SUSI Data Protection Statement

Who We Are

The Student Grant Scheme is administered by the SUSI Unit of City of Dublin Education Training Board (CDETB) as the student grant awarding authority designated by the Minister for Education and Skills under the Student Support Act 2011. CDETB is the Data Controller for student grant applications under the Student Grant Scheme.

The Information you provide: what we use it for and who we share it with

We process information that you or other parties to this application (for example, parents/ guardians, partners, spouses of applicant students) provide to assess your eligibility for or entitlement to student financial support in a particular academic year.

The categories of personal data provided by you and collected by SUSI for the purpose assessment are:

  • name, address and contact details, date of birth, PPS number
  • gender, marital and family status
  • nationality
  • details of previous and current/future education
  • employment details
  • bank details
  • name, address and contact details, PPS number of parent/guardian
  • marital and family status of parent/guardian
  • employment details of parent/guardian
  • details of income of parent/guardian

 

As part of conducting that assessment, we may share some or all of the data that you or other parties to this application provide with other Government bodies and agencies set out in Schedule 2 of the Student Support Act 2011, including the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and further and higher education institutions. The purposes for such information sharing include:

  • verification of student identity and Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) ,
  • obtaining of additional information to decide whether the applicant is eligible for a student grant,
  • to assist in processing the application and processing the payment of the grant,
  • processing and adjudication of any appeal to the Student Grants Appeals Board ,
  • verifying that the student has registered on and is continuing to attend an approved course in an approved institution,
  • the prevention and detection of fraud, including the provision of information to support criminal investigations or prosecutions.

The application process requires you and other parties to the application to provide contact information. We will use this information contact you for the following purposes:

  • to contact you or other parties to the application about the application,
  • to administer the application,
  • to administer any grant payments that we determine by this application you may be entitled to.

In order to support efficient processing of the application, we may also need to share this contact information with other organisations such as the Department of Education and Skills or other student grant awarding bodies for validation and to ensure SUSI can access data necessary to process grant applications. The list of organisations we share information with is in the next section. Purposes for sharing information include:

  • clarifying eligibility for a grant,
  • to ensure accurate interpretation of the relevant grant scheme,
  • sharing information that is necessary to ensure the operation of a grant scheme,
  • ensuring you are provided with the appropriate financial support.

 

Use of External Data Sources

To assist in the evaluation and processing of grant applications, SUSI may also receive data from other Government bodies and agencies as set out in Schedule 2 of the Student Support Act 2011. Data may be received in batch transfers or on a case by case basis. We may use this data to confirm the accuracy of information provided by applicants or to replace legacy paper-based data sources to improve the timeliness and efficiency of application processing. These external sources include:

SourcePurposeFormat
General Register Office (GRO)Validation of date of birth and nationality for applicants born in Ireland prior to 2005Batch
Department of Education and SkillsPost Primary Pupil Database is used to validate residency requirements for grant applications.Batch
Revenue CommissionersConfirmation of employment/self-employment income details (where available)Batch
Department of Social ProtectionTo validate information where applicants and parties to applications indicate they are in receipt of social welfare paymentsDirect Access
Department of AgricultureTo validate information where applicants and parties to applications indicate they are in receipt of income from farmingBatch
QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)To verify information regarding applicant’s prior education and/or equivalence of qualifications from other jurisdictionsCase by Case requests
Higher Education Authority (HEA)To verify and validate details of previous academic historyBatch
Other grant awarding authorities (Local Authorities and Education and Training Boards)To verify and validate details of previous grant support historyBatch and Case by Case requests
TUSLA – the child and family agencyTo assist in the identification and processing of applications by persons in receipt of certain State paymentsBatch
CAO- Central Application OfficeTo assist in the identification of accepted college placesBatch

Consent and Enquiry Handling

It is necessary to process certain personal data provided by the applicant and other individuals connected to them or related to them in order to correctly assess entitlement to student support funding. Therefore the process of applying for a student grant and providing personal data to SUSI for that purpose constitutes consent to the processing of that data.

To ensure efficient, accurate, and equitable processing of applications, we may take into account any information provided that related household members have applied for student support. If an applicant provides information that another party to the application or member of the household is also an applicant for, or is in receipt of, a student grant, SUSI will record the link using applicants’ PPS numbers in order to assist efficiency and consistency in processing of grant applications.

You or other parties to your application can contact the SUSI support centre to make enquiries about the status of an application. In order to facilitate such enquiries, you consent to SUSI sharing information about the status of your application with other parties to the application. Contact centre staff will ask verification questions to ensure that we only share information with a party to the application.

We will not provide personal data of a party to an application to other parties to the application. We will limit the information that we share to the status of the application and clarification of any outstanding supporting documentation or actions that are required to progress the application. In circumstances where disclosure of such information to another party to the application is not desired for personal reasons, the applicant should alert SUSI to this so that we can put appropriate controls in place on a case by case basis.

In circumstances where a third party (not a party to the application) requests information, personal data will not be shared without the written consent of the subject of the information.

Pursuant to Section 3 and Section 4 of the Data Protections Acts, individuals may access their personal data and request a copy of their data held by SUSI.

Data Retention & Processing

SUSI will keep the data provided on a secure Students Grants Database for the purpose of on-going administration, audit and review. Audits will involve matching sample data sets provided by applicants and parties to the applications. SUSI will not keep personal data for any longer than is necessary and/or as required by law, whether under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 or otherwise. SUSI may share the data submitted via the application process with authorised agents or third parties who act on behalf of SUSI pursuant to a contractual relationship. SUSI continues to be the Data Controller for this data and these authorised agents act as Data Processors on our behalf. Such agents or third parties are only permitted to use the personal data as instructed by SUSI. They are also required to keep the data safe and secure.

Applicants and parties to applications may speak to employees of SUSI (or agents acting on its behalf) by telephone. To ensure that SUSI provides a quality service, the telephone conversations may be recorded. SUSI will treat the recorded information as confidential and will only use it for staff training/quality control purposes, and for confirming details of the conversations with SUSI. If applicants and parties to applications requests that SUSI communicates with him/her by email, the applicant is solely responsible for the security and integrity of their own email account. The transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure and consequently, while SUSI will take all reasonable security measures, it cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of information being passed via the Internet; any transmission is entirely at the applicants own risk.

Security

Records of all personal information are stored in centralised databases (including computerised and manual files) in the SUSI data centres which are located in Ireland. SUSI take appropriate security measures against unauthorised access to, or alteration, disclosure or destruction of the data and against their accidental loss or destruction.

Use of Cookies

‘Cookies’ are small text files that may be written to a website user’s computer for a variety of purposes. See AllAboutCookies.org for more information on them and how to control them. Consent is required where the cookies being written are not essential for the ‘Information Age Service’ being availed of.

The GrantsOnline.ie system makes use of Cookies when users have accessed the secure application pages (https://grantsonline.ie). The cookies which are written are essential for the Information Age service. They control the security of user sessions, support accessibility settings for visually impaired users, and support translation of the user interface for applicants submitting applications in the Irish language. No cookies are written when visitors arrive on the landing page (www.grantsonline.ie)