Reach the summit with GDPR success

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I attended a great free seminar on understanding general data protection regulation (GDPR) last week at Derby County Football Club! It was sponsored by Burton on Trent based Alexander Accountancy as part of their business workshops in association with The Alternative Board Derby and delivered by Adam Gilbert, Partner and Head of Corporate & Commercial from Burton on Trent based Else Solicitors.

Now, truthfully I expected my eyes to glaze over, as I thought that I would find this topic far too dry and complicated to understand however, I was very pleasantly surprised! Adam was engaging from the word go! He broke down this dreaded buzzword into plain simple English and what steps we must take to become fully GDPR compliant. I walked away feeling very confident and relieved that I did not have to retrain as a lawyer to understand GDPR. I felt fully prepared and equipped in taking the first steps towards making my own business GDPR compliant and actually felt excited by it!

It’s important to stress that even if you are a freelancer or a start-up, you are NOT exempt from GDPR so please don’t think you can turn a blind eye to it and ignore it.

I would love to share with you a few very important facts that I learnt from the seminar;

What does it affect?

Any information that is linked to a person is classed as data i.e. name, address, medical records, date of birth, training records etc.

GDPR may also affect aspects of your day to day processes that you did not expect for example website submission forms to clients requesting quotes on your website!

Who does it affect?

It affects anyone who holds data that is linked to a person; this includes sole traders, freelancers like myself, SME’s to large corporate businesses. No one is exempt.

There are lots of positives!

Yes, there is no hiding or running away from it, the date of 25th May 2018 is quickly looming upon us but there is no need to dread it. Becoming GDPR compliant will feel like climbing a mountain but with clear steps outlined on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website that you must first conquer, the view from the top will be worth it to ensure the reputational success of your business.

See it as a great opportunity that will push us to all tighten up our business processes, re-engage with our customers and clients and work smarter. It will be a clear win win outcome, not only will the ICO be happy but your business will be fully GDPR compliant with cleansed data on a shiny new slate to go forward on!

You MUST MUST MUST attend a GDPR seminar!

You can get the full low down on GDPR through the ICO website but I would really recommend that you also attend a seminar as it can still feel rather overwhelming when faced with a lot of information on your computer screen as well as deciphering what applies to your business and what does not. These seminars, particularly the one that I attended was delivered excellently making what would ordinarily be a very dry, overwhelming and complicated topic easy to digest and absorb.

It is important to remember that there is not one GDPR rule that fits all businesses of any size and industry. There are lots of variables and considerations to make. You must treat your business individually by looking at what YOUR business does and how you process data. Your chosen seminar will provide you with have lots of opportunity to ask questions specific to your business and once you have gained an understanding of how your business processes data, what data GDPR affects etc, its then when you can start climbing the steady climb to reach the summit of GDPR compliancy success!

Most importantly, attending a GDPR seminar will be the first step in demonstrating awareness of making your business GDPR compliant.

The ICO are here to help, not to catch you out!

The ICO are here to help you so don’t be afraid of them as they are not out to ‘get’ you. They are here every step of the way to help you become GDPR compliant so visit www.ico.org.uk to find out what steps you must take to become GDPR compliant.

Finally, a big thank you to Adam Gilbert from Else Solicitors and Alexander Accountancy for a very informative and engaging seminar at a great venue!