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Service policies

Please find our relevant service policies and procedures below

The Exeter Access Centre provides high-quality Study Needs Assessment Reports for all students who meet the criteria for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).   Whilst we are based within the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, our service is available to students applying to study with any Higher Education Provider (HEP) in the UK.

Exeter Access Centre is based within the University of Exeter. The "University" is a data controller and is committed to protecting your personal data and working in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation. Your data is collected so we can offer you a professional service and to ensure you receive appropriate advice and support, so you can make the most of your academic studies. This privacy notice explains how Exeter Access Centre processes and uses the personal data we collect from you.

What data do we hold?

Exeter Access Centre may hold data relating to you from a number of sources. The majority of data we hold is provided by you, either before your DSA assessment or during your contact with Exeter Access Centre. This may include any forms you complete for us, medical evidence/diagnosis of a disability, your study needs assessment reports, appointment details, calls and emails, and information about any other service contacts. From time to time, we can also be sent information from your higher education provider and medical records from GPs, Mental Health practitioners and other healthcare professionals.

Our records include:

  • Personal Identifiers and Biographical Information – for example your customer reference number and your date of birth
  • Contact Details – for example your address, email address and telephone number
  • Sensitive personal data -for example, details of why you would like to seek support from Exeter Access Centre, details of a disability or specific learning difficulty, details of support you may have had in the past and notes written by practitioners following assessment or after other contacts with us
  • Dates of your contact and assessment(s)
  • Financial data – record of recommendations for hardship and retention regarding contributions to equipment £200 laptop surcharge
  • Family Details – for example details of other family members with whom you have given us consent to liaise

How do we use your data?

Exeter Access Centre primarily uses your data as part of your DSA assessment and to offer you services that meet your particular access needs.  Examples include:

  • Offering you the appropriate appointment to discuss your needs and requirements
  • Emailing you information before your assessment
  • Assessing your disability related needs to recommend support provided by DSA including assistive technology and non-medical helper provision
  • Sending you your Study Needs Assessment report including information on how to set up support

These activities are essential to our service offering and all communications are intended to be respectful and sensitive to students seeking a DSA assessment from Exeter Access Centre. Communications may be sent to you by telephone, text, email, post or other electronic means (for example through Skype,

Exeter Access Centre also collects routine statistical information about each assessment made which is later anonymised and analysed for audit and evaluation purposes.  This information may subsequently be summarised and interpreted in an Annual Report. The utmost care is taken to ensure no individually identifiable information is disclosed.

How will we share your data?

Personal information conveyed to us will not be disclosed to other University staff or external organisations without your explicit and informed written consent (other than in exceptional circumstances as outlined in our confidentiality policy). You will be asked to sign a consent form, where you can confirm whom we may or may not contact.

In order to help you in your studies, Exeter Access Centre may contact academic and support staff at your chosen University of study. We may liaise with a range of external professionals (for example a psychologist or other health practitioner) so that we can provide integrated and effective support for students. You may withhold your permission for us to share information but this may affect the level of support Exeter Access Centre is able to offer you.

Any student attending Exeter Access Centre will be asked to complete a number of forms required by the Disabled Students’ Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG). One of these forms is a ‘Consent for Sensitive Personal Data Processing’ request. The request for your consent specifically relates to DSA-QAG’s requirement for information or documentation relating to students’ DSA assessment. The form explains what type of information is required and states how this information is vital in auditing the service on an annual basis. Please note that you have the right to refuse to give your consent for this form.

How do we protect your data?

Any information disclosed to Exeter Access Centre is stored within the University of Exeter’s Access Centre drive, SID system and Access database. The databases are accessible to all practitioners, managers and administrative staff working within Exeter Access Centre.  However, some practitioners within the service will have limited access to information, if it is deemed they do not require it for their job role. All staff who access the databases have completed the University’s data protection training or equivalent.

Any routine statistical information for service reports is anonymised before analysis.

In most instances, we will keep your data on our database for 7 years, following our last year of contact with you. This is to ensure that we can support you throughout your studies and afterwards should you continue on to post-graduate study. If you send us any information ahead of your assessment but do not go onto attend your assessment, your information will be stored on our database for a maximum of 18 months.

Your rights and preferences

If you ask us to delete your data, we will consider this on a case by case basis but will be unable to remove all records of your data and contact with Exeter Access Centre for compliance and audit requirements.

You have the right to:

  • Ask to see, correct or delete the data we hold about you
  • Object to specific data uses, as described above
  • Ask for the transfer of your data electronically to a third party

You can request these rights by contacting the University’s Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO is responsible for monitoring compliance with relevant legislation in relation to personal data and can be contacted at You can also contact the DPO if you have any queries or concerns about the Exeter Access Centre processing of your personal data. You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at

Further Information

This Privacy Notice will be kept under review and will be formally reviewed on a yearly basis. Any changes will be updated on our website and communicated to you as appropriate. This Privacy Notice was last updated in May 2018.

If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice please do not hesitate to contact us on 01392 01392 723880.

The Exeter Access Centre Team is committed to the highest standards of professional practice and adhere closely to the ethical frameworks of our respective professional bodies.

We aim to offer you a first-class service that meets your particular access needs. We hold the dignity and privacy of all the students accessing our support in high regard and recognise the importance of confidentiality in all our dealings with you.

We protect any information about your individual circumstances that you choose to share with us. In line with the requirement of data protection legislation, your personal information will be treated respectfully and sensitively and only shared with other members of Wellbeing Services on a "need to know" basis.

Personal information conveyed to us will not be disclosed without your explicit and informed written consent; you will be asked to sign a consent to liaise form, where you can confirm whom we may or may not contact. We may liaise with a range of external professionals so that we can recommend integrated and effective support for students. You may withhold your permission for us to share information but this may affect the level of support you receive. 

We keep computer-based records of all the information you provide. This enables us to offer you a professional service and to ensure you receive appropriate advice and support. All personal and sensitive data is processed according to the requirements of data protection legislation.

We will keep your data on our database for 7 years, following our last year of contact with you. This is to ensure that we can support you throughout your studies and afterwards should you continue on to post-graduate study. We also have to ensure data is kept on file for compliance reasons and statistical reporting.

Exceptional circumstances

There are rare instances when we are unable to maintain our commitment to confidentiality. In such circumstances we would aim to discuss with you first our reasons for considering an extension of confidentiality to include relevant others.

Exceptions to confidentiality occur when:

  • A member of the Access Centre has good reason to believe that you or others may be at risk of serious harm. The assessor may believe that you are not in a position to take responsibility for your actions.
  • A member of the team would be liable to civil or criminal court procedures if relevant information was not disclosed.

In such circumstances, additional information is kept to a minimum and only disclosed to relevant others on a "need to know" basis

Should you wish to explore further any queries arising from this statement, please contact the Exeter Access Centre.

Cancelling in advance

If you are unable to attend your pre-booked Study Needs Assessment interview, please contact the Exeter Access Centre as soon as possible, but at least within 24 hours of the appointment, as we may be able to offer it to someone who is waiting for an assessment.

Cancellation on the day or non-attendance

We kindly ask that, where possible, you give us notice of a cancellation or non-attendance as we may be able to offer the appointment to someone else.

Thank you for your consideration and contribution to the smooth running of our service.

We hope that you will feel your contact with the Exeter Access Centre is positive but, if not, we welcome comments that might help us improve our services.

Initial contact

In the first instance please contact Lizzie Sherwood, Exeter Access Centre Manager.

Phone: 01392 723880


We will make an initial response within 5 working days.

Unresolved issues

If you find that your issue or complaint has not been resolved through this process, and you are a student of University of Exeter, please follow the University of Exeter complaints procedure; this can be found on the main website under Complaints and Appeals

For further concerns, or if you are a student who is not studying at the University of Exeter, please contact DSA-QAG for further advice. 

Central Chambers
Suite 350, 4th Floor
93 Hope Street
Glasgow G2 6LD

Telephone : 0141 227 6771