The General Dental Council (“Council”) has a telephone system in the Customer Advice and Information Centre (“Centre”) that is capable of recording conversations. Like many other organisations, this is a standard practice that allows the recording of telephone calls for quality monitoring, training, compliance and security purposes.
All calls received into the Customer Advice and Information Centre will be recorded by the General Dental Council and will be retained for a period of six months. These recordings will only be used for the purposes specified in this policy. If calls are transferred from the Centre to a Council member staff, the call recording will cease to act once the call is successfully transferred.
Council employees may on occasion also have calls they receive recorded by an external research firm conducting a mystery shopping programme on behalf of the Council, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence or other partner organisation. The purpose of these mystery shopping programmes is to independently evaluate our customer service standards. These organisations will conduct these research programmes, including recording of calls with the appropriate safeguards, within the legislative framework detailed in paragraph 5 and the memorandums of understanding between them and the Council.
Purpose of this telephone recording policy
In order to maintain high standards and protect the public and staff we need to record all telephone calls received into the Customer Advice and Information Centre and retain them for a limited period of time.
We shall ensure that the use of these recordings is fair and that we comply with the requirements of the relevant legislation. This includes:
- The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000;
- The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications Regulations) 2000;
- The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999;
- The Data Protection Act 1998; and
- The Human Rights Act 1998.
Scope of policy
All calls call made to the Customer Advice and Information Centre will be recorded. Under normal circumstances a call will not be retrieved or monitored unless:
- It is necessary to investigate a complaint;
- It is part of a management 'spot check' that customer service standards are being met;
- There is a threat to the health and safety of staff or visitors or for the prevention or detection of crime;
- It is necessary to check compliance with regulatory procedures; or
- It will aid standards in call handling through use in training and coaching our staff. However, this will only be permitted if the recording is edited so that the caller remains anonymous and the member of staff who was party to the call agrees to its being used in this way.
If it becomes clear that a communication is private or the person making the call says that they do not wish to have their call recorded, the call recording will be stopped.
Personal data collected in the course of recording activities will be processed fairly and lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. It will be:
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive;
- Used for the purpose(s) stated in this policy only and not used for any other purposes;
- Accessible only to managerial staff after securing permission from the Head of Secretariat;
- Treated confidentially;
- Stored securely; and
- Not kept for longer than necessary and will be securely destroyed once the issue(s) in question have been resolved.
Advising callers that calls are being monitored/recorded
Where call recording facilities are being used we will inform the caller that their call is being monitored/recorded for quality / training purposes so that they have the opportunity to consent by continuing with the call or hanging up.
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