line with industry standards. MailChimp will only use personal information supplied by CHS for sending out the newsletter. For more information, please see MailChimp's privacy policy and our Data Processing Agreement with MailChimp

We have to hold the details of the people who have requested a newsletter or publication. However, we only use these details to provide the newsletter or publication the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a newsletter to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with it. When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.

Job applicants, current and former CHS employees (not including panel or Area Support Team members)

The Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration (SCRA) carries out Human Resource functions, including recruitment, for CHS through a shared services arrangement. CHS has a data processing contract in place with SCRA which sets out the purposes for processing and the technical and organisational measures in place to ensure that the information is kept securely.

When individuals apply to work at CHS, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference or obtain a Disclosure or PVG from Disclosure Scotland we will not do so without informing them beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 6 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it will then be destroyed or deleted. We retain anonymous statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

Once a person has taken up employment with CHS, SCRA will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment. Once their employment with CHS has ended, SCRA will retain the file in accordance with the requirements of CHS’ Retention and Disposal Schedule and then delete it.

Panel members and AST members

CHS will collect and use panel and AST member personal information, for example, contact details, panel or AST membership information and training details, to support them in fulfilling their role.

CHS may also collect demographic information about panel members or AST members. This will help us to ensure we are fulfilling our duties under the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and will help us to meet our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. We also use this information to ensure that we plan our support for panel and AST members appropriately. This information will be collected on a voluntary basis.

Applicants to join the national Children’s Panel and Area Support Teams (ASTs)

CHS will gather information about prospective panel members and AST members as part of the recruitment process.

This information may include name, contact details and further personal information gathered through the application form. If successful, this information will be retained for six years after leaving the Children’s Panel or AST.

Personal information relating to unsuccessful candidates will be destroyed or deleted six months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, unless the candidate has requested that their details are retained until the next recruitment campaign, in which case the data will be retained for 18 months.

Personal information relating to candidates who have expressed an interest in volunteering in an area that is not currently recruiting will be retained for 18 months.

Children’s Hearings Information and Resource Portal (CHIRP)

CHS is committed to protecting your privacy. This privacy statement applies to the personal data collected by CHS and shared with Microsoft to support and administer CHIRP.

CHS uses Microsoft Office 365 to deliver CHIRP. Office 365 is an online service provided by Microsoft. The contract between CHS and Microsoft to deliver the service ensures that your privacy is protected.

The contract is based on a standard model approved by the UK Government’s Cabinet Office specifically designed to fit in with European data protection legislation, whilst allowing CHS to take advantage of the flexibility and benefits of using the service.

The Microsoft Office 365 service has been accredited by the UK Government to hold OFFICIAL information (including OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE information).

The primary location of storage of data held in the system will be within Europe (Ireland and The Netherlands), however personal data may be transferred to, stored and processed in the United States or any other country where Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. This enables Microsoft to deliver a consistently high level of service and support.

Microsoft complies with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework established by the US Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of personal data of EU citizens. Microsoft has certified with the Department of Commerce that it adheres to the Privacy Shield Principles. To learn more about Privacy Shield and to view Microsoft’s certification please visits Microsoft has comprehensive information security policies which are independently certified to the ISO27001 standard. ISO27001 is one of the best security benchmarks available across the world and ensures the implementation of a rigorous set of physical, logical, process, and management controls.

All personal data held and processed by Microsoft on behalf of CHS is held in a way that is compliant with the Data Protection Act.

If you wish to learn more about information security within the Microsoft Office 365 service please visit

Who we might share panel member and AST member information with

CHS may need to share some of your information with other partners within the Children’s Hearings System:

Organisation: Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration (SCRA)

Purpose for sharing information:

  • To issue panel papers
  • To allow local issues to be addressed with AST members
  • To ensure that any necessary arrangements are made to support you

Organisation: Training providers

Purpose for sharing information:

  • To organise and deliver training events
  • To ensure that any necessary arrangements are made to support you

Organisation: Local authorities (for example the Clerk to the AST and their team)

Purpose for sharing information:

  • To support you in your role as a panel member or AST member, for example, processing expenses, organising meetings, arranging local training events, arranging interviews etc

Organisation: Other panel and AST members (within the Panel Pal database and online portal)

Purpose for sharing information:

  • To enable last minute rota changes and effective communication between members IT and communications providers
  • To enable third parties to provide IT and communications systems for CHS (e.g. Panel Pal, the online portal and postal services)

Organisation: Recruitment campaign service providers

Purpose for sharing information: 

  • To enable third parties to provide recruitment campaign services for CHS

Organisation: Legal advisors/solicitors

Purpose for sharing information:

  • To support the National Convener to carry out their statutory functions arising from a children's hearing
  • To support CHS in responding to complex information requests

We will not share your information with any other third parties without your consent, unless we are required to do so by law.

Your right to access your personal information

CHS tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it
  • tell you why we are holding it
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form

To make a request to CHS for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing (by letter or email) to our Information Governance Officer at the details below. You may be required to produce identification before we can release any information to you.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by contacting our Information Governance Officer.

About this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions about the information contained in this notice, please bring this to our attention so we can make improvements.

This notice does not provide an exhaustive list of all aspect’s of CHS’ collection and use of personal information. If you require any additional information please contact us at the details below.

Contact us

Ava Wieclawska | Information Governance Officer

0131 244 3696

Children’s Hearings Scotland, Area 2/1/1, Ladywell House, Ladywell Road, Edinburgh, EH12 7TB