At the RAF Families Federation, we collect and use your personal information to help resolve your problems and address wider issues in the RAF community that affect the lives of Service personnel and their families.

We only record the information that we need. We always let you decide what you are comfortable telling us and treat it as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • Only access it when we have good reason to
  • Only share it when necessary and relevant
  • Do not sell it to anyone

All staff, on appointment, are required to sign a confidentiality clause requiring them individually and collectively to respect the confidences of those contacting us.

How we store your personal information

Whether you get advice face-to-face, over the phone or by email we record your information, correspondence and notes about your problem in our secure Issues Database. Some of your information might also be kept within our secure email and IT systems for as long as it is needed. You have the right to request it is deleted at any time.

What we do with your personal information

Resolving problems

The main reason we ask for your information is to help solve your problem(s).

We only access your information for other reasons if we really need to. Data protection law allows this as long as we have a legitimate interest. For example:

  • for training and quality purposes
  • to investigate complaints
  • to get feedback from you about our services
  • to help us improve our services

All advisers and staff accessing data have had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

Very occasionally we may share your information with other, carefully selected, organisations, in order to:

  • help solve your problem – for example, a qualified Immigration Specialist with another Families Federation or an Armed Forces Champion within an NHS Trust
  • refer you quickly to another organisation for more advice or support, if relevant
  • help you access certain services – for example food banks, a SSAFA Support Worker or Trading Standards
  • monitor the quality of our services

Organisations we share your data with must store and use your data in line with data protection law. They’ll have their own privacy policies for how they handle your information and keep it safe.

Reports

We use some of the information provided to create statistics about who we’re helping and what problems are the most common. We share this data with the chain of command and government departments as evidence. Any reports going to higher authority that draw upon the Issues Database will be anonymised, highlighting trends observed by us and not the details of individual cases.

We may also share this curated information publicly, via our website, reports, social media and press releases. The statistics also inform our policy research and surveys.

Exceptional circumstances

In the following circumstances confidentiality may be breached:

  • When there could be a serious risk of harm to you or others, for example Mental Health incidents or similar issues.
  • To protect others and to comply with legislation. For example, if there is information regarding child abuse which must be reported to the appropriate agency.
  • To prevent a serious criminal act, especially where others may be endangered, for example an act of terrorism.
  • To protect the operational efficiency of the Service. For example, if we are informed an aircraft technician and is under the influence of drugs that could compromise the security and safety of serving personnel and/or their equipment.

If we believe confidentiality is not possible, as illustrated in the examples above, we will encourage individuals to disclose the information voluntarily to the appropriate authorities. We will inform the person when information provided cannot be kept within the confines of the Federation and that the information will have to be shared with the authorities concerned.