It is that time of year again when all local churches, circuits and districts need to consider their data protection responsibilities and the way in which they use and protect information relating to other individuals. TMCP thanks all Managing Trustee bodies who undertook and completed the 2021 Checklist. As you know all members of the Methodist Church have a legal responsibility to protect the personal data of individuals and we recognize the hard work and commitment by those Managing Trustees. We fully understood that this was a difficult task to undertake in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully this year will be less problematic as restrictions are lifted.
TMCP has always promoted data protection as ‘People Protection’ and we urge all Managing Trustees to see this once-a-year project as demonstration of your commitment to safeguarding everyone associated with your church in the best way possible.
In response to the first of the Annual Checklists, released and completed in 2021, TMCP have taken on board and listened to the comments we received, and in particular those of your District Data Champions who we work very closely with on data protection, with regards to the Checklist. Therefore the 2022 Checklist is shorter, easier and simpler to complete.
So what have we done?
- We have reduced the number of checks from 11 to 7;
- The checks are now confirmations and not tasks;
- The full version of the Checklist has accompanying guidance which will help you understand what each check means;
- We are looking at making the Checklist available as an online document as well as a printable word version;
- Your District Data Champion has been offered specific training on completing the Checklist and can provide support and assistance to you, if required.
We also suggest that the Checklist is undertaken in two phases. The first of those steps being the completion of the data mapping exercise. For those Managing Trustees who haven’t already undertaken data mapping, we understand that this can be a daunting task.
Data Mapping is an inventory of the type of information you hold about individuals, then who holds and has access to that information. Guidance is provided alongside the Data Mapping Form on the TMCP website as well as a non-exhaustive list of examples of the type of information you may be processing:
The remaining checks are then undertaken as the second phase of the Checklist and should be as straightforward as providing a confirmation that you have dealt with those tasks. If you are unsure, then the accompanying guidance will explain what each check means.
Your District Data Champion is on hand to help you complete the Annual Checklist. TMCP will also be here to help and assist you and your District Data Champion is achieving compliance. Please do not see this as a daunting task, once you have completed the data mapping and the remainder of the checklist initially, then the following years Checklists will be almost a tick box exercise confirming your continued compliance and commitment to protecting the data which individuals have entrusted the Church to store and process appropriately.
If you are unsure who your District Data Champion is then please ask your District Chair or contact us and we will provide their details. You can also contact TMCP at any time with your data protection queries at email@example.com
Sign up to receive the News Hub alerts to keep a pace with what is available. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact TMCP if you have any general data protection queries and the Conference Office for enquiries relating to safeguarding and complaints and discipline issues.