Data protection for alumni and supporters of RCSI

The statement below explains how RCSI ('we' and 'our') handles and uses the personal data we collect about our alumni and our past, current and future supporters, whether donors, volunteers, or attendees at events that we organise ('you' and 'your').

Developing a better understanding of our alumni and supporters allows us to keep in touch with you, in order to keep you aware of our activities and developments, to provide services to you, and to identify ways in which you can support us, through donations or other forms of financial and non-financial support.

Personal data that we hold

We may hold information relating to you from a number of sources. A significant proportion of the information we hold on alumni is that which you provide to us (for example, you may give us information by filling in forms on the website, or by corresponding with us by telephone, email or otherwise).

If you studied at RCSI, some of your personal data is transferred from your student record to the alumni database.

Most records contain:

  • details of your education (e.g. the courses you have completed, dates of study)
  • unique personal identifiers and biographical information (e.g. student number, date of birth)
  • your contact details (and we update these whenever you let us know that they have changed)
  • details of your interactions with RCSI, including: your membership of clubs, societies and associations, your attendance at RCSI events, including any photographs, audio or video recordings other contact with us (as listed below)
  • details of benefits and services provided to you your relationships with other alumni or supporters of RCSI
  • details about your family (e.g. your marital status, the name of your partner or spouse)
  • personal data provided by you for a specific purpose (e.g. disability and dietary preferences for event management purposes)
  • your communication preferences, to help us provide tailored and relevant communications

We also record, where applicable, based on information which you provide to us and, in some cases, publicly available information (as listed below) financial information relating to you and your family, including:

  • your history of donations made to RCSI
  • your ability and willingness to make donations, including our assessment of your income and whether particular donations or funding appeals may be of interest to you
  • your career highlights and other life achievements
  • information about your areas of interest

How we use your data

Your data is used by us for a number of interdependent purposes in support of alumni relations, communications and fundraising.

These include:

  • sending you publications (e.g. alumni magazines and updates about RCSI)
  • conducting surveys, including research on when and whether particular donations or funding appeals may be of interest to you
  • providing services, including access to RCSI facilities
  • sending you tailored proposals, appeals and requests for donations
  • sending you details of volunteering opportunities
  • inviting you to alumni and other RCSI events
  • the promotion of other opportunities and services available to you
  • internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints
  • administrative purposes (e.g. in order to process a donation you have made or to administer an event you have registered for or attended)

Before seeking or accepting major donations we are required to conduct due diligence, including reviewing publicly available personal data relating to the donor's criminal convictions and offences.

Communications to you may be sent by post, telephone or electronic means (principally by email), depending on the contact details we hold, the consent that you have provided, and the preferences expressed by you about the types of communications you wish to receive. If you have concerns or queries about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us using the details listed below.

We may use automated or manual analyses to link data together to help us identify your potential for supporting RCSI, to provide you with an improved experience, to send you communications which are relevant and timely, to identify volunteering opportunities or opportunities for providing support which may be of interest to you, and to avoid approaching you with opportunities which are not of interest. All of this enables us to raise more funds sooner and more cost-effectively in support of RCSI’s strategic objectives.

We always seek to ensure that any opportunities we present are aligned with your interests, based on the research we conduct. We will always respect a request by you to stop processing your personal data, and in addition your statutory rights are set out below.

When we share your data with others

We share data on a considered and confidential basis, where appropriate, with affiliated organisations and individuals which support and provide services to alumni and supporters, such as:

  • associations for which we help manage events that you attend
  • third parties engaged by the RCSI to provide fundraising related services, such as consultants advising us on individuals’ capacity to donate
  • other contractors providing services to you on our behalf or services to us

How we protect your data

We ensure we have appropriate data sharing agreements in place before sharing your personal data. We do not sell your personal data to third parties under any circumstances. We also facilitate communication between individual alumni, but in doing so we do not release personal contact details without prior permission.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • ask us for access to, or rectification or erasure of your data
  • restrict processing (pending correction or deletion)
  • object to communications or direct marketing
  • ask for the transfer of your data electronically to a third party (data portability)

Further information

The legal basis for processing your personal data for the interdependent purposes set out above is that it is necessary for the pursuit of our legitimate interests. We always handle your personal data securely and minimise its use, and there is no overriding prejudice to you by using your personal information for these purposes. In addition, there is no statutory or contractual requirement for you to provide us with any personal data.

The controller for your personal data is the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and we can be contacted at Our Data Protection Officer is responsible for monitoring compliance with relevant legislation in relation to the protection of personal data.

Please contact us at if you have any concerns or questions about the above information or you wish to ask us not to process your personal data for particular purposes. Where you have specific requests relating to how we manage your data, we will endeavour to resolve these, but please note that there may be circumstances where we cannot comply with specific requests. We will retain your data in support of your lifelong relationship with RCSI or until you request us to do otherwise.

Where you exercise your right to erasure, we will continue to maintain a core set of personal data (name, subject(s), and graduation details, unique identification number and date of birth) to ensure we do not contact you inadvertently in future, and to maintain your academic record for archive purposes. We may also need to retain some financial records about you for statutory purposes (e.g. anti-fraud and accounting matters).