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Privacy policy

We're committed to safeguarding and preserving the privacy of our audiences, members and visitors. This policy explains what happens to any personal data that you provide to us or that we collect from you.

The type of information we collect and hold about you will depend on whether or not you are a member of British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), past or present, a registered user of our website or simply browsing our resources or contacting us for other purposes.

If for any reason you give us personal information on behalf of or about someone else, you should ensure that you have the right to provide us with that information, and direct that person to this Policy to inform them how we will process their data.


  • What information do we collect about you?

  • How will we use the information about you?

  • Marketing

  • Job applicants, current and former employees

  • Access to your information and correction

  • Cookies

  • Other websites

  • Changes to your privacy policy

  • How to contact us

What information do we collect about you?

We collect information about you when you register with us for membership, book to attend an event such as our annual conference, or register for a product or service, such as the newsletter or mentoring scheme. We may also collect information when you voluntarily complete a customer survey, provide feedback, or take part in a competition. Website usage information is collected using web server logs, cookies, or other website tracking tools.

We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • Information about your use of our site including details of your visits such as pages viewed and the resources that you access

  • Information provided voluntarily by you. For example, when you register for membership, for information or book on a course

  • Information that you provide when you communicate with us by any means

How will we use the information about you?

We use the information we collect from you during your membership application, registration as a user of the website, booking for an event or meeting, subscription to a service, or administration of an activity according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We will use your personal information for the purposes you provided us with it for and any associated purposes described at the point that information was collected. In addition, we may also use your information for the following purposes:

  • To help us identify you and the membership you hold with us, both for our own purposes and for approved providers who need to verify membership;

  • To enable you to receive the service you have requested including contacting you about an event you have booked a place on in the lead up to it;

  • If you are a member, to administer your membership record, inform you of campaigns, discounts and offers, provide services and fulfil our obligations to you as a BSR member (including billing);

  • If you are a member, add your details to our member directory which is searchable by all existing members;

  • To communicate with you generally;

  • To provide you with information about services or opportunities offered by BSR or its carefully selected partners;

  • Research, survey completion and profiling;

  • Statistical analysis and behavioural analysis;

  • To improve the services provided by BSR;

  • To enforce our Privacy Policy

  • To comply with our legal obligations.

If you are a member, we also collect and process your data in accordance with the notices provided to you when you join and in the course of your membership; however, this Policy also applies to your data.

BSR will:

  • only release your information in accordance with your mailing preferences. Please contact the membership team at bsr@rheumatology.org.uk to amend your mailing preferences or log in to your account and manage your own mailing preferences in ‘My BSR’;

  • not sell your details to any third parties;

  • share your details with third parties that BSR is contracted with to enable you to receive the membership benefits your subscription covers, such as access to the mentoring scheme, our journals, the eLearning platform, and our conference app;

  • use your information collected from the website to personalise your repeat visits to our website.

We would like to send you information about the benefits that are related to your membership. This includes:

  • Membership newsletter (BSR members only) – all the latest society news, updates, events and details about your membership. Sent monthly, this is key communication and membership benefit

  • Non-member newsletter – the latest society news, dates for your diary, learning and development opportunities, jobs and more, sent monthly

  • Other news and updates – these are less frequent and will cover specialist topics and professional development opportunities

All new registrants will be given the option to opt in to these communications when joining as a member or registering on the website. You may opt out at any time and we will stop contacting you.

To change your preferences, log in to ‘My BSR’ (LINK) or email recruitment@rheumatology.org.uk.

All of the information you provide during the process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary.

We will not share any of the information you provide during the recruitment process with any third parties for marketing purposes or store any of your information outside of the European Economic Area. The information you provide will be held securely by us whether the information is in electronic or physical format.

We will use the contact details you provide to us to contact you to progress your application. We will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you have applied for.

We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary. The information we ask for is used to assess your suitability for employment. You don’t have to provide what we ask for but it might affect your application if you don’t.

We ask you for your personal details including name and contact details. We will also ask you about your previous experience, education, referees and for answers to questions relevant to the role you have applied for. Our HR team will have access to all of this information.

You will also be asked to provide equal opportunities information. This is not mandatory information – if you don’t provide it, it will not affect your application. This information will not be made available to any staff outside of our recruitment team, including hiring managers, in a way which can identify you. Any information you do provide, will be used only to produce and monitor equal opportunities statistics.

Our hiring manager’s shortlist applications for interview. They will be provided with your name and contact details.

We might ask you to participate in assessment days; complete tests or occupational personality profile questionnaires; and/or to attend an interview – or a combination of these. Information will be generated by you and by us. For example, you might complete a written test or we might take interview notes. This information is held by BSR.

If you are unsuccessful following assessment for the position you have applied for, we may ask if you would like your details to be retained for a period of six months. If you say yes, we would proactively contact you should any further suitable vacancies arise.

If we make a conditional offer of employment we will ask you for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks to progress to a final offer. We are required to confirm the identity of our staff, their right to work in the United Kingdom and seek assurance as to their trustworthiness, integrity and reliability.

You will therefore be required to provide:

  • Proof of your identity – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies

  • Proof of your qualifications – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies

  • You will be asked to complete a criminal records declaration to declare any unspent convictions

  • We will contact your referees, using the details you provide in your application, to obtain references

  • We will also ask you to complete a questionnaire about your health. This is to establish your fitness to work. This is done through a data processor (please see below)

If we make a final offer, we will also ask you for the following:

  • Bank details – to process salary payments

  • Emergency contact details – so we know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work

Our Code of Conduct requires all staff to declare if they have any potential conflicts of interest. If you complete a declaration, the information will be held on your personnel file.

If you are successful, the information you provide during the application process will be retained by us as part of your employee file for the duration of your employment plus six years following the end of your employment. This includes your criminal records declaration, fitness to work, records of any security checks and references.

If you are unsuccessful at any stage of the process, the information you have provided until that point will be retained for six months from the closure of the campaign.

Access to your information, correction and removal

You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you in an easily accessible format. If you would like a copy of some or all of the information, please email or write to us at the address below.

We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to remove or correct information you think is inaccurate. You may also ask us to remove all personal information we hold about you.


Cookies provide information regarding the computer used by a visitor. We may use cookies where appropriate to gather information about your computer in order to assist us in improving our website.

We may gather information about your general internet use by using the cookie. Where used, these cookies are downloaded to your computer and stored on the computer's hard drive. Such information will not identify you personally; it is statistical data which does not identify any personal details whatsoever.

You can adjust the settings on your computer to decline any cookies if you wish. This can be done within the ‘settings’ section of your computer. For more information please read the advice at www.AboutCookies.org.

Other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so when you link to other websites you should read their own privacy policies.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under review and we will place any updates on this webpage. This privacy policy was last updated in April 2018.

How to contact us

Please contact us at bsr@rheumatology.org.uk if you have any questions about our privacy policy or information we hold about you, or write to us at: Data Protection Officer, British Society for Rheumatology, Bride House, 18-20 Bride Lane, London EC4Y 8EE