Privacy notice - job application and pre-employment screening data

Information on the privacy policy relating to job application and pre-employment screening data, why we require the data, what we do with the data and your rights.
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The Food Standards Agency will be what is known as a data controller of the personal data provided to us. 

Why we need it

We need to collect this information for the purpose of recruiting individuals into the FSA, on permanent or temporary contracts.  

Personal data is anonymised at our sifting stages, so the recruitment assessor panel do not see any personal information at this stage. 

If an applicant is successful in passing an initial sift, they will be subsequently invited to take part in further assessment stages/interview. The full details entered at application stage will then be made available to the recruitment panel and our HR Recruitment team.

We do this to carry out the necessary preliminaries for a potential employment contract. We have to comply with our legal obligation under the Civil Service Nationality Rulespre-employment screening requirements particular to the level of role and fraud checks.

Where we process your special category data such as that relating to health data and data collected for equal opportunity purposes, we do so to carry out our law obligations and to enable you to exercise your rights in relation to employment law, to fulfil our legal obligations and for reasons of substantial public interest and in line with our Data Protection and Human Resources Policies.

We will not collect any personal data from you which we do not need. 

Providing us with this information is a necessary preliminary to potentially entering into a contract with the FSA and failure to provide the information could result in you not being considered for employment in the FSA.

Feedback is provided to applicants who reach the final stage of our selection process, which is usually an interview.  Feedback is entered directly onto our Applicant Tracker System.

For applicants who accept an offer of employment, further personal data is obtained for the pre-employment screening purposes. This involves a health declaration, criminal record declaration, pension questionnaire and equal opportunity information.

We also carry out demographic monitoring and reporting of our applicant diversity and inclusion data, throughout the different stages of our selection process. Monitoring and reporting of this information is produced on an anonymised basis.

What we do with it

We retain personal information only for as long as necessary to carry out these functions, and in line with our retention policy. This means that this information relation to recruitment campaigns will be retained as follows:

  • application form details of unsuccessful applicants will be held for 2 years following the campaign being completed and archived 
  • details of candidate’s application form data who are placed as a reserve will be held for up to 12 months in reserve status, and then held for an additional year (as unsuccessful applicants) following the campaign being completed and archived
  • details of successful candidate’s application form data and pre-employment screening data, who commence employment with the FSA will be transferred on to our personal file system and held for 6 years following employment ending

All the personal data we process is located on servers within the European Union. Our cloud based services have been procured through the government framework agreements and these services have been assessed against the national cyber security centre cloud security principles.

No third parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so. In line with making an offer of employment and pre-employment screening, applicants who accept an offer of employment will have information passed to HMRC (for NI and reference check), Disclosure Scotland or Disclosure and Barring Service (for disclosure check), Cabinet Office (fraud screening) and potentially our Occupational Health provider (for pre-employment health screening). 

The Food Standards Agency will sometimes share data with other government departments, public bodies, and organisations which perform public functions to assist them in the performance of their statutory duties or when it is in the public interest.

Your rights

You have a right to see the information we hold on you by making a request in writing to the email address below. If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect you can request to have it corrected. If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter.

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).