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Guidelines - Collection of Personal Information Notification Statements

Guidelines – Collection of Personal Information Notification Statements

When Athabasca University (AU) collects personal information directly from an individual, the Freedom of Information and Privacy and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. F-25 requires AU to inform the person of:
  • the purpose for which the information is being collected
  • the specific legal authority for the collection and,
  • the title, business address and business telephone number of an officer or employee of AU who can answer the individual's questions about the collection.

Once an individual is informed (in print or verbally), there is no need to provide further notification statements to that individual when they contact you or you contact them unless the purpose or use of that personal information changes. If the purpose or use of that personal information changes, you will then need to notify that individual again.

Notification Statements

The three components of a notification statement are:

1. Purpose

Clearly state why the personal information is being collected and how it will be used.

Some examples of purpose statements are:

  • The personal information collected on this form will be used for the purpose of processing your request for library materials.
  • The personal information collected on this form will be used for the purpose of processing your payment(s).

2. Authority

Section 33(c) of the FOIP Act states that no personal information may be collected by or for a public body unless:

  • the collection of that information is expressly authorized by or under an Act of Alberta or Canada,
  • that information is collected for the purposes of law enforcement, or
  • that information relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the public body.

AU's legal authority to collect personal information is generally the Post-Secondary Learning Act, S.A. 2003, c. P-19.5 and section 33(c) of the FOIP Act. In some situations, it may be another Act of Alberta or Canada, such as Canada's Income Tax Act.


An example of an authority statement is:

  • This information is collected under the authority of the Post-Secondary Learning Act, S.A. 2003, c. P-19.5 that mandates the programs and services offered by AU and section 33 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.A. 2000 c. F-25.

3. Contact

The title, business address and business telephone number of an officer or employee of AU who can answer questions an individual has about the collection and use of personal information must be included in the notification statement.

If the business address is already printed on the form, you may consider listing only the title of an officer or employee, and business telephone number in the notification statement.

An example of a contact statement is:

  • Supervisor, Academic Records, Athabasca University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB Canada T9S 3A3 Telephone: (780) 675–6100. Toll Free: 1-800-788-9041.

Placement and Use of Notification Statements

1. Forms (print, electronic, voice)

Every form that collects personal information must have a notification statement. The notification may be placed directly on the form collecting the personal information or on a separate sheet or in a brochure accompanying a form. It is recommended that the notification be placed directly on the form, preferably at the top of the form. For electronic forms, it is recommended having a notification box appear before the individual accesses the form. For Telephone touch-tone forms, it is recommended a notification statement be provided before the individual accesses the form.

2. Telephone or In–person

A notification may be given verbally over the telephone or in–person. When notification is given verbally, ensure that the individual is fully informed of the purpose(s). If confirmation of a telephone collection of personal information is required, follow up with a mailing or handout of the notification statement.

3. Notices on the wall or desk

A notification may be placed on the wall or desk when personal information is being collected in–person from an individual. It is recommended copies of the notification be available for distribution upon request from individuals.

4. E-mail

If personal information is being collected by e-mail a notification must be provided in the e-mail if it is the initial collection of that personal information. If the personal information being collected by e-mail is only to verify or correct personal information, then no notification statement is necessary.

5. Fax

If personal information is being collected by fax a notification must be provided in the fax if it is the initial collection of that personal information. If the personal information being collected by fax is only to verify or correct personal information, then no notification statement is necessary.

Examples of Notification Statements

FORM – Undergraduate General Application

The personal information collected on this form and any other personal information collected and maintained as part of a student's record will be used for the purposes of admission, registration, issuing income tax receipts, scholarships and awards, convocating, sending educational information and for university research and planning. Certain personal information will also be disclosed to Statistics Canada (as required by the Statistics Act, R.S. 1985, c. S-19) and Alberta Advanced Education (as required by the Post-Secondary Learning Act, S.A. 2003, c. P-19.5) to meet reporting requirements, and by agreement, to the Athabasca University Students' Association and the Athabasca University Alumni Association for the purposes of membership, fee collection and contacting students. This information is collected under the authority of the Post-Secondary Learning Act that mandates the programs and services offered by Athabasca University and section 33 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, R.S.A. 2000, C. F-25. It will be protected by the provisions of the FOIP Act. If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information, contact Supervisor, Academic Records, Athabasca University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB Canada T9S 3A3 Telephone: (780) 675–6100/Toll Free: 1-800-788-9041.

FORM – Visa, MasterCard or American Express

The personal information collected on this form will be used for the purpose of processing payments, and is collected under the authority of section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. F-25. If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information, contact the Senior Accountant, Athabasca University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB Canada T9S 3A3 Telephone (780) 675–6100/Toll Free: 1-800-788-9041.

FORM – Library Information Desk Request

The personal information collected on this form will be used for the purpose of processing your request for library materials(s). This personal information is collected under the authority of section 33 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.A. 2000, C. F-25. If you have any question about the collection and use of this information, contact the Director, Library Services, Athabasca University. Telephone (780) 675–6254/Toll Free: 1-800-788-9041 ext. 6254.

PHONE – Library Information Desk requests received over the phone

New Library Patrons

"To register you with the library, I need the following personal information from you."

Registered Library Patrons

"To process your request for library materials, I need the following personal information from you."
"To check the due dates of your library materials, I need the following personal information from you."
"To check the status of your request for library materials, I need the following personal information from you."

PHONE – Information Centre request for information over the phone

"To send you a viewbook, I need the following personal information from you."
"To check your midterm exam mark, I need the following personal information from you."

E-MAIL– Staff using e-mail to collect personal information.

To ensure the library sends your library materials to the correct address, please e-mail back the address you wish to have the library material sent to.

FAX – Staff using fax to collect personal information

The library received your request for library materials. To process this request, the Library needs your student number and address.


Office of the University Secretariat, January 2006

Updated May 30 2014 by Office of the University Secretariat

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