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Privacy Policy

Welcome to the British Foundation for International Reconstructive Surgery and Training’s privacy notice.


Who we are

We are the British Foundation for International Reconstructive Surgery and Training (BFIRST). Our registered company number is 8176873 and our registered charity number is 1154315. Our registered office address is Royal College of Surgeons, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE.


Purpose and scope of this privacy notice

BFIRST respects your privacy and is committed to maintaining your personal information in accordance with the requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal data is kept secure against unauthorised access, loss, disclosure or destruction.

This privacy notice will inform you as to how we collect and look after your personal data. It will also help to explain your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

Our Privacy Notice applies to the administering of memberships and the general supply products and services offered by BFIRST. Separate privacy notices relating to prospective and current employees are available from the BFIRST Committee.


Our role in collecting or using your personal data

We are obliged to tell you that BFIRST acts as a “data controller”. This refers to a specific legal term which signals that we collect personal data and we retain control over how it is used.


Why we need to collect, use and share personal data

BFIRST is a charitable organisation.

BFIRST supports projects across the developing world to train surgeons in their local environment to effectively manage devastating injuries. BFIRST also supports surgeons in the developing world by offering fellowship opportunities within the UK.


What types of personal data collected, shared and used

To further our aims, we collect and use personal data. The kind of personal data that we use can be described as follows.

  • Data which identifies you. This includes your first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender, Medical Council or Registration Number, photograph.
  • Data which expresses your personal preferences. This includes dietary requirements.
  • Data used to contact you. This includes your billing address, delivery address, email address and telephone numbers.
  • Data used for financial transactions. This includes bank account and payment card details.
  • Data to facilitate transactions between us. This includes details about payments to and from you; and other details of membership benefits, products and services.
  • Technical Data associated with your use of our website. This includes your internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website.
  • Profile Data. This includes your username and password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses.
  • Usage Data. This includes information about how you use our website, products and services.
  • Marketing and Communications Data. This includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.

We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.

We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.


How your personal data is collected

We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:

  • Direct interactions. You will give us your identity, contact and financial data when you apply for fellowships, to volunteer or donate to us by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:
    • ask for products or services;
    • become a volunteer for us;
    • subscribe to our publications;
    • request marketing to be sent to you;
    • enter a promotion or survey; or
    • give us some feedback.
  • Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our website, we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies. We may also receive Technical Data about you if you visit other websites employing our cookies. Please see our cookie policy. Third parties or publicly available sources.


How we use your personal data

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the membership contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

Generally we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sending third party direct marketing communications to you via email or text message. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by contacting us.


Purposes for which we will use your personal data

We will process your personal data in ways that enable us to run our operations and manage our relationship with you effectively, lawfully and appropriately, as well as to comply with any legal requirements.

Personal information provided to us (name, address, email, phone number, etc.) will be used for the purposes outlined at the time of collection or registration, in accordance with the preferences you express, and can be processed by us for a number of different purposes including:

  • Administration/coordination of volunteers;
  • fulfilment of orders for goods and services requested, including registration for educational courses and other events
  • communication about membership, events and other activities that we think may be of interest to you;
  • grant and bursaries applications;
  • administration of donations and legacies;
  • research and statistical analysis;
  • ensuring that all marketing communications you receive from us are relevant, such as tailoring messaging to our existing members and customers and potential members and customers to reflect their interests;
  • complying with legal and regulatory requirements;
  • verifying your identity when you contact BFIRST.

We will also collect your information where you only partially complete and/or abandon any information inputted into our website and/or other online forms and may use this information to contact you to remind you to complete any outstanding information and/or for marketing purposes.


Justifications for using your data

What we are doing / why

What kind of data is involved (see references above)

Why we think we have a lawful reason to do this.




To administer and protect the business of BFIRST, to include the management of our website (which may include troubleshooting, testing, system maintenance, reporting and hosting of data

  • Contact data
  • Technical Data associated with your use of our website
  • Because we have a legitimate interest in running the organisation, managing administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation.


To deliver relevant website content and advertisements to you and to measure or understand the effectiveness of the advertising we use on the website

  • Technical Data associated with your use of our website Data which identifies you


  • Because we have a legitimate interest in supporting and informing our membership, and developing the organisation

To use data analytics to improve our website, membership services, marketing, membership relationships and experiences

  • Technical Data associated with your use of our website
  • Because we have a legitimate interest in running the organisation, managing administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation.


To coordinate volunteers

  • Data which identifies you
  • Contact data
  • Because we have a legitimate interest in running the organisation and managing administration.

To deal with administration and awarding of bursaries and grants

  • Data which identifies you
  • Contact data
  • Because we have a legitimate interest in analysing any request for a grant to make a decision in relation to the same.


 If in the future we intend to process your personal data for a purpose other than that for which it was collected, we will provide you with information on that new purpose and any other relevant information.

We will hold your information only for as long as necessary for each purpose we use it.


Your Marketing Preferences

BFIRST always acts upon your choices around what type of communications you want to receive and how you want to receive them. However, there are some communications that need to happen regardless of your marketing preferences. These are what we would describe as essential communications to fulfil our promises to you as a member of BFIRST or a buyer of goods or services from us. We may therefore use your identity, contact, technical, usage and profile data for the following:

  • Membership-related mailings
  • Communications about events you have registered to attend, etc.
  • Administering bursary applications you may have made

We will ask for your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any company or charity outside BFIRST for marketing purposes.

You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by contacting us. When you opt out in this way, this will not apply to personal data provided to us as a result of your membership with BFIRST.



Where we are processing data based on your consent, we will ensure that you are as fully informed as possible at the time as to how your personal information will be used, with whom it may be shared and how long we will keep it. This is in line with the requirements of the current data protection legislation.

If you have provided consent for the processing of your data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time, which will not affect the lawfulness of the processing before your consent was withdrawn.


Your rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and The Data Protection Act (DPA) you have a number of rights with regard to your personal data. You have the right to request from us access to and rectification or erasure of your personal data, the right to restrict processing, object to processing as well as, in certain circumstances, the right to data portability. Your rights are set out in more detail here.


Your role in helping us to manage your personal data properly

It is important that the personal data that we hold about you is up to date and accurate. Please keep us informed of any changes to the information you supply to us.

If you fail to supply us with up to date personal data that is necessary for the administration of your membership (or is otherwise required as a matter of law) then we may need to review whether we can continue with your membership.


Contacting us

To ensure that we process your personal data properly, we have appointed a data privacy manager.

If, at any time, you wish to update or amend your personal data or preferences, or exercise your legal rights concerning personal data or if you have concerns as to how your data is processed, please write to:

The Data Privacy Manager

35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields


You also have to right to ask us, in writing, for a copy of all personal data held about you (this is known as a ‘subject access request’). A copy will be sent to you as soon as possible and no later than 30 days after your request.

If you wish to raise any complaints on how we have handled your personal data, please contact us, and we will investigate the matter and notify you of our findings and any remedial action taken.  If you are not satisfied with our response or believe that we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).


Sharing your personal information

BFIRST may use external third parties to process your personal information on its behalf in accordance with the purposes outlined above.

BFIRST may share your personal information with the following groups for the purposes set out in the table above.

  • BFIRST employees and volunteers
  • Event participants and/or exhibitors at our educational courses or scientific meetings
  • Organisers of other relevant events we feel might be of interest to you.
  • HM Revenue & Customs, regulators and other authorities acting as processors or joint controllers based in the United Kingdom who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.
  • Third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

In limited and necessary circumstances, your information may be transferred outside of the EEA or to an international organisation to comply with any legal or contractual requirements. In such circumstances, we will put in place safeguards, such as the use of encryption, to ensure the security of your data.


Links to third party websites

This privacy policy applies solely to the personal data collected by BFIRST and does not apply to third party websites and services that are not under our control.

We cannot be held responsible for the privacy policies of third party websites and we advise users to read the privacy policies of other websites before registering any personal data.



Cookies are small text files which are transferred from our website and stored on your computer/device. We use cookies to help us provide you with a personalised service, and to help make our website, applications and services better for you.

You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when websites set or access cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this website may become inaccessible or not function properly.


Change of purpose

We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us.

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.


Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures 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 employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. 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 personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.


Data retention

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are available in our retention policy which you can request from us by contacting us.

By law we have to keep basic information about our customers (including your contact, identity, financial and transaction data) for six years after they cease being customers for tax purposes.

In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data pursuant to your legal rights (see here for details)

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.


Changes to our Privacy Notice

We may change our Privacy Notice from time to time. However, we will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Notice. We will always update this Privacy Notice on our website, so please try to read it when you visit the website.