Overview

When using Report and Support, the University of York will aim to keep your information confidential where possible, meaning that only people dealing with your report would usually see a copy. There are, however, circumstances when we may decide to share your information with others. The purpose of this guidance is to provide more information on how we keep your information confidential and under what circumstances we share it with others. 

Anonymous reporting 

If you use Report and Support to report anonymously, you should not include any identifiable details about you or anyone else in your report. If you do include any such details, the University will arrange for the removal of all names and other identifying information, except as provided for in the Report and Support Privacy Notice and our separate Duty of Care Guidance. This means we will typically only be using your report for statistical purposes; to monitor patterns and inform our future work. 

Named reporting 

If you use Report and Support to make a named report then there are certain circumstances when a copy of all or part of the report will be shared with others. The entire report will be shared with the member of staff to whom the report is designated for initial response. For further information on this point, please see the Report and Support Privacy Notice. While the report you submit through Report and Support may be used towards an investigation, the University’s intention is that the reports made through Report and Support are not automatically used towards investigations and disciplinary processes. If you want your report to be investigated, then we will ask you to engage in the formal procedures, including making a separate formal statement. 

Data subject access requests 

Under data protection laws, individuals are able to make a Subject Access Request (SAR) to obtain data held by the University about them. If you make a SAR that includes a request that covers your report then you will receive a copy of your personal data in your report. If the subject of your report makes a SAR and the scope of their request covers their personal data in your report then we may be required to share information held about them unless an exemption applies. For instance, release of their data would identify you or another party named in the report. Our data protection team will try to balance our aim of protecting your confidentiality with the other person’s right to receive their personal data. 

Meetings with an appropriate member of staff

The staff who will initially contact you in response to your report are able to provide you with initial advice on the various support options available, including informal resolution. If you want to take a matter further, we can provide guidance on formal procedures. Notes will be kept of these meetings as part of a case record, whether or not the matter progresses to a formal disciplinary investigation.

Duty of Care

When you have made a report, even if you decide not to take it any further, there are certain circumstances when the University may share the report with third parties. This is usually because there are concerns for your safety or another person’s safety. More information is provided in the Duty of Care Guidance. 

Investigation 

If you make a named report, you will ordinarily have control over whether or not the matter is investigated by the University. There are certain limited circumstances when we would investigate even if you do not want us to. The key reasons are set out in the Duty of Care Guidance. If you want your report to be investigated then you will typically be asked to provide a more detailed account of your report. It is this account that would primarily be used towards a disciplinary investigation and any disciplinary hearings with the reported party. 

Disciplinary action

If an investigation takes place, one of the possible outcomes is that the matter is referred to a disciplinary hearing. While the primary account which would be used as evidence towards this would be a formal statement, there may be occasions when we will request that the original report you have made through Report and Support is disclosed as part of a disciplinary process.

There are two ways you can report something