Making a Subject Access Request

​​​​​​​​​​​The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to protect the rights of individuals when organisations process information about them. The GDPR applies to all personal data, whether processed on computer, closed-circuit television, manual filing records, microfiche or any other means, and sets out rules relating to the collection, processing and disclosure of personal data.

The GDPR provides individuals with a number of rights over their personal data. A full list of those rights can be found on our Privacy Notice. The most common of the rights, is the ability to access information held about yourself by any organisation. This is known as a 'Subject Access Request'.

A Subject Access Request allows an individual to be provided with all information that relates to him or her that they are entitled to. Some information may be 'exempt' and therefore an individual will not be entitled to that information. In the rare occurrences that this happens, you will be told the exemption that is being used. The updated Data Protection Act 2018 provides a list of exemptions that may apply.

What is personal data?

  • Personal data is any information that relates to an individual. That individual must be identified or identifiable either directly or indirectly from one or more identifiers or from factors specific to the individual. 
  • Special categories of personal data these categories of data merit extra protection under the terms of the GDPR because they are more sensitive in nature and therefore require a higher level of protection. Special categories of personal data can include data about an individual's ethnic origin, political opinion, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data (where this is used for identification purposes), health data, sex life or sexual orientation.

If you wish to know what information (if any) the College holds about you, you can make a Subject Access Request by contacting us and outlining what information you are seeking. To ensure you provide us with the necessary information for us to process your request, please use our  'Subject Access Request Form'. The frequently asked questions below have been collated to help you complete this process. You should submit your request to the Data Protection Officer (DPO) at the College via post or email.  If you have further questions or would like to speak to someone about your request, please email the DPO with your contact details for a call back at:

How much does it cost?

In most cases subject access request will be free of charge.

However, where a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive a charge of a reasonable fee for the administrative costs of complying with the request may be made.

How long will it take?

By law we must act on your subject access request without undue delay and at the latest within one month of receipt.

The time limit will be calculated from the day after we receive the request (whether the day after is a working day or not) until the corresponding calendar date in the next month.

How can I access my data held on National databases e.g Police National Database (PND) National DNA database, Police National Computer (PNC), Ident1?

The College of Policing does not own or hold this information. Your local police force will be able to assist you with this type of request. Requests to access any records about you that may be held on the Police National Computer should be directed to the ACPO Criminal Record Office.

What do I do with my completed form?

You can send your completed form to:

Data Protection Officer,
College of Policing,
Central House
Beckwith Knowle
Otley Road

Or email it to us at

Can I use subject access to obtain someone else's record?

No, the purpose of the right to access personal data under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 is a right of the 'data subject' only. A data subject is the person who is the subject of the data that is held.

In some circumstances personal data regarding individuals may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, the application of this is limited. For further advice please refer to the Information Commissioner's Office guidance on the application of s40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (personal data).

How can I prove my identity?

To ensure we only disclose information to those who are entitled to it, we require proof of ID and proof of address (one of which must show your current address).

Proof of ID - any one from the following list:

  • Passport
  • Driver's licence
  • Government-issue photo identification
  • National Insurance card
  • NHS card
  • Other identity card, e.g. union membership
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Credit or bank card
  • Birth certificate


Proof of residence - any one from the following list:

  • Rent card/book
  • Benefit book
  • Council Tax bill
  • Utility bill within the last three months
  • Credit or bank card statement within the last three months
  • Letter from a Government department

Please send photocopies, scans or clear photographs of your documents. Please assume that the originals will not be required unless we tell you otherwise. ​

Who processes my application?

A member of the Legal Services team will process your request under the direction of the College Data Protection Officer. The Legal Services team will contact personnel or departments listed within your request to ascertain whether any information is held about you and, if so, will obtain that information for processing in line with your request.

Please note that the College of Policing are entitled to ask for information that we reasonably need to find the personal data covered by the request. We will not be able to comply with your subject access request until we have received sufficient information with which to process your request.

How do I get my reply sent to an address, which is different to my ‘Home Address’ on the application form?

This can be arranged, providing you enclose a letter of authority signed by yourself, detailing where you want the reply sent and including relevant dates, if appropriate.

Can someone request a Subject Access disclosure on my behalf?

Yes, if you provide written and signed authorisation. This is known as a 'third party authority'

Can I request more than one copy of my disclosure document?

​You may request additional copies of the disclosure bundle. A charge of a reasonable fee may be requested for any further copies. This fee is based on the administrative costs to us of providing you with subsequent copies.

The information on my Subject Access disclosure is incorrect – who should I contact?

Great care is taken to ensure that a thorough search for information is conducted before we issue a response to an individual. If you feel that the information provided is inaccurate in any way, you can contact us and we will work with you to reach a resolution. All data accuracy enquiries are handled by the Data Protection Officer who can be contacted via the email or postal address above.

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