FAQ - Data Protection

Want to know about how we adhere to Data Protection? See if our FAQs below answer your question. If not please email renewals@swimming.org

Q. What are the principles of the Data Protection Act?

A. The Data Protection Act 1998 (“the Act”) sets out certain requirements for the protection of your personal information (i.e. information about you) against unauthorised use or disclosure. The Act also gives you certain rights.

Q. How does the Data Protection Act relate to my ASA membership?

A. By virtue of your membership to the ASA you agree to your personal information being made available to British Swimming and its members, subject always to compliance with the Data Protection legislation. This doesn’t include sensitive personal data such as health or medical conditions, which require the explicit consent of the data subject i.e. a signature for this specific purpose.

Q: Why does the ASA collect so much information?

A: From time to time the ASA is asked why we need to collect so much information, not just from the membership renewals but from various questionnaires and during the swim21 accreditation process. 

The primary reason for maintaining a central register of all members is for insurance purposes. As part of our negotiations on the insurance package the ASA undertook to maintain a comprehensive register of all members. The minimum information we agreed to hold is full name, address and category of member. The date of birth of each individual is preferred, mainly because it helps provide a more detailed identifier of each member – very useful when you have a number of members with the same name, and even some with the same name at the same address.

More detailed information is required by our major funding partner, Sport England. Sport England does not receive individual data on members but we have to use the individual data to provide statistical information. Our funding from Sport England this year is over £3m which is obtained by Sport England from Government funding. Sport England has to justify this to the Government by providing detailed statistics regarding participation in our sport.

 The type of information Sport England requires from us is as follows:

  • Number of people that have participated in the sport within the past 12 months (excluding teaching, coaching or officiating.) The data has to be broken down into gender, age, ethnicity and disability. (Another reason for asking for the date of birth!)
  • Number of accredited clubs. We therefore monitor the number of clubs achieving Swim 21.
  • Number of active club members (excluding teaching, coaching or officiating.) This data is collected by our membership categories – category one and category two. This data has to be broken down into the same groups as above (gender, age, ethnicity and disability.)
  • Number of qualified and active coaches. This includes swimming teachers and again has to be broken down by gender, age, ethnicity and disability. We collect this data from the ASA and Institute of Swimming members.
  • Performance by team and individuals in world rankings: We take this data from our own rankings matched against the World rankings.
  • Percentage of English athletes in Great Britain teams: This data is collected by the World Class team.

Please note the ASA will not use your data for any mailing purposes without your written consent. Sport England does not receive any information on individual members – we simply provide numbers.

Q: When does the ASA give out information on individual members?

A: From time to time the Systems department is asked to provide information on individual members. The majority of requests are for information on a specific swimmer’s eligibility to compete for a specific club or eligibility to compete at all, i.e. ensuring the member is registered as an ASA category two member. 

The data protection act allows us to use the individual data for the purposes of the sport and therefore providing this information to event organisers is permissible. However, there is a need to ensure that the person lodging the enquiry is the event organiser and therefore all requests for such information must be put in writing (by mail or e-mail.) 

Requests must include the following information:

  • Name(s) of swimmer in question,
  • Title of event the query relates to,
  • Date of the event in question,
  • Organisation promoting the event,
  • Name of organiser,
  • Reason for query.

Information on members will not be given to telephone callers or to non event organisers.

Club Administration Officers may request information on members of their own club at any time. However, this must be in writing (mail or e-mail.)

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