Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Policy Statement

This policy ensures that Sydney Institute of Interpreting and Translating (SIIT) complies with relevant legislation in regard to privacy and personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), as amended.

Purpose

Sydney Institute of Interpreting and Translating (SIIT) main purpose is to provide Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. Other associated activities occur to enable SIIT to offer these courses. All information collected is for the purpose of the operational and management activities of SIIT, or where required by legislative guidelines.

Scope

This Privacy Policy applies to the collection, storage, use, disclosure and access to personal information as defined under the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) handled by SIIT. Personal and sensitive information may be collected and stored in electronic and/or paper format.

Students and employees are responsible for being aware of and complying with this Privacy Policy. Students and employees are also responsible for keeping their personal information up to date by informing Student Services and respective manager of the changes.

Overview

SIIT’s Privacy Policy has been developed in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). SIIT is subject to the Australian Privacy Principles. The APPs regulate the handling of personal information by Australian government agencies and some private sector organisations.

Policy Principles

SIIT is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. SIIT recognises its obligation under the Privacy Act and will take necessary measures to ensure that the privacy of personal information collected is protected. All individuals have the right to request access to their personal information held by SIIT in accordance with the Privacy Act and the APPs.

Collection of Personal Information

SIIT collects personal information directly from individuals including:

  • In circumstances where it is necessary for its main purpose of providing educational products and services and for the purpose of administering those products and services.
  • Where it is reasonable and practicable, and
  • In a fair and transparent manner as required by the APPs.

SIIT may collect personal information from students, prospective students, employees, prospective employees, supporters or sponsors of SIT, academic or other professionals, individuals with whom SIIT deals on a commercial basis such as education agents, suppliers, contractors and individuals in organisations to which SIIT provides goods or services, or from which SIIT acquires goods or services, as well as from members of the public making general enquiries and users of SIIT website. SIIT may collect health and sensitive information, where relevant, from students who enrol in a course of study. Personal information collected may include: names, address and contact details, date of birth, educational and work history, academic results, emergency contact details, credit card details, racial or ethnic origins, English language proficiency, health or disability information (where relevant), professional membership information (where relevant) and government related identifiers.

Individuals, including prospective students, are able to make an anonymous enquiry or use a pseudonym, for general enquiries and information relating to courses. However, to enrol in a course or to be assessed for eligibility to be admitted to a course specific information is required to appropriately assess the prospective student’s application for admission to a course. SIIT may not be able to provide its services to individuals if they choose not to provide the requested personal information.

SIIT may also collect personal information for ancillary purposes related to the primary purpose of collection, including:

  • Billing, maintaining information technology services, customer service and data storage.
  • Direct marketing the services of SIIT and its related entities to prospective, current and past students.
  • Planning, monitoring, evaluating and improving service provision, including conducting market research and survey and assessing customer satisfaction, and
  • Otherwise communicating with individuals.

Personal Information from Website or Third Parties

Generally, personal information is collected directly from the individual, although there may be times when information is collected from third parties, such as a family member who contacts SIIT on the individual’s behalf, contractors who supply services to SIIT, through partner institutions or from a publicly maintained record.

SIIT may also collect information from other educational providers for the purpose if verifying qualifications that have been awarded and for completion of units of study towards course credit for the purposes of enrolment.

SIIT may request third parties to provide or allow access to and collection of information, including personal information that the third parties hold and are authorised or entitled to disclose, directly to it verbally and in hard copy or electronic records or documents, whether stored in or provided by way of digital storage media or electronic communications.

If personal information is provided to SIIT about someone else, the individual must ensure that they are entitled to disclose such information for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy.

Additionally, SIIT may collect personal information from individuals through its websites or from third parties and anonymous information for statistical purposes. Such information may be used to improve the products and services offered by SIIT.

SIIT website may contain links to other sites. Please, be aware that SIIT is not responsible for the privacy or data handling practices of any other sites and strongly advises individuals to check their terms and policies before submitting any personal information to any third party site.

SIIT may also request information via surveys or experience evaluations. Participation in these surveys or evaluations is voluntary. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and address, phone number) and demographic information (such as postcode, age or course). Collected survey information will be used for monitoring or improving the use of SIIT’s services.

Collection of Personal Information from Prospective and Current Employees

SIIT may collect personal information from prospective and current employees. For prospective employees this may include: name, address and contact details, educational and work history. Information may also be collected regarding referees and their contact details, which provides consent for SIIT to collect personal information from said referees.

It may be necessary to collect additional personal or sensitive information, either directly or from third parties, when hiring employees including any relevant security or background checks.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

SIIT uses and discloses personal information for the purposes disclosed at the time of collection or as set out in this policy. Where necessary, SIIT may disclose personal information to external agents and contractors (such as organisations who assist with SIIT’s educational and regulatory activities (NAATI, PRISMS, AVETMISS), mail-outs, student recruitment and independent IT service providers). SIIT will only disclose personal information to third parties for a purpose disclosed at the time of collection or as set out in this policy and with whom SIIT has entered into an agreement that gives the individual (or that the law requires to give the individual) at least the same level of protection to the personal information SIIT does.

SIIT may use personal information for the purpose of direct marketing and individuals will be able to opt out of receipt of marketing material and other optional communication by contacting SIIT on marketing@siit.nsw.edu.au and requesting that direct marketing communications are not sent. SIIT direct marketing activities may include sending materials such as surveys, newsletters and information about SIIT education events and activities. SIIT may use third parties to undertake such direct marketing activities on its behalf and may provide personal information to them for those purposes. SIIT will not disclose or externally publish personal information to third parties with a view to allowing them to direct market their products or services without the individuals consent. However, there are various communications that are required for SIIT to fulfil its purpose of providing education and these are not optional.

Personal information is also collected to enable SIIT to correspond with students and attend to administrative matters, which may require disclosure to third parties such as: work integrated learning, other student services, emergency circumstances, graduation and alumni purposes, benchmarking and quality assurance purposes, compliance with legislative reporting requirements and other uses as permitted by the Privacy Act. Other circumstances when SIIT may disclose personal information include:

  • where a student is sponsored or on a scholarship, SIIT will provide information to their sponsor upon request, if provision of the requested information is a condition of the sponsorship, and
  • if a student transfers to another institution, SIIT may release to that institution information about the student’s academic progress at SIIT, although normally the student will have consented to this in their application to the new institution.

Critical Incidents

There are certain extenuating circumstances under the Privacy Act where SIIT may be required to disclose personal information to third parties including:

  • a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health or safety
  • a requirement under law or authorised by law,
  • a requirement by a law enforcement body, or
  • in the course of legal proceedings.

Disclosure of such information will be carried out as necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and/or imminent threat, including when SIIT has been unable to contact a student for an unreasonable period. Refer also to the SIIT Critical Incident Policy and Procedures.

If an individual is alleged to have committed an offence, SIIT may be requested to assist the police or other authorised persons by providing personal information about that individual for enforcement of the law.

Other Circumstances

No attempt will be made to identify users of SIIT websites except in the unlikely event of an investigation or legal proceedings, or where otherwise permitted to do so under the Privacy Act. SIIT may be required to gather more extensive information than stated above, in cases such as:

  • unauthorised attempts to access files other than those published on SIIT website
  • unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on SIIT website
  • communications which are defamatory, abusive, vilify individuals or groups or give rise to a suspicion that an offence is being committed.
  • Attempts to otherwise compromise the security of the SIIT web server, breach the laws of the Commonwealth or a state of Australia or interfere with the use of SIIT website by other users.

SIIT will publish personal information on its website, only where the individual has consented to personal information being collected and disclosed for that particular purpose. Individuals should be aware that personal information may be indexed by search engines and that it may be copied and used by any web user Once personal information is published on SIIT website, it will not be possible to control subsequent use and disclosure. Where SIIT website contains external links to other sites, SIIT is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

Under no circumstances will SIIT sell or receive payment for licensing or disclosing personal information.

SIIT may receive unsolicited information. In such circumstances, SIIT will dispose or de-identify any personal information collected within a reasonable timeframe.

Reporting to Government Agencies

SIIT is required to collect and disclose information obtained from a student’s admission and enrolment in order to meet its obligations under a range of legislative requirements for reporting to government agencies. This may include reporting to:

  • Government agencies on statistical information about student enrolment, educational background, country of birth, where a student has requested financial assistance with tuition fees such as payment in instalments, reporting requirements related to students on student visas, student data on performance, progression and satisfaction levels,
  • The Overseas Student Ombudsman where an overseas student lodges an appeal against a decision of SIIT, where SIIT will be required to respond with personal information relating to the student’s case,
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) where international students opt to pay their OSHS through SIIT,
  • Tuition Protection Service (TPS) regarding tuition assurance for international students.

The authority to collect this information is contained in legislation including the following:

  • Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) 2015
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001
  • National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2017

Information collected about a student can be provided, in certain circumstances, to the Australian Government and designated authorities and, if relevant, the Tuition Protection Services.

Security and Quality of Personal Information

SIIT takes reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is protected against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, other misuse, as required by law and generally accepted industry standards. However, to the extent permitted by law, SIIT excludes any liability for any security breach.

SIIT takes reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify personal information that is no longer required for any purpose permitted by the APP’s and that destruction of personal information is undertaken by secure means, as required by the Privacy Act.

SIIT will take reasonable steps required by the Privacy Act to ensure that personal information is accurate, complete and up to date. However, individuals must ensure their personal information is kept up to date by informing Student Services.

Students may also contact Student Services to request access to other personal information or to request access to, or correction of information not held on the online system. For security reasons, requests to view other information not held on the online systems (Moodle and aXcelerate) must be in writing by completing a Student Personal File Access Form.

SIIT will make reasonable endeavours to accommodate all access requests and requests to destroy or de-identify information to the extent required under the Privacy Act and the APPs. However, SIIT may refuse requests for access to, or correction of an individual’s personal information, in accordance with the Privacy Act and any other applicable legislation.

Complaints and Appeals

If an individual believes that their personal information has not been dealt with in accordance with the Privacy Act, they may lodge a complaint. The complaint should be lodged with Student Support Services or SIIT’s nominated delegated authority in the first instance for resolution. All complaints will be made in accordance with SIIT’s “Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure”.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the response to a complaint, they can refer the matter to the Australian privacy regulator. Information about the regulator, the complaints process and how to lodge a complaint is available at http://www.oaic.gov.au/about-us/contact-us-page.

Administrative Policies and Procedures

SIIT provides policies and procedures of importance to all students and employees to assist them during their course of study or work. These policies and procedures can be found either in the Student Handbook, Staff Handbook or accessed from Student Services or the Quality and Compliance Manager.

Staff and students are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with these policies and procedures.

SIIT reserves the right to amend its Privacy Policy at any time in accordance with the law. Notice of any amendment will be communicated via email. If at any time SIIT decides to use personal information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, SIIT will notify individuals by way of email. SIIT will only use information in accordance with the Privacy Policy under which the information was collected.

Relevant Documents and Forms:

  • Critical Incident Policy and Procedures
  • Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure
  • Complaints and/or Appeals Forms
  • Confidentiality Agreement (in Staff Handbook)
  • Student Personal File Access Form

SIIT Privacy and Confidentiality

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