Do Psychologists need to register with the ICO?

Practising psychologists regularly process and collate data and it is strongly advisable to register with the Information Commission’s Office, whether the data is stored electronically or if you only keep paper copies.  It is now a requirement of many instructing parties to have evidence that the professional is registered with the ICO and this was also echoed in the recent guidance from the Family Justice Council and the British Psychological Society, in their Standards, Competencies and Expectations proposals for Psychologists acting as Expert Witnesses in the Family Courts.

Registration or notification with the ICO is very straight forward and a statutory requirement for individuals and businesses which process personal information. It takes about 15 minutes on line and costs £35 (VAT exempt). In recent years there have been reports of a number of private companies demanding up to £95 to register your organisation under the Data Protection Act. These companies are not connected to the ICO and have no powers in connection to the Act.  Registration should be done directly and third parties avoided.


Since this article was written GDPR has come into force – see separate article for details of this.



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