The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25th 2018. Below is a summary of the work that we’ve been undertaking to ensure our organisation is ready and prepared.


What information are we talking about? 

Personal information is any information that can be used to identify you. However, the information we hold on you and how we use it is based on our relationship with you as a member, or contact, of the PSA. 


How do we use it?

There are no secrets when it comes down to how we use your personal data. In short, we will use three lawful purposes under the regulation for processing your information depending on the relationship we have with you. 


1. Fulfilling the Membership Contract

As a member of the PSA you’ve entered into a contract with us to deliver benefits and services which form part of the membership package. To do this we need to process your information and communicate with you.  We will always act upon your choice of how you’d like to receive these communications (for example by email, post or phone where appropriate) but these essential communications are required to fulfil our promise to you as a member. Examples include:

  • Renewal reminders
  • Direct debit processing  
  • Association Magazine and journals 
  • Notices of PSA meetings 
  • Essential newsletters relating to the aims, values and objectives of the PSA
  • We will never knowingly share your data with a third party other than in order to fulfil our contractual obligations to you e.g. conducting member research


2. Our Legitimate interests 

The General Data Protection Regulation allows for direct marketing to be a legitimate interest so long as we have balanced our interests against your new rights and freedoms under the regulation and what you would reasonably expect based on our relationship with you.  However, you have an absolute right to object to such marketing which we will always respect. Examples here include:

  • Newsletters sent via post to prospective/non-members, subscribers or those individuals who have expressed an interest in the objectives of the PSA
  • Events flyers for upcoming events that may be of interest 
  • Promotional items relating to the benefits of becoming a PSA member


3. Your opt-in consent

There may be times where we do need your consent in order to process your information and communicate with you; particularly via electronic means such as email.

  • Newsletters sent via email to prospective/non-members, subscribers or those individuals who have expressed an interest in the objectives of the PSA.
  • Events flyers sent via email for upcoming events and webinars of interest 
  • Promotional items sent via email relating to the benefits of becoming a PSA member


You are in control 

You have control over your data and your preferences. You can contact us at any time to request or change the data we hold on you and to change the way you want to be contacted.  To enable us to do this, please log into the ‘My membership’ area and select the aspects of the Association you are particularly interested in hearing about.  To login please do so here-/user.

If you have any problems, please contact my colleague Sydney Budgeon at

In order to ensure that the PSA is fully compliant with the new regulations all the PSA staff are taking part in a training course next week led by a data protection expert. Following that a new PSA privacy policy and statement will be posted on our website. We also expect the interpretation and implementation of the regulations to evolve over time and we will need to ensure that any changes we decide to make, foe example as a consequence of the current membership survey, are consistent with these. We will therefore ensure that you are kept up to date with developments as they affect you and are happy to receive any comments or queries from members in this respect. 


Yours sincerely, 

Phil Sooben, CEO Political Studies Association