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Guidelines Checklist for Review of Athabasca University Forms That Collect Personal Information

Guidelines – Checklist for Review of Athabasca University Forms That Collect Personal Information

When Athabasca University (AU) collects personal information directly from an individual, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. F-25, requires AU to inform the individual of:

  • the purpose for which the information is collected
  • the specific legal authority for the collection
  • the title, business address and business telephone of an officer or employee of AU who can answer the individual's questions about the collection

All AU forms that collect personal information must be reviewed to ensure they comply with the FOIP Act. Forms should be reviewed and revised at every reordering or reprinting stage.

What personal information is being collected and why

Review each form and determine what personal information is being collected and why. For each piece of personal information being collected ask why it is being collected. Include on the form or on a separate sheet, a definition statement for each piece of personal information that clearly states what and why each piece of personal information is being collected.

Purpose for which the information is collected

Once a definition statement for each piece of personal information being collected is completed, determine the purpose or purposes for which the personal information will be used. In most cases the purpose(s) will be the same as the definition statement for that piece of personal information.

Legal Authority for the Collection

Determine what is the authorization for collection of the personal information on the form.

The FOP Act allows for only the following authorizations:

  • collection specially authorized by an enactment of Alberta or Canada
  • collection for the purpose of law enforcement
  • collection relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the public body

If the collection is authorized by an enactment of Alberta or Canada, that particular enactment must be stated.

If the collection is related directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of AU, the Post-Secondary Learning Act, S.A. 2003, c. P-19.5 and the FOIP Act (Section 33 (c)) will be stated.

Contact Information

Determine what position will be responsible for answering questions about the collection and use of the personal information. It is suggested to use only a position title, instead of employee name on the form.

If the address is already on the form, you may just list the title of the position and telephone number.  

Example of a definition sheet

Personal information requested on AU's Undergraduate General Application Form:

  1. Name: Identification of documents and records
  2. Former Name: Identification of documents and records
  3. Mailing Name: Identification of documents and records
  4. Mailing Address: University mailing purposes
  5. Email Address: Contacting purposes
  6. Telephone: Contacting purposes
  7. Are you a person with a disability? Optional question to identify if student requires assistance and what aids AU can provide
  8. Gender: University research and planning
  9. Current Occupation: Used to determine the 10 year restriction on transfer credit
  10. Date of Birth: Admission and identification purposes
  11. Citizenship: Admission
  12. Are you an aboriginal person? Optional question for University aggregate reporting
  13. Level of education: Admission, transfer, evaluation, and enrolment purposes
  14. S.I.N.: For funded students authorizing AU to act on their behalf with provincial student funding and/or financial institutions

Example of determined purposes

Purposes for the collection of the personal information requested on AU's Undergraduate General Application Form include:

  • Admission
  • Registration
  • Issuing income tax receipts
  • Scholarships and awards
  • Convocating
  • Sending education materials
  • University research and planning
  • Reporting to Statistics Canada and Alberta Learning
  • Athabasca University Student Association
  • Athabasca University Alumni Association

Office of the University Secretariat, January 2006

Updated May 30 2014 by Office of the University Secretariat

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