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Confidentiality statement and data privacy policy

How the College uses the data and information from your training evaluation form (TEF)

Your completed TEFs provide important information to the Heads of school, trainee representatives and the College about your O&G training. Both the Specialty Education Advisory Committee (the most senior College committee dealing with training) and the Trainees’ Committee have agreed that the TEF is not only a useful source of information for the LETBs/deaneries, but also for the College’s own understanding of where there are problems as well as good practice.

TEF data will enable the College to take a more proactive approach to monitoring the quality of training, by triangulating with other data and by working with other departments to come to an overall view about a department or unit – this will be good for patient safety.

The TEF data as supplied to LETBs/deaneries will assist with their quality management arrangements, by providing an additional source of information that can be used to triangulate with other data sources such as the GMC Trainee Survey. It is expected that TEF data will be also be used by representative trainee committees.

In terms of confidentiality, your survey responses fall into two categories:

  1. Answers to multiple choice questions
  2. Free text comments on bullying and undermining behaviour

Answers to multiple choice questions

The reports we produce are aggregated from your answers to multiple choice questions and anonymised or pseudonymised before they are shared. This means that individuals are not identifiable and your answers should remain confidential.

In instances where there are only a few trainees or even a single trainee working in a unit then the aggregate data will still be shared with the Heads of School and Trainee Committee Chairs. This will mean that although the identity of the trainees completing the survey will not be shared their identity may be deduced by those in receipt of the data. This is done to ensure that all trainees have the opportunity to give feedback on their training.

Your individual answers to multiple choice questions will be accessed by, and visible only to, the RCOG ePortfolio Manager, TEF data analyst and TEC secretary. We may share individual answers to multiple choice questions within the RCOG for research purposes, but not to any other organisation or individual outside of the College.

Typically, Heads of School will look at very good and very poor results in the survey and may carry out reviews (including checking against other information they hold and talking to the trust/board, hospital or practice). In some cases this may trigger a deanery/LETB visit to the local education provider (your employer).

Summary data will also be placed in the public domain on the College website but only when the number of respondents in each group is 3 or more in order to protect the anonymity of respondents.

Free text comments raising bullying/undermining concerns

Concerns about bullying/undermining that you raise within the survey will be treated as confidential, and will not be made public by the RCOG. In the following circumstances we may share your concerns outside of the RCOG, and would seek your permission to share your identity.

First, your comments will be shared verbatim within other parts of the RCOG, the RCOG Workplace Behaviours Advisor, Heads of School and Postgraduate Deans. We won’t share your identity as standard procedure, but we will provide your training location and training level. However, if it becomes necessary, with the agreement of the Vice President (Education), we will ask your permission to share your identity with your deanery/LETB.

Secondly, if any concerns that you raise about bullying/undermining become relevant to a GMC fitness to practise investigation (in relation to another doctor, or to yourself) then we will share, upon request from the GMC, your comments with the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Directorate and you may be asked to assist the investigation.

Please also note that it is not appropriate to raise a concern about a doctor’s fitness to practise in the TEF. You should do this through the proper channels (please see the GMC’s guidance on making a complaint about a doctor) which may include going through your LEP or LETB/deanery processes.

Acting honestly and in good faith

In responding to TEF please answer honestly, transparently and in good faith. We expect doctors to follow the professional values and behaviours as laid out in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice.

RCOG Data Privacy Policy

The TEF survey is administered by the Education Department at the RCOG who can be contacted on . The TEF data will be received by the College and will not be transferred outside of the EU.

In accordance with EU and UK data protection laws, the College will process personal data, by any means (including electronically), for the purpose of providing benefits and services and to carry out its day to day business.

Under Article 6.1(f) and Article 9.2(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), the lawful basis used by the RCOG (or College) to process your personal data with regard to the TEF survey is “legitimate interests”.

The following categories of personal data will be obtained through the TEF survey:

  • Name
  • GMC Number
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Ethnic origin
  • Disability

For more information about how we handle your personal data, including the RCOG Retention Schedule (PDF), and your individual rights, please see the RCOG Privacy Policy.

You can choose to not receive communications from the College relating to our activities, products and services at any time. You also have a right to access any personal data which the College holds and also the right to correct these data and to request for the data to be erased. For further information, please contact the Data Protection Team at .

If you are unhappy with how the RCOG is processing your data, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Please see the ICO website for details or contact them directly by email to or by post:

Customer Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

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