Pioneer Data Privacy and Protection Policy

1 Background, Purpose and Scope

1.1 Background

The Data Protection Act (2018) brings the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) in to UK law. References to provisions of the Act in this policy include provisions of the UK GDPR. The lawful and proper treatment of personal information by Pioneer is extremely important to the success of our business and in order to maintain the confidence of our stakeholders, including but not exclusive to patients and employees. Pioneer must ensure that it processes personal information lawfully and correctly.

1.2 Purpose

This Policy:

  • sets out how Pioneer (”we”, “our”, “us”, “the Company”) handles the Personal Information of our patients, employees, suppliers, workers and other third parties;
  • applies to all Personal Information we process regardless of the media on which that information is stored or whether it relates to past or present patients, employees, workers, clients or supplier contacts, website users or any other Data Subject;
  • applies to all Company Personnel (”you”, “your”);
  • sets out what we expect from you in order for the Company to comply with applicable law. Your compliance with this Policy is mandatory. Related Policies are available to help you interpret and act in accordance with this Policy. You must also comply with all such Related Policies.

You must read, understand and comply with this Policy when Processing Personal Information on our behalf and attend training on its requirements.

Any breach of this Policy may result in disciplinary action.

There may be circumstances where it is not possible to fully apply the policy in which case a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) should be conducted, in collaboration with the Data Protection Officer; if the DPIA establishes that there is a high level of unmitigated risk, then the relevant supervisory authority must be consulted prior to any processing.

1.3 Scope

The policy applies to all Pioneer personnel irrespective of status, including temporary staff, contractors, consultants, and third parties whom have access to Pioneer data and systems.

2 Statement of Policy

We adhere to the principles relating to Processing of Personal Information which require Personal Information to be:

Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner, i.e. (Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency).

2.1 Lawfulness and Fairness

The Act restricts our actions regarding Personal Information to specified lawful purposes to ensure that we process Personal Information fairly and without adversely affecting the Data Subject. Consequently, the Act allows Processing in specific circumstances, which are set out below:

  • the Data Subject has given his or her Consent;
  • the Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with the Data Subject;
  • to meet our legal compliance obligations.;
  • to protect the Data Subject’s vital interests; or
  • to pursue our legitimate interests for purposes where they are not overridden because the Processing prejudices the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of Data Subjects.

Pioneer must identify and document in a Privacy Notice the legal ground being relied on for each Processing activity.

2.2 Consent

Consent to Processing:

  • is given if the Data Subject indicates agreement freely and clearly either by a statement or other positive action;
  • requires affirmative action so silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity are unlikely to be sufficient. If Consent is given in a document which deals with other matters, then the Consent must be kept separate from those other matters;
  • must be easily withdrawable by the Data Subject at any time and withdrawal must be promptly honoured;
  • may need to be refreshed if you intend to Process Personal Data for a different and incompatible purpose which was not disclosed when the Data Subject first consented.

Unless you can rely on another legal basis of Processing, Explicit Consent – which is a very clear and specific statement (that is, not just action) – is usually required for Processing Sensitive Personal Data, for Automated Decision-Making and for cross border data transfers.

Usually you are likely to be relying on another legal basis (and not require Explicit Consent) to Process most types of Sensitive Personal Data. However, where Explicit Consent is required, you must issue a Fair Processing Notice to the Data Subject to capture Explicit Consent.

You will need to evidence Consent received and keep records of all Consents so that the Company can demonstrate compliance with Consent requirements.

2.3 Transparency (Notifying Data Subjects)

Whenever you collect Personal Information directly from Data Subjects, including for human resources or employment purposes, you must notify the Data Subject of:

  • the identity of the Company, as Data Controller;
  • the period for which such data is stored or, if that is not possible, how that period is determined;
  • the requirement for the provision of Personal Information – whether it is a statutory or contractual requirement, or a requirement necessary to enter into a contract, as well as whether the Data Subject is obliged to provide the Personal Information and of the possible consequences of failure to provide such data;
  • the existence of the rights set out at paragraph 2.10 below.

Notification is carried out through the Privacy Notice which must be presented when the Data Subject first provides the Personal Information.

When Personal Information is collected indirectly (for example, from a third party or publicly available source), you must provide the Data Subject with all the information required above as soon as possible after collecting/receiving the data. You must also check that the Personal Information was collected by the third party in accordance with the Act and on a legal basis which contemplates our proposed Processing of that Personal Data.

2.4 Purpose Limitation

(Collected only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes)

  • You cannot use Personal Information for new, different or incompatible legitimate purposes from that specified when it was first obtained unless you have informed the Data Subject of the new purposes and they have Consented where necessary.

2.5 Data Minimisation

(Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is Processed)

  • You may only collect and/or Process Personal Information when performing your job duties requires it and not for any reason unrelated to your job duties.
  • DO NOT collect excessive data – any Personal Information collected should be adequate, relevant and only for the intended purposes.

2.6 Accuracy

(Accurate and kept up to date)

  • You must ensure that the Personal Information you use and hold is accurate, complete, kept up to date and relevant to the purpose for which you collected it.
  • You must check the accuracy of any Personal Data at the point of collection and at regular intervals afterwards.
  • You must take all reasonable steps to destroy or amend inaccurate or out-of-date Personal Data.

2.7 Storage Limitation

(Kept in a form which does not permit identification of Data Subjects for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data is Processed)

  • You must not keep Personal Information in a form which permits the identification of the Data Subject for longer than needed for the legitimate business purpose or purposes for which you originally collected it, including for the purpose of satisfying any legal, accounting or reporting requirements.
  • You must ensure that when Personal Information is no longer needed for the specified purpose(s), it is erased from our systems or anonymised. See Anonymisation: managing data protection risk code of practice (

2.8 Security Integrity and Confidentiality

(Processed in a manner that ensures its security)

You are responsible for protecting the Personal Information you hold. You must exercise particular care in protecting Special Categories of Personal Data (previously known as Sensitive Personal Information) from loss and unauthorised access, use or disclosure. Special Categories of Personal Data relate to:

  • Race or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data
  • Health data / physical condition
  • Mental condition
  • Sexual life / sexual orientation
  • Criminal data

You must maintain data security by protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of Personal Data, defined as follows:

  • Confidentiality means that only people who have a need to know and are authorised to use the Personal Information can access it;
  • Integrity means that Personal Information is accurate and suitable for the purpose for which it is processed;
  • Availability means that authorised users are able to access the Personal Information when they need it for authorised purposes.

We have developed, implemented and will maintain appropriate technical and organisational safeguards and measures (including use of encryption and Anonymisation where applicable) to secure Personal Information against unauthorised or unlawful Processing, and against accidental loss, destruction or damage. We will regularly evaluate and test the effectiveness of those safeguards to ensure security of our Processing of Personal Data.

  • You must fully comply with and not attempt to circumvent the administrative, physical and technical procedures and safeguards we put in place to maintain the security of all Personal Information and other Company information from the point of collection to the point of destruction.

Pioneer will only transfer Personal Information to third-party service providers who agree to put adequate measures in place that comply with policies and procedures substantially in the form of our Information Governance Third-Party Contracts Policy.

2.9 Transfer Limitation

(Transferred to another country only if appropriate safeguards are in place) 

You may only transfer Personal Information outside the UK if one of the following conditions applies:

  • the Data Subject has provided Explicit Consent to the proposed transfer after being informed of any potential risks;
  • the European Data Protection Board / UK ICO confirms, a legal framework is in place in that country, territory, sector or international organisation which provides ‘adequate’ protection for individuals’ rights and freedoms for their personal data;
  • appropriate safeguards are in place such as standard contractual clauses approved by the ICO, which can be obtained from the Data Protection Officer (DPO);
  • the transfer is necessary for one of the other reasons set out in the Act including the performance of a contract between us and the Data Subject, reasons of public interest, to establish, exercise or defend legal claims or to protect the vital interests of the Data Subject where the Data Subject is physically or legally incapable of giving Consent and, in some limited cases, for our legitimate interest.

You must seek advice, from the DPO, before undertaking a Cross Border Data Transfer

2.10 Data Subject’s Rights and Requests

(Made available to Data Subjects)

When it comes to how we handle their Personal Information, Data Subjects have rights which include the right to:

  • withdraw Consent to Processing at any time;
  • receive certain information about the Data Controller’s Processing activities;
  • request access to their Personal Information that we hold;
  • prevent our use of their Personal Information for direct marketing purposes;
  • ask us to erase Personal Information if it is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or Processed or to rectify inaccurate data or to complete incomplete data;
  • restrict Processing in specific circumstances;
  • challenge Processing which has been justified on the basis of our legitimate interests or in the public interest;
  • request a copy of an agreement (or extract from an agreement, as appropriate), under which Personal Information is transferred outside of the UK;
  • prevent Processing that is likely to cause damage or distress to the Data Subject or anyone else;
  • be notified of a Personal Information Breach which is likely to result in high risk to their rights and freedoms;
  • object to decisions based solely on Automated Processing, including profiling (ADM);
  • make a complaint to the appointed supervisory authority, i.e. ICO; and
  • in limited circumstances, receive or ask for their Personal Information to be transferred to a third party in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.

You must immediately forward any Data Subject request you receive to the Governance Officer who will verify the identity of any individual requesting data under any of the rights listed above and initiate Pioneer Data Subject Access Request response process. DO NOT allow third parties to persuade you into disclosing Personal Information without proper authorisation from your Governance Officer.

Refer: Data Subject Access Request Policy

3 Accountability

Pioneer is required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO monitors internal compliance, informs and advises on data protection obligations, provides advice regarding Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and acts as a contact point for data subjects and the supervisory authority. The DPO is independent, an expert in data protection, is adequately resourced, and reports to the Information Governance Senior Management Team.

Refer: Information Governance Senior Management Team Guidance

We have resources and controls in place to ensure and to document Act compliance including:

  • the appointment of Data Protection Officer and the Information Governance Senior Management Team;
  • implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure compliance with the Act when Processing Personal Information and completing DPIAs where Processing presents a high risk to rights and freedoms of Data Subjects;
  • integrating data protection into internal documents including this Policy, Related Policies, Privacy Notices;
  • regular training of Company Personnel on this Policy, Related Policies and data protection matters including, for example, Data Subject’s rights, Consent, legal basis, DPIA and Personal Information Breaches; and
  • regularly testing the privacy measures implemented and conducting periodic reviews and audits to assess compliance, including using results of testing to demonstrate compliance improvement effort.

4 Training and Audit

All Company Personnel will be required to undergo mandatory data privacy related training which the Company will provide periodically.

The Company maintains a record of training attendance by Company Personnel.

You must regularly review all the systems and processes under your control to ensure they comply with this Policy and check that adequate governance controls and resources are in place to ensure proper use and protection of Personal Information.

5 Sharing Personal Data

You may only share the Personal Information we hold with third parties, such as our service providers, if:

  • they have a need to know the information for the purposes of providing the contracted services;
  • sharing the Personal Information complies with the Privacy Notice provided to the Data Subject and, if required, the Data Subject’s Consent has been obtained;
  • the third party has agreed to comply with the required data security standards, policies and procedures and put adequate security measures in place;
  • the transfer complies with any applicable cross border transfer restrictions; and
  • a fully executed written contract that contains our approved third-party clauses has been obtained. (Available through the Data Protection Officer)

The Personal Information we hold may only be shared with Company Personnel (which includes our ultimate holding company along with its subsidiaries) if the recipient has a job-related need to know the information and the transfer complies with any applicable cross-border transfer restrictions.

6 Reporting a Personal Data Breach

Procedures are in place to deal with any suspected Personal Data Breach and Data Subjects or any applicable regulator will be notified where we are legally required to do so.

If you know or suspect that a Personal Data Breach has occurred, DO NOT attempt to investigate the matter yourself. Immediately contact the Privacy Officer and/or your Manager in accordance with the Data Breach Process. You should preserve all evidence relating to the potential Personal Data Breach.

Refer: Data Breach Policy and Data Breach Template.

7 Direct Marketing

A Data Subject’s prior consent is required for electronic direct marketing (for example, by email, text or automated calls).

The limited exception for existing customers known as “soft opt in” allows you to send marketing texts or emails if you have obtained contact details in the course of a sale to that person, you are marketing similar products or services, and you gave that person an opportunity to opt out of marketing when first collecting the details and in every subsequent message.

The right to object to direct marketing must be explicitly offered to the Data Subject in an intelligible manner so that it is clearly distinguishable from other information.

You must promptly honour a Data Subject’s objection to direct marketing. If a client opts out at any time, their details should be suppressed as soon as possible. Suppression involves retaining just enough information to ensure that marketing preferences are respected in the future.

8 Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

A DPIA should be conducted, in collaboration with the DPO (and findings discussed with the Information Governance Senior Management Team) when implementing major system or business change programs involving the Processing of Personal Information including:

  • use of new technologies (programs, systems or processes), or changing technologies (programs, systems or processes);
  • large scale Processing of Special Categories of Personal Data; and
  • large scale, systematic monitoring of a publicly accessible area.
  • Automated Processing including profiling and Automated Decision Making (ADM)

DPIAs must include:

  • a description of the Processing, its purposes and the Data Controller’s legitimate interests if appropriate;
  • an assessment of the necessity and proportionality of the Processing in relation to its purpose;
  • an assessment of the risk to individuals; and
  • the risk mitigation measures in place and demonstration of compliance.

Refer: PIA and DPIA Policy

9 Freedom of Information

Pioneer acknowledges that the Commissioners are subject to the requirements of FOIA and EIR. Pioneer must assist and co-operate with each Commissioner to enable it to comply with its disclosure obligations under FOIA and EIR.

Where Pioneer receives a request for information relating to the Services provided under our Contract and the Commissioner itself is subject to FOIA or EIR, it will liaise with the relevant Commissioner as to the contents of any response before a response to a request is issued and will promptly (and in any event within 2 Operational Days) provide a copy of the request and any response to the relevant Commissioner;

Reference: NHS Standard Contract, General Conditions GC21: Patient Confidentiality, Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Transparency

Health organisations often get Freedom of Information requests relating to medical records of the deceased. These requests should be referred to the Commissioners. Consideration, in collaboration with the Commissioners should be given to the whether the information is sensitive.


  • ICO, Information about the deceased
  • Access to Health Records Act (AHRA) 

10 Roles and Responsibilities

All personnel have a responsibility to adhere to the policy regardless of their status.

All personnel including contractors and third parties have a direct responsibility to escalate to the Governance Officer and the Manager responsible for the relevant area of the business any suspicion of a data breach immediately they become aware of it.

All managers are directly responsible for implementing the policy and standards within their functional areas, and for adherence by their staff.

The Information Governance Senior Management Team and Data Protection Officer has direct responsibility for managing a data breach and for communicating with the supervisory authority in addition to managing the process of communicating with any affected data subjects.

The Information Governance Senior Management Team and Data Protection Officer has direct responsibility for maintaining this policy and providing advice on implementation.

Appendix A – Definitions

Anonymisation or Anonymised: replacing information that directly or indirectly identifies an individual with one or more artificial identifiers or pseudonyms so that the person, to whom the data relates, cannot be identified without the use of additional information which is meant to be kept separately and secure.

Automated Decision-Making (ADM): when a decision is made which is based solely on Automated Processing (including profiling) which produces legal effects or significantly affects an individual. The Act prohibits ADM (unless certain conditions are met) but not Automated Processing.

Automated Processing: any form of automated processing of Personal Information consisting of the use of Personal Information to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to an individual, in particular to analyse or predict aspects concerning that individual’s performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements. Profiling is an example of Automated Processing.

Company Personnel: all our directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors and consultants (insofar as they are performing roles within the business that have, or may have, access to Personal Data).

Data Controller: the Company is the Data Controller of all Personal Information relating to our Company Personnel and Personal Information used in our business for our own commercial purposes because we determine when, why and how to process Personal Information and are responsible for establishing practices and policies in line with the Act.

Data Subject: a living, identified or identifiable individual about whom we hold Personal Data. Data Subjects may be nationals or residents of any country and may have legal rights regarding their Personal Data.

DPIA: data privacy impact assessment tools used to identify and reduce risks of a data processing activity. DPIA should be conducted for all major system or business change programs involving the Processing of Personal Data.

Personal Data / Personal Information: any information identifying a Data Subject or information relating to a Data Subject that we can identify (directly or indirectly) from that data alone or in combination with other identifiers we possess or can reasonably access. Personal Information includes Special Categories of Personal Data and Anonymised Personal Information but excludes anonymous data or data that has had the identity of an individual permanently removed. Personal Information can be factual (for example, a name, email address, location or date of birth) or an opinion about that person’s actions or behaviour.

Personal Data Breach: any act or omission that compromises the security, confidentiality, integrity or availability of Personal Information or the physical, technical, administrative or organisational safeguards that we or our third-party service providers put in place to protect it. The loss, or unauthorised access, disclosure or acquisition, of Personal Information is a Personal Information Breach.

Privacy Notices (also referred to as Fair Processing Notices): separate notices setting out information that may be provided to Data Subjects when the Company collects information about them. These notices may take the form of general privacy statements applicable to a specific group of individuals (for example, employee privacy notices or the website privacy policy) or they may be stand-alone, one time privacy statements covering Processing related to a specific purpose.

Processing or Process: any activity that involves the use of Personal Data. It includes obtaining, recording or holding the data, or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the data including organising, amending, retrieving, using, disclosing, erasing or destroying it. Processing also includes transmitting or transferring Personal Information to third parties.

Special Category Personal Data: information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health conditions, sexual life, sexual orientation, biometric or genetic data, and Personal Information relating to criminal offences and convictions.