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Privacy Policy

Date published

The Institution of Structural Engineers is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.

Privacy Policy

The Institution of Structural Engineers is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
This policy explains how the Institution protects your data, the information it collects and the procedures in place to safeguard your privacy.

This privacy statement applies to data collected by The Institution of Structural Engineers including that collected for IStructE Ltd and The Institution of Structural Engineers Benevolent Fund (our associated organisations).

Personal information the Institution collects about you

You can browse Institution websites without disclosing any information about yourself. The Institution uses aggregate information and statistics for the purposes of monitoring website usage in order to help develop its website and services. These statistics do not include information that can be used to identify any individual. The pages you look at and activities you undertake are recorded against an anonymous identifier. If you register with the website and log in, this anonymous activity may be automatically linked to your account, if such an association can be reliably made.

By entering your details in any field requested, such as your name, email address, postal address, telephone number or mobile number you enable The Institution of Structural Engineers and its associated organisations to provide you with the service(s) you select.

The Institution may also collect data outside the website, for example from application forms or supporting documents sent to us by post or email.  Additionally, we may keep our own records relating to member and non-member participation (for example, if you speak at an event, join a register or work on our publications or committees), so that we can better manage our activities. We will also keep records related to the governance of the Institution, including disciplinary proceedings.

How the Institution uses your personal information

When the Institution collects information from you, it will tell you the reasons for doing so. The purposes for which we use your information and the legal basis under data protection laws on which we rely to do this are explained below.

Where you have provided CONSENT

Communications about Institution products and services will normally be offered on an opt-in basis and you will be able to change your mind about receiving them at any time.  We may also collect diversity monitoring data on the basis of your consent, and this is entirely optional and your individual data kept strictly confidential. 

Where there is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT

The Institution will share your personal information with the police and other law enforcement agencies for the purpose of crime prevention or detection if the organisation requesting the data is able to demonstrate that the data will assist in the prevention or detection of crime, or that the Institution is legally obliged to disclose it. This is done on a strictly case-by-case basis and through a tightly controlled process to ensure compliance with data protection legislation.

We will also keep financial data for legally specified periods, for example data relating to Gift Aid claims and charitable donations.


We may use and process your personal information where it is necessary for us to pursue our legitimate interests for the following purposes:

To understand our membership body, and our wider constituencies.  To send professional support content to members (for example, emails from CROSS, and The Structural Engineer magazine).  To operate publishing activities, for example to keep records of contributors and reviewers.  To manage and understand your involvement (and broader patterns of involvement) in other activities and other responsibilities, e.g. media contacts, spokespeople, trainers, presenters, potential sponsors.  To keep correspondence with members for as long as may be necessary.  To keep photo libraries, e.g. of past events. To manage reasonable adjustments for exam and PRI candidates (where this involves health data, we additionally rely on the condition for processing of being a not-for-profit body carrying out a core activity restricted to our members).

Where it is required to complete or perform a CONTRACT with you

These include:
Membership, including fees, subscriptions and membership grades, your exam and interview information, information about your education and work, and your professional development.  
Products and services ordered, e.g. events and publications, library usage, hiring venue space, sponsoring an event. 

Where we are performing a PUBLIC TASK

Our Royal Charter defines our charitable objectives and grants us certain powers.  To abide by our Royal Charter, we keep a permanent register of members (past and present).  We maintain our charitable funds, and this entails keeping donor records.  We have disciplinary powers and must therefore keep records of disciplinary proceedings to ensure fairness and due diligence.

Third Parties who process your data

The Institution uses third parties to help host the website, communicate with stakeholders, power emails, etc.
Sometimes it is necessary to share your data with them in order to get these services to work well. Your data is shared only when strictly necessary and according to the safeguards and good practices detailed in this privacy policy.

Protecting your information

We have put appropriate technical and organisational security measures in place to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those who have a business need to know – be they employees or third-parties with whom we work. They will only process your personal data on our instructions, and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data breaches and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.


A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things such as your preferences or what’s in your shopping basket.

Further information about the Institution's used of Cookies.

Access your data

Under data protection legislation you are entitled to ask to see any personal information that The Institution of Structural Engineers holds about you.

To make a ‘Subject Access request’ for your personal information held by The Institution of Structural Engineers or its associated organisations, complete the Subject Access Form.

When submitting a request please be as specific as possible when describing both the information you wish to receive and its possible sources.

Data protection legislation allows the Institution to ask you for further clarification where appropriate.  Your request cannot be processed until clarification has been provided.

The Institution and its associated organisations will use the personal information you provide to reply to your request and any subsequent internal review, complaint or appeal about its handling in accordance with data protection legislation, and Institution privacy and data handling procedures. On some occasions, the Institution may need to share information with other organisations, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Information Rights Tribunal, and other legal representatives for these purposes.

A record of your request will be held on records for up to two years after it is made, or any review or appeal is complete, for the purposes of managing any subsequent correspondence and establishing and defending legal rights.


Contact the Institution about this Privacy Policy.


If you wish to complain about the Institution’s handling of your personal data, contact the Institution in the first instance, on [email protected].  If you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact The Information Commissioner’s Office.

Changes to this privacy statement

The Institution may occasionally update this statement.  We will notify members of any substantial changes to our privacy policy.