Legal and privacy statements

Privacy Statement

Last update: 18 July 2018

Who we are 

British Council is a proud co-owner of IELTS.  

This Privacy Statement describes how we collect and use your personal information that we obtain when you apply to sit an IELTS test. 

Data shared amongst the IELTS Partners

IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. 

IELTS test centres managed by the British Council exist in more than 100 countries in over 800 test locations, across the world.

IELTS may share any relevant information from your IELTS application or test with the other IELTS partners (The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English) for purposes such as administering the IELTS test, reviewing IELTS test results for statistical and fraud detection purposes, or accommodating changes in your preference as to test centre location.

The IELTS partners may forward any enquiries you have to the other joint partner of the IELTS test (The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English) in accordance with your expressed preference (e.g. when you make a general enquiry about IELTS or about sitting an IELTS test).

Types of Information collected: 

For IELTS Testing

If you apply to undertake, or have undertaken, an assessment service provided by, or through, the IELTS partners we will collect personal details such as name, postal and email addresses, date of birth, gender, contact details, languages, country of nationality, residency status, education qualifications, national identity card number, passport details, employment history occupation, information required for visa application and professional memberships.
This will include copies of documents you provide to us as proof of identity – e.g. copies of your passport or national identity card, proof of citizenship or photographs of you when you apply to sit the IELTS test.

We may also hold Sensitive Information about individuals including:

  • medical information (which you may provide to obtain special consideration in relation to your testing);
  • biometric information for IELTS test takers who provide a finger scan as part of the Identity Authentication Management (IAM) for the IELTS test (a copy of - your finger scan is held in the form of a Binary Large Object (BLOB); and 
  • racial or ethnic origin (from information on your country of origin).  

In the case of individuals who have completed an assessment service provided by, or through, the IELTS partners, results achieved by the individual will also be held.

In other Dealings with the IELTS partners:

We may also collect personal details such as name, postal and email addresses, contact details, languages, country of nationality, education qualifications, occupation, and professional memberships if you:

  • register your interest in being engaged as consultants, or individuals who have been, or are currently, engaged as consultants on projects/programs managed by the IELTS partners (or the IELTS partners together with other organisations); and
  • register to participate in an event organised, managed or presented by the IELTS partners, whether in its own right, or under contract for another organisation.
  • provide your contact information to receive information on the services we provide on IELTS and IELTS related product and services. 

Purposes

We collect your Personal information to allow us to: 

  • administer your IELTS test;
  • inform you of and provide you with information on the services we provide (including events and opportunities to participate in projects/programs);
  • use your information in an anonymous form, for informational, research, statistical and training purposes for the development of Cambridge Assessment English examinations;
  • manage our internal business operations; and
  • respond to your questions.

Legal Basis for Processing your personal data 

We will only process personal data where we have a lawful basis to do so. The basis for processing your personal data varies depending on the activity we collected it for. In some occurrences, we may have more than one lawful basis for processing.

The information below summarises the basis on which the IELTS partners  process personal information:

Contract

IELTS partners process personal data which is necessary for the performance of a contract for your IELTS test. This includes, but not limited to, IELTS registration, identity checks, test administration.

Legal Obligation

IELTS partners process personal data which is necessary to comply with legal obligations. This includes, but not limited to, providing personal information to regulators, law enforcement agencies and statutory bodies.

Legitimate Interest

IELTS partners process personal data in order to meet our legitimate interests as a global provider of the IELTS test. This includes, but is not limited to responding to general enquiries, supporting test takers, preventing fraudulent activity and improving our services.

Consent

IELTS partners process personal data where you have provided your consent to do so. For example where your personal data is used for Marketing purposes.  You may withdraw consent at any time.

Special Category personal data (also known as sensitive personal data) processing

IELTS partners will process Special Category personal data under the following legal bases:

Explicit Consent 

IELTS partners process personal data with your explicit consent when you provide a biometric finger scan and also where medical information is provided to support requests for special arrangements to be made in relation to your IELTS testing.

Equality of opportunity monitoring

IELTS partners process special category personal data to monitoring equality of opportunity provision.  Any such outputs from this processing would be aggregated and not identify specific individuals.

Special category data will only be shared on a strict need to know basis in line with the individual IELTS partner security policy.

Recipients of personal data 

We also use other organisations to process your personal information in order to carry out services on our behalf.

We use them to:

  • Provide customer service, surveys and marketing
  • Personalise our services
  • Process payments
  • Carry out fraud and other legal investigations

Where we use another organisation, we make sure that your personal information is protected and remains in our control. 

Disclosure

The IELTS partners may disclose the relevant information from your IELTS application or test with: 

  • educational institutions, IELTS test centres, governments (including visa processing authorities), or professional bodies and commercial organisations that recognise IELTS scores
  • with regulatory authorities for verification purposes, to protect the IELTS test and its stakeholders or where legally required;
  • in certain situations, share personal information to government bodies and law enforcement bodies.

Where we do share personal information with these types of organisations we’ll make sure it’s protected, so far as it is reasonably possible.

Retention of personal data

We retain your details for as long as they are needed for the relevant purposes listed in the Purposes section. When retaining information for the purpose of administering the IELTS test

     - all test results and records relating to your registration and sitting of the test are held for 3 years after your most recent test result. 

     - Finger scan data is retained as a binary large object file for 60 days after your test date.

We may also retain certain records for other legitimate reasons (including after your relationship with the IELTS partner(s) has ended), for example to resolve any potential disputes, to comply with other reporting and retention obligations, or for the prevention of fraud. 

Your rights in relation to your personal data

If you want a copy of the personal data contained in your IELTS application form please contact ielts@cambridgeenglish.org.

If you want a copy of your finger scan, it can only be provided as a Binary Large Object (BLOB) and the request must be made to ielts@britishcouncil.org.

For further details on exercising your rights in relation to personal data processed by the IELTS partners please see the links to their individual privacy policies below.

Detailed privacy policies

Each IELTS partner has a detailed privacy policy which give further information on how you can exercise your rights in respect of your personal data under the law.

The privacy and data protection policies of the IELTS partners are detailed as follows:

Website usage and other information collected on this website

By accessing and using this site you consent to the IELTS partners’ Privacy Policy without limitation or qualification. 
The IELTS partners’ Privacy Policy applies solely to information collected by us and may differ from the policies of other companies’ or organisations’ websites that you link to from this website. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of any other companies’ or organisations’ website that you link to from our website.

Cookies

Please be aware that we use cookies on our website. We use cookies to track the interests of our users so that we can subsequently enhance their experience on our website. If your browser rejects a cookie, you may still use our website.

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website without storing any personally identifiable information about you. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive.

Cookies used on this website

We use essential cookies which are those used for processes such as check-out and shopping baskets, and non-essential cookies are used for analytical purposes like counting the traffic on the site. 

Name Lifetime
SSESSb716308d93d16ba71699b26c536fc3b1 (Session cookie) 24 days
__ar_v4 1 year
_ga 2.5 years
has_js When the browsing session ends
ki_r 5 years 
ki_s 5 years
ki_t 5 years
ki_u 5 years
lang 1 year

Most of the cookies that we use are "analytical" cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around the site when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily. None of our cookies store any personal information such as your name or address.

Cookies set up by Sharing Tools

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that many of our websites now carry embedded ‘share’ buttons to enable users of the site to easily share articles with their friends through a number of popular social networks. These sites may set a cookie when you are also logged in to their service. The IELTS owners do not control the dissemination of these cookies and you should check the relevant third party website for more information about these.

Turning off Cookies

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. Below are links to the 'Help' pages of major browsers which explain how you can do this. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site or any other websites that you visit:

Except for essential cookies, all cookies will expire after a period of time.

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