1,100 council staff get training after biggest changes in 20 years to data protection laws

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More than 1,100 people have attended training courses after the council underwent the ‘biggest change to data protection law in over 20 years’.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy committee has outlined the changes it has had to make to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

The UK repealed the Data Protection Act 1998 and replaced it with the 2018 version earlier this year as GDPR came into force in May.

A report produced for the committee said the move was ‘the biggest change to data protection in over 20 years’ and that both pieces of legislation strengthened data rights.

An update on measures taken by the council to ensure GDPR compliance was provided to the committee, including new staff training measures.

Hayley Martin, interim chief solicitor at the council, said: “Throughout May and the beginning of June, staff were requested to attend GDPR training, this training was mandatory.

“Approximately, 1100 people attended the training.

“Blue collar workers will receive a GDPR Briefing Sheet, which details the changes and how to keep data safe.”

Due to the data protection changes the council has also examined how they interact with and record information from clients, completed an information audit and updated existing governance policies.

The council is also finalising contract variants and reviewing and amending consent forms if not GDPR compliant, and has updated its own data protection policy.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service