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Privacy Notice - Learner Information

Privacy Notice: Learner Information

Updated May 2018 (v 1.1)

This privacy notice is issued by Open Awards to inform you how we will use learners’ personal information. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998/General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Open Awards is the data controller for personal information processed by the organisation.

As an Awarding Organisation, we have a responsibility under the Data Protection Act to ensure that learners are informed of how their information is processed and shared.


 A copy of this Privacy Notice should be made available to all learners, so that they understand what personal information you share with Open Awards and how we use it and who we share it with.


Who are Open Awards?

Open Awards is an Awarding Organisation regulated by Ofqual and an Access Validating Agency approved by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). We also approve a range of unregulated, or ‘quality endorsed’, courses which are required to meet the same set of quality standards as all our other provision.  For more information about Open Awards please visit

What personal learner information does Open Awards collect?

Open Awards collects and processes personal learner information for the purpose of: registering learners and awarding learner achievements; exercising its functions; and meeting its responsibilities, both statutory and otherwise. This information is normally submitted to Open Awards through the Open Awards secure portal. Only pre-approved users have access to the portal by means of a secure login, which is provided by Open Awards. Users are bound by the Terms and Conditions of the Open Awards portal.

The personal information collected that can be used to identify you includes, but is not limited to name, date of birth, gender, postcode, employment status as well as achievement and course data.

We may also collect, store and use the following ‘special categories’ of sensitive personal information: ethnicity, disability, learning difficulty or health problem. ‘Special categories’ of personal data require higher levels of protection and we have in place appropriate policy and safeguards when processing such data. This data is not a mandatory requirement but is used to support vital business functions in the public interest e.g. to support funding bids for new courses qualifications and services, research and national statistics.

Whilst we endeavor to collect only that data for which there is a legal or sound business requirement and to ensure the integrity of the data, we strongly encourage customers to contact us if you believe any data to be incorrect.

Any concerns can be sent to Open Awards by emailing

Children’s Privacy

Open Awards does not knowingly register or collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13 (“Children”). If you, or a parent or guardian, has cause to believe that a child has provided us with personal information, please contact us immediately. We will ensure parental /guardian approval has been sought for the sharing of ‘children’s’ data with us before we process their data.

Who do we share data with?

Open Awards, as part of its legitimate business functions, shares this data with our regulators and may also share it with a small number of other organisations, with whom we share a business partnership in the interest of the learner. These organisations include:




Shared data

Ofqual and Department for Education


Registration and achievements, postcode

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)


Registration and achievement, postcode



Learner name, registration number, ULN, DOB unit of learning and qualification achievement details

Learning Records Service (LRS)

Business partnership

Learner name, DOB, postcode, registration number, achievement details

Higher Education Institutions

Business partnership

Access to HE Diploma Achievement

External contractors and partners who undertake work on behalf of Open Awards e.g.

·         Portico

·         Hague

·         Colerind

Business partnership



Database developers

Certificate printers

Assessment platform

Data recorded on the Open Awards database, secure portal and online assessment system.


Unless otherwise stated, data is normally shared and processed as anonymised data. However there may be situations, such as an investigation or complaint, when Open Awards is required to process or share individual personal details due to a legitimate business reason. In these instances, Open Awards will share only those details which are necessary to the case and will endeavour to maintain the security of this information.

We encourage centres to register learners with their Unique Learner Number (ULN). Any ULN’s provided will be validated through a secure link with the Learner Records Service (LRS) during the initial registration. If any ULNs are invalid, we will notify the centre where you are registered, using our secure portal, to advise them of the actions required to rectify the error.

Upon achievement of Qualifications and/or Qualification units, the achievement details of learners will be passed to The Learning Records Service, who will update learners’ Personal Learning Record (PLR). This is done through a secure link from the Open Awards database to the LRS database. The PLR is a source of information to support learners in their decision-making in relation to further study, employment or skills development. We only send achievement data to the PLR where a learner has a valid ULN.

Learners may choose not to share their PLR data and can opt-out by contacting the LRS directly. They will need to provide some personal details to confirm their identity, which may include their ULN, if known.

We strongly encourage learners to visit the Learning Records Service website to view their Privacy Notice, which provides detailed explanation of how their data may be used. This can be visited at

Where do we store personal data?

All personal information provided to us is stored on our secure servers located in the UK, or on the secure servers of sub-contractors that we have engaged to provide services on our behalf.

The security of personal information is vitally important to us. However, no method of transmission over the internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we endeavor to use commercially acceptable means to protect personal information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Access to your information and correction

Open Awards strives to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is incorrect, unfair, misleading or inappropriate.

You have the right to request a copy of the personal information that we hold about you by making a ‘Subject Access Request’. If we do hold information about you, we will:

  • respond within one month of receiving your request;
  • give you a description of the data we hold;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in a clear format

To make a request for information or changes to your details please write to the contact address at the end of this notice or contact us at

Changes to our privacy notice

Open Awards recognises that privacy and data protection concerns may change and evolve over time and we will therefore keep this notice under review.

If we make any changes to this privacy notice we will update our website and, if appropriate, notify centres by email.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about our privacy notice or information we hold on you, please contact:

Open Awards
Estuary Commerce Park
17 De Havilland Drive, Speke
L24 8RN