Emily Carr University of Art + Design policies and procedures represent the values and expectations that employees, students and visitors are to adhere to as members of the Emily Carr community.
Emily Carr University is committed to providing a learning and working environment that is characterized by respect for others, honesty and professionalism, where employees observe the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity. The below Code of Conduct provides guidance to employees on standards of conduct, ethics and integrity in support of the University's values and goals. Employees are expected to be familiar with the Code and University policies and procedures.
- Code of Conduct
Freedom of Information + Protection of Privacy
As a public body, Emily Carr University of Art + Design is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act). The Act has two main purposes, which include:
- Freedom of Information: to make public bodies more open and accountable by providing the public with a legislated right of access to records; and
- Protection of Privacy: to protect personal privacy by prohibiting the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies.
The Act therefore provides the public with a venue through which to make requests for information/records and also sets out the responsibilities of the University to protect individuals’ personal information. Anyone can make a request for records that Emily Carr has in its custody or under its control.
Records refer to all recorded information in paper and electronic form. Records that contain private, sensitive or confidential information may be withheld or severed, therefore it is important to consult with the Information + Privacy Coordinator should you receive a formal request for information.
Information + Privacy Officer
Office of the Associate Vice-President, Human Resources
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
520 East 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 0H2
Emily Carr employees must abide by the Act in their duties associated with the University. Contractors, volunteers and businesses must be advised that Emily Carr is covered under the Act as there are specific legal responsibilities to be considered by Emily Carr and its partners in education.
Employees are to be aware of the access to information and personal information privacy and protection requirements when collecting, using and disclosing personal information based on the following principles:
Key Freedom of Information Principles
- Individuals “loan” their information to Emily Carr and may request copies of or corrections to any personal information maintained by the University
- Information must be collected directly from the individual unless otherwise authorized and personal information that has been collected should be accurate and complete
- Employees should record information in an objective and professional manner and should ensure that records are retained and destroyed based on retention schedules
- Emily Carr must retain an individual’s information for at least one year if used to make a decision that directly affects the individual
- Emily Carr must provide routine public information (ex: information that would be available on the website) and personal information about the person requesting it; these are often referred to as informal requests for information
- A formal request for information occurs when an individual requests information that is not routine public information or is not information about themselves (ex: when someone requests information about a contract Emily Carr may have entered into)
- The public has the right to make formal requests and access records that Emily Carr has custody or control over and employees must respond openly, accurately and completely
- It is important to note that not all records are to be disclosed and Emily Carr must withhold from disclosure certain records as specified in the Act
- Emily Carr must provide a response within 30 days to a formal FOIPOP request, therefore employees must ensure they consult with the Information + Privacy Coordinator on requests in a timely manner
Key Privacy Protection Principles
- Individuals own their personal information and have a legal right to privacy protection
- Emily Carr may only collect information that is directly relevant and necessary to the operations of the University
- Emily Carr must notify individuals of all intended purposes for collecting the information
- Emily Carr must use or disclose information only for the original purpose identified; a purpose consistent with the original purpose; a different purpose as authorized by the individual; or a specific purpose identified in the Act
- Emily Carr must limit access to information to only those employees who need the information to perform their duties
- Employees must prevent the unauthorized disclosure of personal information and must immediately report any such disclosures to the Information + Privacy Coordinator
- Protection of public health and safety overrides protection of privacy, therefore there are certain situations when information must be disclosed
- Emily Carr must make reasonable security arrangements to protect personal information in the custody or control of the University, including ensuring that it is stored and accessed only in Canada
Information Incident / Privacy Breach
An information incident or privacy breach is a serious matter and should be reported immediately. Breaches take place when personal information is collected, accessed, used, disclosed or disposed of in ways that do not comply with the Act. If you have experienced, witnessed or are responsible for a breach of personal information, or have a complaint about how your information has been collected, used or disclosed, please contact the Information + Privacy Coordinator.
All employees are expected to complete FOIPOP training. This will be offered online before commencement of employment as part of new employee onboarding activities. For any current employee who has not received training, or who would like a refresher course, please contact the Information + Privacy Coordinator.
REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION
Emily Carr receives requests from the public for access to records. For example, the University receives requests from students, job applicants, the media, suppliers and clients for information such as salaries of senior employees, copies of contracts, selection panel records and records/emails about a student or employee. It is therefore important to record information in an objective and professional manner, retain records for appropriate time periods and destroy records at the end of their established retention periods.
When an employee is asked for access to an Emily Carr record they must make every reasonable effort to assist applicants and respond without delay openly, accurately and completely. The first step in responding is to determine if the request is informal or formal.
Informal requests for information include information readily available to the public (such as information published on the website) or personal information about the person making the request (such as an individual’s request to update their own information). It should be noted that the University will continue to charge regular fees for official transcripts or other records where an established procedures exists. If you have any questions about whether or not to release information, contact the Information + Privacy Coordinator.
Formal requests for information involve records that are not routinely available to the public, a request for personal information about someone other than the requestor, or a request for information that involves cross-departmental searches for records. Employees should refer requestors to the Information + Privacy Coordinator to conduct the search and respond.
Emily Carr has 30 days to respond to a request therefore it is imperative that all formal requests are handled in an expeditious and efficient manner. In addition, fees for formal requests may be required as per the Act.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Protection of Privacy
What is a record? A record is defined in the Act as any books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, video/audio tapes, vouchers, papers, email and any other items on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical or other means.
What constitutes personal information? The definition of personal information includes information such as: name; home address; home phone number; race; origin; colour; political or religious beliefs; age; sex; sexual orientation; marital or family status; genetic information; personal history; health; education; finances; employment histories and any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to an individual.
Can I release student contact information, timetables, attendance records or tuition information to a third party, even the parent of an underage student or a faculty member? No, not without the individual’s consent. You may disclose certain information to a faculty member if the information is required for the faculty member to perform their teaching duties. Certain exceptions apply in an emergency situation and you may contact the Information + Privacy Coordinator for further information.
Can I leave marked student reports in a publicly accessible area, or my grade book on my desk unattended? No. It is good practice to leave grade books in a secured drawer or filing cabinet to prevent unauthorized collection of personal data and to arrange for secure pick up of marked assignments.
Can I post student information in a public place such as a hallway or office door? No. Any personal and/or identifying information cannot be posted in a public place. If information must be posted, post by random student number only.
May I carry student information, grades or other personal information on my laptop or flash drive? It is best not to carry such information this way. However, in some cases, you may have Emily Carr information on your portable electronic devices and therefore you must password protect the information and encrypt it. Should the information be stolen, you are responsible for the security breach of information.
Can I store personal information collected on behalf of the University at any place other than Emily Carr? No, all information collected for University business should remain secured on campus.
Do references required by potential students or employers require individual’s permission? Reference checks must have consent from the individual prior to release of this type of personal information. The individual is normally entitled to copies of these references upon request, however certain exceptions apply. You may contact the Information + Privacy Coordinator for further information.
Freedom of Information
Do I have to release information contained in personal or confidential files? All files should be considered releasable unless one of the exemptions under the Act applies. All requests must go through the Information + Privacy Coordinator who can advise you of the process.
How does Emily Carr collect personal information from students and/or employees? The Act requires that forms used to collect personal information state the legal authority, specific purposes for collection, usage of the data and identify a person who can provide further information. Forms should also have sections to authorize release of certain information to certain third parties (i.e. Student Services to Alumni Association; HR to Bargaining Agents) if necessary.
How long must I retain records that I have created? Section 31 of the Act states that “if a public body uses an individual’s personal information to make a decision that directly affects the individual, the public body must retain that information for at least ONE YEAR after using it, so that the individual has a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to it”. All records are therefore kept for a minimum of one year and possibly more depending on the record retention policy.
I made notes during an interview with a student / potential employee. Can I withhold this information from the interviewee? No. Under the Act, this information is considered a record and must be released to the interviewee if requested, however certain exceptions may apply.
Do individuals have access to notes of selection committees for admissions / awards or notes made in the critique process of a program? Yes, as this information is considered a record and must be released if requested.
Do students have access to personal evaluation forms completed by employers who accepted students in practicum or co-operative educational placements? Yes and the employer must be advised of the Act.
Does the Act cover bargaining agents and/or union meetings? No. The Act only covers public bodies, not associations or societies. However, if Society minutes are distributed to the library or members of administration, the documents become part of the public record holdings and as such may be subject to the Act disclosure requirements. Societies (CUPE, FA, Alumni Association, Foundation Board) are covered under the Personal Information Protection Act of BC legislation.
I am responsible for recording and distributing minutes of committee meetings. Are there any precautions that I should take before distribution of the minutes? Minutes should be only a record of action taken or decisions made, therefore there should be no concerns about distribution of minutes. However, if the minutes deal with confidential (in-camera) information exceptions apply. Consult the Information + Privacy Coordinator if unsure.
Can Emily Carr release home phone numbers or contact information of faculty or staff if requested by another faculty or staff member? No. As a public employee, your name, title, work phone, work address and work email are public information and are made available to the public. However, your home phone, address and home email are considered private and your consent is required to release such information.
Emily Carr University Policies + Procedures
Policies and procedures are organized according to relevant categories. The full collection of policies and procedures is available to the right under policies according to the below categories.