GMLPN GDPR Event by Brian Cowan
The Greater Manchester Learning Partner Network (GMLPN) hosted this event for their members at the Blackley Golf Club on December 14th. Keytech were joined by Attain Digital Marketing and Stephensons Solicitors, to deliver presentations on practical steps to take for GDPR preparation. The presentations were received well and included some excellent and challenging questions from the audience.
Established in 2006 the GMLPN is a network of over 100 independent training providers, colleges of further education, schools and universities. They work alongside key partners; the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, New Economy, Job Centre Plus and local authorities to achieve an ever closer alignment between the needs of employers, individuals, communities and the suppliers of skills. The GMLPN is an inclusive network, with membership available to organisations who operate in Greater Manchester which includes independent training providers, general FE Colleges and employers.
Richard Nash, the Business Development and Network Manager from the GMLPN team approached Keytech after hearing about our November GDPR event, delivered at the DW Stadium in Wigan. As a result, a similar schedule of presentations was arranged for this event, provided by Keytech, Attain Digital Marketing and Stephensons Solicitors.
The GMLPN GDPR event
The event opened with a welcome talk from Andy Fawcett, Co-Executive Director for GMLPN. This provided the delegates, all specialists in education, with an understanding of why they were about to hear from Solicitors, Marketing experts and IT specialists.
Stuart Crook, a specialist in Data Protection Law at Stephensons Solicitors, provided the audience with a correlation between the changes in information management laws under GDPR and the practical steps that organisations should take to address them. GDPR has a major impact on HR and the retention of information on staff and students. Stuart’s presentation resulted in several questions in this regard and discussion both with the panel of speakers and among the audience. There were several GMLPN members present that had researched GDPR and had a good understanding of the subject that made for some very testing questions.
The area of consent attracted a great deal of comment and how this affected the relationship between education organisations, students and parents. The following link provides a document from the EU working party for Article 29, covering this topic. WP29-Guidelines-Consent
Danny Parker of Attain Digital then explained how EU GDPR changes the way that organisation can use contact information for general business and marketing purposes. As Managing Director at Attain, Danny is leading his own organisation through the GDPR preparation process whilst also advising customers on theirs. As a result, his knowledge and experience provided the audience with a depth of understanding and application. Delegates at this GMLPN GDPR event were provided with the theory and practical aspects of communications in a post-GDPR world. This led to several questions around how the organisations present would be able to communicate and market themselves. It also raised an interesting discussion on what is marketing, compared to customer service communication.
The final presentation was delivered by Keytech’s Chief Technical Officer, Andy Pilkington. This covered the importance of protecting personal information from cyber crime, IT failures and human error. There was a strong focus on the need to train staff to make them aware of data protection. Keytech regularly run training courses for customer staff and the outcome is always positive from both management who reduce the risks to their business data, and staff who can take the lessons learned and apply them to their personal and home life.
This presentation also covered the Cyber Essentials program, one of the very few certifications that an organisation can gain that counts towards GDPR compliance. Since 2014, this has been a mandatory requirement for organisations bidding for UK government contracts where sensitive personal is involved.
Following the presentations, the speakers sat with groups of delegates for an open discussion over lunch. This proved very informative for the delegates and also the speakers who gained valuable insights into information management demands in education. Despite the adverse weather, this was a well attended and lively event. A great deal of credit is due to the organisers for their GMLPN GDPR event, and to those who braved the snow and icy roads to attend it.