Privacy Notice

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when the POA, collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • visitors to our websites
  • people who use our services, eg when members use our forums
  • people who send us an enquiry or an email
  • people who notify us under the the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act
  • job applicants and our current and former employees

Visitors to our websites

When someone visits we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Use of cookies by the POA.

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

The table below explains the cookies we use and why.

Cookie Name Purpose More info
Google Analytics _utma
These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. Click here for an overview of privacy at Google
Members forum cookies Vannilla
These cookies is used to for visitors accessing the members forum. This cookie is essential to the operation of the forum software.  
Content Management System cookie PHPSESSID    This cookie is set by our content management system upon arrival to the website. It is not used by the POA for any purpose. This cookie is deleted when a user closes their browser.     


Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit

YouTube & Vimeo cookies

We occasionally embed videos from YouTube and Vimeo. This may set cookies on your computer once you click on the YouTube video player. To find out more please visit YouTube’s embedding videos information page.

People who contact us through the website, by email

When we receive a message from a person we will hold a record of the enquiry, either answering it directly or forwarding it to the appropriate person within the POA for that person to answer it. This normally contains the identity of the enquirer and any other individuals involved in the enquiry.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the enquiry and to check on the level of service we provide.

We usually have to disclose the enquirer’s identity and certain other details to whoever will answer the enquiry. This is inevitable where, for example, the town of residence needs to be known in order to provide an accurate response. If an enquirer doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle an enquiry on an anonymous basis, especially if the nature of the enquiry is a complaint.

We will keep personal information contained in files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for a maximum of four years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

Job applicants, current and former POA employees

When individuals apply to work on a paid or voluntary basis at the POA, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it will then be destroyed or deleted. We may retain de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

Complaints or queries

The POA tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of our collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.

Information held about members registering for access to the password protected areas of the website

Some parts of the POA website are restricted to those members / employees of the POA. On rare occasions, such access may be granted to partner agencies. In such cases, a record will be kept of registration information, including email address, job title and contact details. By completing the registration form for access to the password protected areas, the registrant is giving permission for these details to be held on record.

Access to personal information

The POA tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. If we do hold information about you we will:

•    give you a description of it; 
•    tell you why we are holding it; 
•    tell you who it could be disclosed to; and 
•    let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to the POA for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing to the address provided below.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the address below.

Disclosure of personal information

In many circumstances we will not disclose personal data without consent. However when we investigate a complaint, for example, we may need to share personal information with  a partner agency if the complaint relates to them.

You can also get further information on:

•    circumstances where we can pass on personal data without consent; 
•    our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete personal data; and 
•    how we check that the information we hold is accurate and up to date.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 15th April 2024.

How to contact us

Requests for information about our privacy policy can be emailed to or by writing to:

The Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers
Cronin House
245 Church Street
N9 9HW

POA Headquarters

Cronin House
245 Church Street
N9 9HW

Telephone: 020 8803 0255

Membership enquiries:
General enquiries:

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.