The Society is an organisation that relies on the use of personal information to add value to its services to members. We rely on comprehensive and accurate personal information about our members and other people with whom we deal. We collect information from members and non-members so that we can provide services, manage our professional relationships, manage our business, comply with our legal obligations, communicate effectively and enhance the level of service being offered. We have systems and procedures in place to protect your privacy whenever we collect, store, use or disclose your personal information.
The main purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information are to provide services and benefits for our members and to maintain and extend our membership. Our working relationships extend to non-members and overseas affiliated organisations in addition to local and international bodies, governments, regulators, academia and other associated industries and interest groups.
What kind of personal information do we collect and hold?
'Personal information' means any information by which an individual could be identified. The personal information collected and stored by the Society includes, but is not limited to:
- Members' official and preferred names, titles, post-nominals, personal awards, address, telephone, e-mail and facsimile contact details (private and business), date of birth and gender;
- Members' qualifications, education and academic history, work experience and skills, occupation, employer information, areas of practice, areas of interest, details of complaints and consequent action;
- Financial details including credit-card numbers, bank account information, financial status of membership, and subscriptions to Society publications;
- Assessment records created when a member applies for a certain membership grade. This can include résumés, nomination forms and other information used for this purpose;
- Information required to nominate members and projects for honours and awards;
- Information from persons who participate in the Society sponsored seminars, conferences or other events and programs.
How do we collect personal information?
Most of the personal information is obtained directly from members when they complete an application for admission, readmission, concession or direct debit. Personal information may also be collected directly via communication including over the telephone, written correspondence (either in paper or electronic form) or communication via our web site.
Personal information is also collected when members are nominated for an award, invited to the grade of Fellow or Distinguished Fellow or Honorary Membership or Fellowship, or stand for election for a position on Council. Personal information also may be collected when members participate in a Society survey.
There may be occasions when personal information is received from a third party such as nomination for an honour or award, or when a complaint is made against a member. We also collect personal information about members and non-members who register for the Society events and seminars.
How do we use personal information?
We will use personal information to provide a particular product or service and to contact members about matters pertaining to membership of The Society. This includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- Assessing Membership and Fellowship proposals;
- Processing payments for applications and assessments;
- Making decisions relating to nomination or election to a position on Council or other groups formally constituted by the Society;
- Providing membership services such as The Journal and Proceedings, The Bulletin, electronic newsletters and other member benefits;
- Invitations to take part in Society events, meetings, seminars and other activities;
- Contacting Council members to distribute business papers.
We may use personal information for purposes related or ancillary to the main reason we collect it, such as:
- Internal accounting and administration;
- Regulatory reporting and compliance;
- Providing benefits to members through affiliation with other like-minded organisations; and
- Identifying other services that may be of benefit to members.
In the event of a complaint made against a member, we use the personal information provided to investigate the complaint in accordance with the Society’s rules and bylaws.
As a not-for-profit organisation, the Society may enter into sponsorship and commercial benefit partnership arrangements with third parties from time-to-time. When we enter into a sponsorship agreement, we may use personal information to provide members with information about products, services and promotions offered by our sponsors or benefit partners.
The Society does not release personal information for direct marketing.
For the purposes of improving membership services we may collect and store data about traffic on our website to gain information on, for example, the most visited web pages. This information may be used to determine what information, services and benefits are likely to be of most interest to members. This information is not considered personal information because there are no unique identifiers collected, stored or used in the process.
Disclosure of personal information
The Society may disclose personal information and sensitive information held about you to:
- Members authorised to vote on candidates elected to office bearing positions and judging committees for awards and honours;
- Members on the same committee or group;
- A person or agency when you are nominated for an honour or award;
- A membership committee or third-party panel approved by the Council to assess applications and investigate complaints.
The Society may disclose personal information when we contract out specialised functions and activities. These may include printing of renewal invoices, membership and publication subscriptions, arrears notices and conference information. We may also provide names and addresses to a mailing house to mail information to members. In these situations, we prohibit the third parties from using personal information about members except for the specific purpose for which we supply it to be used on our behalf.
Accuracy of personal information
The Society takes reasonable steps to ensure that all personal information is accurate, complete and up to date.
Access to personal information
Members have a right access their own personal information stored by the Society and to request that the information be updated or corrected as and when necessary. The request for access to personal information will be dealt within a reasonable time.
Security of personal information
The Society protects personal information from misuse and loss. The steps we take to ensure protection include the use of firewalls, encryption, anti-virus software and login and password protection. Access is restricted to authorised personnel. Hard-copy documents are physically secured through the use of restricted access facilities.
The Society will keep personal information for as long as it is needed to provide members with products and services, to preserve the historical records of the Society, or to comply with any legal requirement or anticipated legal matter for which the Society may need to preserve records. We will take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently remove personal information no longer needed.
If there is a complaint about the way the Society has collected, stored or used personal information, a complaint should be made to the Honorary Secretary of the Society.
The Honorary Secretary will endeavour to deal with the complaint and take any steps to resolve the complaint within two weeks of receiving the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved within that period we will write to the complainant setting out the status of the complaint, any further steps needed to be taken and an estimated length of time required to resolve the complaint.
Complaints should be forwarded to:
The Honorary Secretary
Royal Society of New South Wales
PO Box 576
Crows Nest NSW 1585
A written complaint must include a return address and identify the issue that is the basis for the complaint.