PROBE Network Limited is committed to protecting your privacy and data. We will use the information that we collect about you and from you in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
Who we are
The PROBE Network is a worldwide alliance of people and organisations who share a commitment to the promotion and support of Business Excellence. They have in common that they are involved with some aspects of the development and/or deployment of the ‘PROBE’ best practice benchmarking tools to help businesses to better understand and improve their business practices and performance, and/or the use of data generated through these tools for policy, research and educational purposes.
‘We’ are PROBE Network Limited, the organising hub of the worldwide PROBE Network, supporting benchmarking activities worldwide. PROBE Network Ltd is a training and development organisation for Business Improvement Specialists, specialising in benchmarking and diagnostic assessments; and a management organisation, managing the development and operation of the PROBE best practice benchmarking programme.
PROBE Network Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, Company Number 8656748.
Our mission is to support the transformation of businesses and organisations into world class performers through enabling Business Improvement Specialists to engage with them in a knowledgeable, comprehensive, speedy, insightful and pragmatic way. We achieve this by providing members of the PROBE Network with the necessary training, accreditation, licences and mentoring support to enable them to deliver PROBE – a diagnostic assessment and benchmarking tool that unlocks the improvement capabilities within any organisation – and by developing and managing the tool itself which comprises documentation and software.
What information do we collect? And how is it used?
We collect three different categories of data, for different purposes:
(1) ‘Benchmarking Data’ relating to the performance of organisations and to the strength of those organisations’ business practices.
As the managers of the international PROBE benchmarking programme we develop and manage software that enables Business Improvement Specialists to gather, store and analyse data relating to the strengths and weaknesses of their client businesses’ practices and performance, and related ‘contextual data’ and ‘facts and figures data’ including characteristics such as products and services, country of origin, financial results, size of business. Part of the analysis is comparison (benchmarking) of the client’s data with equivalent, anonymised data from many other businesses. The contextual data includes Business Identification Data (the name of the business and of the specific business unit/site) that is accessible only to PROBE Network Limited and the PROBE Network Member (‘PROBE Licensee’) that has a client relationship with the relevant business. At their own discretion the PROBE Network Member may choose not to record their client’s Business Identification Data in the PROBE database, and to substitute a code name instead. The contextual data also includes contact details (name, e-mail address and telephone number) for one or more individuals who play specific roles within the benchmarking process on behalf of the client business.
We process and store Benchmarking Data in accordance with strict protocols that are explained in the following statement that is provided to client businesses in the PROBE documentation:
How your data will be used
The information that you give us throughout your PROBE assessment will be treated as strictly confidential. It will be used in three ways:
· Firstly, and most importantly, for an analysis which will be fed back directly to you, covering the maturity of the business’s practices and performance and pinpointing comparisons with other businesses and opportunities for improvement
· Secondly, your data will become part of the anonymous ‘background sample’ that will provide other PROBE users with benchmarking comparisons that help them to understand their own strengths and opportunities. The identity of your business will be carefully concealed before your data is used in this way
· Thirdly, for broader analysis, within which the identity of individual businesses is again carefully concealed. Such analysis enables academic research and helps to inform policy at sectoral, regional and national levels – as part of the ever-growing PROBE dataset, your data will help academic researchers and policy-makers to understand the true current status in terms of progress towards sustainable excellence.
Data from your business will not be used in any other way without your permission. In return, we ask that you respect the spirit of objectivity and confidentiality that characterises PROBE, by treating the results and report as confidential and not for release outside your business. In particular, please treat the ‘Overall Scores’ in the PROBE analysis as confidential. PROBE is intended for the purpose of enabling learning and improvement, which requires a spirit of objectivity and candour. This spirit may be undermined if individual businesses publish the scores they achieve. Please do nothing that may damage the integrity and reputation of this internationally renowned benchmarking programme. By completing the questionnaires and proceeding with the PROBE process, you are confirming that you and your organisation give your consent for your data to be retained in the PROBE database indefinitely and to be used in these ways, and agree to treat the results as ‘for your eyes only’.
Our lawful basis* for processing Benchmarking Data is that this processing is necessary for our legitimate interests as the provider of the PROBE benchmarking service to PROBE Network Members, so that they in turn can provide benchmarking services to their clients.
*For details about the lawful bases for processing data, see https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/#ib3
PROBE Network Limited is responsible for processing Benchmarking Data in the context of the PROBE benchmarking service, acting in the role of the data controller.
(2) Contact details, training and accreditation records and communications records relating to representatives of PROBE Network Members (‘PROBE licensees’) and end users of PROBE best practice benchmarking
The term ‘end user’ refers to an individual who uses the PROBE product to help client businesses to complete the PROBE best practice benchmarking process. Before operating as an end user, the individual is required to complete training and accreditation as a PROBE Facilitator. End users may be employed or contracted by a corporate PROBE Network Member, or may themselves be an individual PROBE Network Member.
We store and process data about individuals who are PROBE Network Members, and about one or more representatives of each organisation that is a PROBE Network Member, and about all individuals who operate as PROBE end users on behalf of PROBE Network Members. The information that we collect about you includes:
- Your name
- Postal address
- Telephone number(s)
- Email address
- History of our communications with you (including emails)
If you are an end user, we also store the following information:
- Record of your training and accreditation as a PROBE Facilitator
- Your permissions to use the various modules of PROBE
- Record of your use of PROBE
From time to time we send updates and newsletters via e-mail. Representatives of PROBE Network Members and all PROBE end users are included in the mailing lists for these communications. We keep a record of the updates and newsletters that we send you, and we may track whether you receive or open them so we can make sure we are sending you the most relevant information.
- It uses ‘strictly necessary’ cookies to maintain a consistent login status and connection back to the web hosted PROBE database.
- It uses ‘functionality’ cookies, to remember
a) the id of which PROBE licensee you are representing;
b) the current module of PROBE that you are using; and
c) your preferred sort sequence for the list of PROBE surveys. These are stored in local storage on modern browsers and this feature only reverts to being cookies on older or obscure versions that don’t adequately support the HTML5 standard.
The PROBE Analytical Tool does not use any ‘targeting/advertising’ cookies, or any Performance cookies.
Our lawful basis for processing contact details, training and accreditation records and communications records relating to representatives of PROBE Network Members (‘PROBE licensees’) and end users of PROBE best practice benchmarking is that this processing is necessary for our legitimate interests as the provider of the PROBE benchmarking service to PROBE Network Members and end users, so that they in turn can provide benchmarking services to their clients, and so that we can keep them up to date with issues, modifications and enhancements to PROBE and invite their feedback and suggestions.
(3) Contact details and communications records relating to other individuals who have an interest in PROBE best practice benchmarking
We maintain records of individuals who have expressed interest in PROBE best practice benchmarking and who have given their consent to be kept informed about PROBE. The information that we collect about you includes:
- Your name
- Postal address
- Telephone number(s)
- Email address
- History of our communications with you (including emails)
From time to time we send updates and newsletters via e-mail. We keep a record of the updates and newsletters that we send you, and we may track whether you receive or open them so we can make sure we are sending you the most relevant information.
Our lawful basis for processing this data is consent.
If you do not want to receive information by post or email about PROBE best practice benchmarking, you have the option to unsubscribe from the mailing list or to update your subscription preferences at any time. Links for these purposes are provided in every update/newsletter that we send, or you can contact us using the contact details at the end of this policy.
We will not share any personal details with any other third parties without your agreement, unless required in order to fulfil our contract with you, or allowed by law.
In general, third-party providers used by us will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the services they provide to us. These providers include our software development provider and the marketing automation platform and email marketing service to which we subscribe (‘MailChimp’ is a well-known example of this kind of service).
Giving you control
Unless you ask us not to, we will tell you about issues, updates and developments relating to PROBE best practice benchmarking. You can opt out from these communications at any time – every e-mail sent to you will tell you how to do this.
If you have opted out of marketing or newsletter communications, but are a user or former user of PROBE best practice benchmarking, we may still get in touch with you regarding the service that we provide to you in relation to PROBE best practice benchmarking. For example, we may email you to give you important information about the functionality of the PROBE software or updates to PROBE documentation.
How we keep your personal data safe
Your personal data will be held and processed on PROBE Network Limited’s systems (which are all located in the United kingdom) and services to which we subscribe. We use a marketing automation platform and email marketing service to hold contact details.
Your data is always held securely. Access to personal data is strictly controlled. The marketing automation platform can only be accessed by people who need access in order to do their job.
We may need to disclose your details if required to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisers.
We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.
All information is held and processed using secure technology. In order to provide a safe and secure environment for your personal information we use up to date technology with a view to protecting that information against loss, misuse or unauthorised alteration.
Changes to this policy
You have the following rights related to your personal data:
- The right to request a copy of personal information held about you
- The right to request that inaccuracies be corrected
- The right to request us to stop processing your personal data
- The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Postal address: PROBE Network Limited, Suite 38, 58 Low Friar Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5UD, United Kingdom