ACER and your personal information
- What kinds of personal information do we collect and how?
- What is our approach to collecting personal information about children?
- When do we collect your personal information?
- Why do we collect the information and how do we use or disclose it?
- Can you choose to remain anonymous?
- How can you request not to receive direct marketing?
- Who do we disclose your personal information to?
- Do we disclose your information overseas?
- How do we hold your personal information and keep it secure?
- How can you seek access to, and correction of your information?
- How can you seek further information or complain about a breach of your privacy?
What kinds of personal information do we collect and how?
The personal information we collect depends on your relationship with us - whether you are a client, a candidate or a prospective employee - and the product or service we are delivering. It may include:
- your name, surname, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, disability status, ESL status, free school meals status, gifted/talented indicator, contact details, photograph and personal preferences (such as name, address, email address, phone number and dietary requirements);
- your website registration and login information;
- your payment details (such as credit card details);
- your employment history and qualifications;
- educational institution;
- government-related identifiers and information (such as student number and Disclosure and Barring Service checks);
- the results of any test or assessment you sit with us, or any survey you participate in; and
- your testimonials, feedback and complaints.
Sometimes we may also collect sensitive information about you. This may happen, for example, through surveys we conduct or when you sit tests, and may include your race and religious beliefs and your health information (such as whether you have any disability or medical condition and require special testing accommodations). We will only collect sensitive information from you or about you with your consent unless otherwise required or authorised by law.
By supplying sensitive information about yourself or on behalf of your child, you will be taken to have given your consent to our collection of that information. When we obtain such information from a third party (such as through a school or institution at which you or your child studies), we will usually enlist that third party to obtain consent from you if that is required.
What is our approach to collecting personal information about children?
We collect information about children who, for example, sit assessments at schools to whom we provide our services, participate in our surveys or participate in other research projects. Whether a child has the capacity to make his or her own privacy decisions is assessed by us on a case by case basis, having regard to factors such as their age and circumstances. In general, we treat a person over 15 years as having the capacity to make his or her own privacy decisions.
For children who are under 15 years old, or who otherwise do not have capacity to make these decisions for themselves, or where we cannot make an assessment of their capacity, ACER will refer or deal with requests for access, consent and notices in relation to personal information to the parent and/or guardian or relevant school or institution. We will treat consent given by a parent and/or guardian or relevant school as consent given on behalf of the child, and notices to the relevant school or other institution or parent and/or guardian will act as notice given to the child.
When do we collect your personal information?
We may collect your personal information when you contact us, purchase or use our products or services (including when you sit a test or participate in a survey or other research), register with us online, participate in our online discussion boards or enter our competitions, contribute to one of our social media pages (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Facebook), attend an ACER event, apply for a job with us, provide services to us or make a donation through the ACER Foundation.
Given the nature of our products and services, we often collect personal information about you from third parties, such as the school or educational institution that you (or your child) attends. We may also collect information through secure web based application systems if you do certain assessments, and from other third parties where you have agreed with them that your information may be disclosed.
Why do we collect the information and how do we use or disclose it?
We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information:
- to deliver our educational research and learning products and services (including our consultancy services and professional development programs, such as testing, assessments and training);
- to publish educational material;
- to conduct our retail activities (including through our website);
- to develop and enhance our products and services;
- to conduct research;
- to plan and develop our product strategies;
- to provide and operate our competitions, events and promotions;
- to send you direct marketing, as permitted by applicable laws;
- to otherwise market and promote our products and services; and
- to comply with our legal obligations.
Can you choose to remain anonymous?
You may elect not to identify yourself or you may use a pseudonym in your dealings with us, except where it is impracticable for us to deal with you on this basis (for example, we will need to identify you in order to provide most of our products and services). You can always choose not to give us your information, but if you do we may not be able to provide you (or our client) with the products and services that you (or they) have asked for.
How can you request not to receive direct marketing?
You may ask us at any time to stop sending you direct marketing information or to stop being contacted by or on our behalf, in a particular way or at all. You can do this by contacting us via our website at https://www.acer.edu.au/contact.
Who do we disclose your personal information to?
We may disclose your personal information (including, in certain limited circumstances, your sensitive information):
- to schools, educational institutions, psychologists, HR practitioners and other third parties who have contracted with us for the provision of our products and services. For example, if you are a candidate for an ACER scholarship test, we will supply your test results to those schools to which you have applied for a scholarship;
- to our related companies, including The Australian Council for Educational Research Limited (ABN 19 004 398 145) who help to provide our products and services;
- to entities who assist us in providing and administering our products and services and our events and promotions (including hosting, analysis, data storage, payment systems, printing and scanning providers and debt collectors);
- to companies that promote and market, or conduct research to help us improve and target, our products and services;
- where we are required to do so by law, or to government agencies, or individuals appointed by government, responsible for investigating and resolving disputes or complaints concerning our products or services.
When you enter into a competition we are running or participate in a sponsored event, we may seek, as a condition of entry, consent to pass your information to a promoter or sponsor of the competition or event. If we do this, we will notify you at the time of entering into the competition or event with us.
Do we transfer your information overseas?
How do we hold your personal information and keep it secure?
We hold your personal information in a combination of electronic and hard copy files. We may store your personal information with one or more third party data storage providers.
We may combine personal information we receive about you with other information we hold about you. This includes information received from third parties. Where reasonably practicable, we will de-identify personal information we collect from studies we carry out as part of our research activities.
We take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold is protected from misuse, interference and loss, and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by the use of various methods, including password protection and secure storage. Where we store your personal information with a third party data storage provider, we require them to keep it secure and only use or disclose it for the purpose for which it was provided.
Please contact us immediately if you become aware or have reason to believe there has been any unauthorised use of your personal information that we hold.
How can you seek access to, and correction of your information?
You may request access to your personal information by writing to us or contacting us at any time at the details below. We will need to verify your identity before we can give you access. We will promptly acknowledge receipt, and we will endeavour to deal with and respond to your request within a reasonable time, and in accordance with the legally required timeframes.
In certain circumstances, we are permitted by law to refuse access to your personal information (such as where providing access would have an unreasonable impact upon the privacy of other individuals) or delay such access until a period after the results of any examination have been announced (in accordance with applicable law).
In such cases, we will give you a written explanation for our decision (including, where applicable, an alternative means of access to the information, such as supervised inspection), and how you can complain if you are not satisfied with our decision.
If you think that any personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or irrelevant, you may ask us to correct it. We will take reasonable steps to correct it unless we disagree with your reasons. If we refuse to correct your personal information we will give you a written explanation why.
How can you seek further information?
4 Darwin Court
Oxon Business Park
We will investigate any complaint, and notify you of our decision in relation to the complaint, as soon as practicable after it is received.