Data protection

Data protection law reform came with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that took effect from 25 May 2018.

Compliance with GDPR required a change in many policies and procedures. GDPR is not just a tick box exercise and it needs all staff and volunteers to embrace new procedures.

To help you comply with GDPR, NCVO has a range of services that we can offer direct and through partners to support you – see all of our GDPR support on this page.

Information and guidance

Data protection legislation covers everyone about whom you keep personal data. This includes employees, volunteers, service users, members, supporters and donors. The legislation:

  • requires organisations to register if they keep records (unless they are exempt and this includes many charities and clubs)
  • governs the processing of personal data including 'personal sensitive data'
  • requires organisations to comply with eight principles for data protection
  • allows employees, service users and other contacts to request to see the personal data held on them.

Every organisation should have a written policy and procedure that is specific to their context about how they handle personal data and enact privacy principles.

Requirements for these policies and procedures changed when GDPR takes effect. Read our guidance for charities on how to comply with GDPR.

Charity Finance Group have also produced GDPR: A guide for charities

Support from the regulator

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the regulator for data protection and privacy law. Their website is an excellent source of information and support and includes:

Sample policies

It can be hard to write a policy from scratch. There are a number of suppliers of sample policies. These are intended as guidance only and should be developed alongside the guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure it is specific to your circumstances.

Watch our GDPR webinar

We ran a webinar with Protecture (one of our Trusted Suppliers) on 15 March 2018, you can watch the recording below and view the slides here.

Training and events

NCVO offer training on data protection and the GDPR for charities and voluntary organisations. This is delivered regularly at NCVO in London, at venues around the country or bespoke at your premises. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss what might suit you.


Health checks and consultancy support

NCVO's consultancy service can provide a health check for your organisation to assess your data protection fitness and GDPR compliance. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

Trusted Suppliers

  • Protecture provides tailored packages of support to ensure you have everything in place for the new GDPR legislation. NCVO members receive a 10% discount off the first year fee. See GDPR events by Protecture
  • ClearComm provides a GDPR portal for voluntary organisations under £1m t/o that allows your organisation to stay compliant.

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