Golden rules for information sharing

The golden rules for information sharing is non-statutory advice that the Government has developed for all front-line practitioners and senior managers working with children, young people, parents and carers who are making decisions about sharing personal information. The advice helps to clarify current legislation around data protection and makes it very clear that information sharing is an essential part of safeguarding. They can be summarised as:

  • Golden Rules
  • Obtain consent to share where appropriate
  • Liaise if the information is inaccurate or unreliable
  • Don't share more than is necessary
  • Ensure the information is shared securely and safely
  • Necessitate the reason for sharing information
  • Record what information is shared
  • Unsure? Check with manager or information sharing specialist
  • Legitimate reason for sharing information
  • Establish the requestor's identity
  • Suspect a breach? Report it immediately

Where possible share with consent of the individual, but remember you may still share information without consent if in your judgement that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest, for example:

  • Safeguarding children
  • Protecting other vulnerable people
  • Preventing the commission of criminal offences
  • Bringing offenders to justice

Consider safety and well-being. Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others (immediate family, wider community, national security) who may be affected.

Useful links

Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners

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