Most of the work undertaken by the IISaM project covered support for organisations that were planning to share personal information on an ongoing basis. However, there are many occasions when front line practitioners and their managers need to make information sharing decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Some good practice and guidance resources in support of this are listed below. The key to making a success of these procedures is to:
- Provide clarity within your organisation or partnership about the approach to be followed
- Give priority to supporting staff when they are faced with these decisions
- Provide ongoing training and monitoring
The question to consider is:
- Can you always specify in advance exactly what personal information to share, when to share it and with whom?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then the information sharing can be pre planned using the resources found elsewhere on this site.
If the answer is ‘no’, then the information sharing should be decided on a case-by-case basis and the resources below will support this.
- The ICO’s data sharing code of practice is a key resource that contains the most comprehensive advice on ad hoc information sharing.
- The ICO data sharing checklist also gives key points to consider under the following headings:
- Is the sharing justified?
- Do you have the power to share?
- If you decide to share, record your decision
Further guidance is available at the Department of Education website for those practitioners working with children and families. This was developed through the Every Child Matters programme and is supported by a programme of workshops and training sessions. This guidance is now well-known and remains current best practice.