Privacy Policy



This privacy notice applies to the data that Advice NI collects about individuals who interact with our organisation. It explains what personal information we collect and how we use it.

Back to top

Who We Are

Advice NI offers a range of services including providing advice on welfare changes and HMRC products via our helplines, benefit checks to older people through our Supporting Active Engagement project, signposting and referrals to other advice organisations, training, information and communication as well as membership services to our 60+ members.

Back to top

Personal Data that we Process

Advice NI is committed to protecting the privacy and personal data of all those who interact with us. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and all personal data we hold is held in accordance with EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In compliance with GDPR, personal data may only be held and processed where there is a lawful basis for doing so. The lawful basis adopted by Advice NI will vary depending on the purpose with which you interact with us.

The following table explains the types of data we collect and the legal basis on which this data is processed:

Purpose Data (key elements) Legal Basis
Enquiring about Advice NI and its work Name, email address, phone no., message Legitimate Interests – it is necessary to read and store your email so that we can respond in a way you would expect.
Subscribing to email updates about our work, e.g. AdviceMatters, Policy eNews, AdviceLink Name, organisation, email address, log of whether you open the emails and clicked on links Consent – you have given your active consent by subscribing. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link or emailing [email protected]
Signing up as an Advice NI member Primary contact name, organisation, organisation address, telephone number, email address, invoicing details Contract – by paying your membership fee you have entered into a contractual relationship with us as set out in our membership terms and conditions.
Asking us to provide advice and assistance Full name, address, date of birth, phone no., National Insurance Number, disability, housing status, current welfare benefits, income

Special category data: gender, race, ethnicity, religion, health status, sexual orientation

Consent – by providing us with your explicit consent you are allowing us to keep a record of your case. We will use the information that you have given us to progress your advice case. We may also use it for quality and monitoring purposes. In the case of our helplines we will obtain your consent over the phone.

The special category data is used for monitoring purposes and is provided to our funders in an anonymised format.

Participating in our training courses and / or events Name, address, organisation, email address, invoicing details

Photographs, video and/or sound recordings of events and training sessions

Contract – by booking onto a course and / or event you have entered into a contract of service for us to provide you with training. If your course is accredited we are required to share your information with the relevant accrediting body.

Consent – we sometimes use photographs, video and/or sound recordings in printed and electronic media, for promotional, educational and archival purposes. We ask for your consent before doing so.

Consent – we send out information about our upcoming training and events. We ask for your consent before doing so and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Applying for a job with Advice NI Name, address, email address, phone no., unspent criminal convictions Legitimate Interests – it is necessary to store this information about you so that we can undertake the volunteering recruitment process including an Access NI check.
Volunteering with Advice NI Name, address, email address, phone no., unspent criminal convictions Legitimate Interests – it is necessary to store this information about you so that we can undertake the volunteering recruitment process including an Access NI check.
Creating a user account(s) on our website, e.g.,, Name, organisation, email address, date of when you last signed in Contract – by creating a user account on our website(s) you have entered into a contractual relationship to use our online services.
Back to top

How do we store your data?

We store advice client information on Advice Pro which is a fully-managed, secure web-based case management system. The client data in Advice Pro is held within the UK in a secure data centre compliant with Information Security Code of Practice ISO27001.

All other electronic data is stored on our own internal servers except where we use third party services and cloud services, such as MailChimp for our eNews and SurveyMonkey for collecting training evaluations. Where data is held in hardcopy it is stored in secure filing systems and no unauthorised personnel has access to them.

Back to top

How do we protect your data?

Advice NI takes protecting your data very seriously. With this in mind we will treat your data with the utmost care and take all appropriate steps to protect it. We have clear data protection and information security policies and procedures in place (in addition to Regulatory and other legal obligations to keep your data safe) and these are regularly assessed as part of our Quality Standards and compliance processes.

When we use third party services and cloud services to process personal data we take due diligence to make sure that they are reputable and have appropriate data protection practices.

We take all necessary measures to protect our IT system to safeguard against potential cyber threats.

Back to top

How long will we keep your data?

We only keep your data for as long as is necessary and for the purpose(s) for which you provided it to us.

In some cases, we retain records for the length of time that we are legally obliged to do so (for example, invoices, payment information, job applications and monitoring information). In other cases, we apply our retention schedule when we no longer require personal data and ensure its secure deletion or disposal.

Back to top

Who do we share your personal data with?

If you contact us for advice and we are unable to help, we may refer you to another organisation which in our opinion will be able to help you. We have referral agreements in place with a selection of organisations depending on what your issue is, such as Belfast Citywide Tribunal Service and Mindwise. We will always ask for your consent before we make a referral or share any of your personal information.

We also outsource some of the activities of our organisation this includes IT support, Access NI search, auditors and data storage. Where we engage the services of other organisations we will always ensure that

  • We will only provide the information they need to perform their specific services.
  • They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them.
  • We work closely with them to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected at all times.
  • If we stop using their services, any of your data held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous.
Back to top

What are your rights?

You have the right to request:

  • Access to the personal data we hold about you, free of charge in most cases.
  • The correction of your personal data when incorrect, out of date or incomplete.
  • The deletion of your personal data, for example, when you withdraw consent, or object and we have no legitimate overriding interest, or once the purpose for which we hold the data has come to an end.
  • That we stop any consent-based processing of your personal data after you withdraw that consent.

You have the right to request a copy of any of the information that we hold about you at any time, and also to have that information corrected if it is inaccurate.

To request a copy of the information we hold on you, please contact Head of ICT, Purdy's Lane, Belfast, BT8 7AR, or telephone 0800 915 4604 or email [email protected] Requests will be dealt with within a 30 day period.

If we decide not to action your request, we will explain to you the reasons for our refusal.

Back to top

The Regulator

If you believe that your data has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with our response to any requests you have made to us regarding the use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1114. Or go online to

This privacy notice was last updated on 30th July 2018

Back to top