Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy


How RELATE NI uses your information

This organisation keeps counselling records confidential and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation.

We hold your counselling records so that we can provide you with safe care and support.

We will also use your information so that we can check and review the quality of the care we provide. This helps us to improve our services to you.


  • Relate Northern Ireland is a registered charity, based in Northern Ireland under charity number 102102. Our contact details are Duane Farrell, Relate Northern Ireland, 3 Glengall Street, Belfast BT12 5AB. The expressions “we”, “us” and “our” in this Notice refer to Relate Northern Ireland.


  • We will share relevant information from your Counselling record with other health or social care staff or organisations when they provide you with care. [For example, your Social Worker will share information when they refer you to our services] More details on how we share your information with third parties is outlined below.


  • You have the right to object to information being shared for your own care. Please speak to us if you wish to object. You also have the right to have any mistakes or errors corrected.


Other important information about how your information is used to provide our services:

We are required by law to provide you with the following information about how we handle your data.

Data Protection Officer contact details Emma Irwin, Data Protection Officer, 3 Glengall Street, Belfast, BT12 5AB
Purpose of the processing
  • To provide counselling services to our patients.
  • To check and review the quality of care. (This is called audit and clinical governance).
What information we hold on you
  • Full Name and Title
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Contact Number
  • Email
  • GP Details
  • Social Worker details
  • Dependant/Family details
  • Next of Kin
Lawful basis for processing These purposes are supported under the following sections of the GDPR:

Article 6(1)(b): ““processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract”


Article 6(1)(e) ““processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”


Article 6(1)(f) “processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.”

When you come to Relate Northern Ireland, you are issued with a copy of our “Coming to counselling contract”. This contract forms the foundation of our lawful basis for processing your data. Essentially what this means is that in order for us to carry out our services offered to you under the contract; we will need to process your data.

We also from time to time will have a lawful basis under the public task ground, in particular when you are referred to us from your GP or Social Worker.

Our staff will also respect and comply with their obligations under the common law duty of confidence.We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times.   We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on. Such situations may arise when:

  • When a counsellor has good grounds for believing that a person may cause serious harm to themselves or others;
  • When we are instructed by a Court to disclose information;
  • When a person discloses activity or knowledge of a criminal activity (this includes other statutory obligations)
  • When it is necessary to uphold child protection laws.
Recipient or categories of recipients of the processed data The data will be shared with:

  • Those who a Court orders us to do so.

How we share your information with third parties is outlined below.

Rights to object
  • You have the right to object to information being shared between those who are providing you with direct care and support.
  • This may affect the care you receive – please speak to the organisation.
  • You are not able to object when information is legitimately shared for safeguarding reasons.
  • In appropriate circumstances it is a legal and professional requirement to share information for safeguarding reasons. This is to protect people from harm.
  • The information will be shared with relevant statutory authorities within the jurisdiction in which the client lives.

Court order

  • Your information must be shared if it ordered by a court. This means that you are unable to object.
Right to access and correct
  • You have the right to access your counselling record and have any errors or mistakes corrected. Please speak to a member of staff should you wish to do so.
  • We are not aware of any circumstances in which you will have the right to delete correct information from your counselling record; although you are free to obtain your own legal advice if you believe there is no lawful purpose for which we hold the information and contact us if you hold a different view.
[Right to Erasure/Right to be forgotten


  • You have the right to have your records destroyed, however this right is not absolute. Please speak to us if you would like to request that your records be destroyed.
Retention period Our records will be kept in line with the law and national guidance. Our Counselling Records are kept for 6 years.
Right to complain You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you wish to complain follow this link call the helpline 0303 123 1113
Data we get from other organisations We receive information about you from other organisations who are involved in providing you with health and social care. For example, if your GP refers you to us.


How your information is shared with third parties:

The law requires Relate NI to share information from your counselling records in certain circumstances. Information is shared so that the NHS can, for example:

  • plan and manage services;
  • check that the care being provided is safe;
  • prevent infectious diseases from spreading.

We will share information with HSCNI and when the law requires us to do so. Please see below for more information.

We must also share your information if a court of law orders us to do so.

Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (HSCNI)

  • HSCNI provides public health and other social care services in Northern Ireland.
  • The Northern Ireland Executive through its Department of Health is responsible for its funding, while the Public Health Agency is the executive agency responsible for the provision of health and social care services across Northern Ireland
  • Under certain circumstances, we are required to share your information with the local health trusts and GPs.


We are committed to protecting your personal data via providing a secure website and best practice policies on Data Protection.  We do not share your personal data with anyone else.

What Information Do We Collect:

We collect information the following information:

Google Analytics Cookies:

We use Google Analytics to review our website and this lets us see information such as number of visitors how long they stay on and what pages they have viewed.   Google Analytics does not provide any personally identifiable information about you.  In order to run Google Analytics we use a Cookie which is a small piece of software that loads in your browser which will log your site visit and the pages visited.  Google Analytics will store your IP Address and also records the pages you visit on our website and other information which is not personally identifiable to you. For more information on google analytics

Enquiries & Feedback:

When you make an enquiry or feedback using the forms on this website then we store this information for a while so that we can effectively deal with he enquiry or feedback request.   When we have dealt with the enquiry or feedback we will then delete the personal details e.g. name, email address, telephone no etc.

As a fail safe we have also built in an automatic deletion system that will automatically delete your personal details after 12 months.  Unless you have ticked the opt in box so that you can be keep up to date with news and promotions.

My Right to Be Forgotten

If you choose you have the right to have personal information about you deleted from our systems  You can do this by emailing us at and we will delete your personal details from our systems.


Data Encryption

The website and the data is stored in a secure data centre and while all reasonable efforts have been made to maintain a high level of security a determined hacker can work through even the most sophisticated security systems.  We take your data protection very serious and therefore the data stored on our website is encrypted making this close to impossible to use in the event of a data breach.

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