It is essential for counsellors to be able to keep records on clients and their sessions. These notes are confidential to the Counselling Service.
All clients using the Service will be asked to sign the back of their record card to agree to notes being kept.
The notes may record background information and key issues worked on in the sessions. These will vary in length and detail. Points of concern are also noted.
Access to Notes
Under the Data Protection Act (1998), clients have a right of access to all notes kept on them. References to, and information from, other individuals contained in the notes may not be available as protection is granted to third parties.
Clients who wish to see their file should ask their counsellor, giving a week’s notice, and will be asked to sign a release form.
The factual information entered on the record card is stored in a computer database. The Service also keeps a note of how often certain problems occur, and a total of critical incidents.
The information is used to compile anonymous statistics and for administrative purposes within Student Service only.
All notes and records are kept securely locked within the Service. As they may contain sensitive personal information, notes are filed anonymously and contain no reference to the client’s names.
In line with legal requirements all notes and records are kept for six years and then confidentially destroyed.
Record Keeping and Data Protection guidelines