GDPR - policy and comms changes

27th Jun 2018

GDPR - an update

As you may be aware, the new General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 came into force on 25 May 2018, SOE has been working to ensure that all of our systems and data touch points are fit for the new regulations, and as such there are some changes to the way we are handling member data.

SOE's Data Protection Policy

As part of the GDPR process, we have updated our Data and Privacy Policy; this explains in clear language exactly how and why we collect data, and also what we do with it when we have it. You can read the new policy online here. It explains all about the 6 bases for processing data which GDPR gives organisations, and will tell you in plain English which ones we use for which circumstances.

We have also formed a GDPR working group, which meets regularly to review the policy, make any changes and ensure that our systems, policies and procedures are designed to maximise the safety of your data (or 'Privacy by Design' as GDPR calls it).

Member communication options are changing

You already have existing opt-in options for communication preferences when you log into 'My SOE' on the website, and these existing preferences are compliant with the new regulation, however in order that we can regulate all options and give members more control over what we send to them, there are now new options available which will eventually become our default.

This process will also help us move towards a digital first way of marketing communication, in preparation for the new website and back-office systems coming later this year.

What do I need to do?

We would like to ask all members to login to the SOE website, then click on 'My Preferences' > 'GDPR Preferences' (this is a new item at the top of the menu). Where you will see the following choices:

Please choose your marketing format preferences:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Telephone

This lets you pick how you want to hear from us - we will be using email as our first-choice for marketing communications (however GDPR requires us to prove that you have opted in to this method, so please make sure you tick it if you want to hear from us), with the chance to opt-in to hearing from us by telephone and SMS (which we are looking to trial in the near future to send regional CPD event reminders)

You will then see below this another list, which will look like:

SOE (and our trading company, IRTE Services) would like to keep you updated on all our news, products and opportunities, in order to help you on your professional journey.

Please tick each one you are interested in, below:

  • SOE Newsletters and updates
  • Professional registration
  • Publications and technical guides
  • Local & national events, training and conferences
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • irtec, IRTE and MHE accreditations
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Membership offers

The above list enables you to opt-in and -out of products and services that SOE would like to contact you about. So just check the ones you are interested in and then save your choices. These options will eventually replace the existing ones you may have ticked previously (although existing options remain valid until we remove them, so you will not see any drop in your existing emails from us - for example if you have ticked the existing 'regional event' option, you will still hear about events from your region, it just means that eventually this will be covered by the new option).

Please also bear in mind that this only covers marketing communications - opting out of email, for example, does not mean we don't email you regarding your membership as we need to send you a renewal notice as part of your membership.

Need more information?

If you have any queries about SOE's GDPR work, please drop an email to - we are always happy to help.

If you are one of the SOE's members without a registered email address, please contact the membership team on 020 7630 6666 so we can add you one in and ensure you are hearing about the most up-to-date news from SOE (we will still communicate by post with all members who do not have one where necessary).

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