Privacy Policy

Tropical Biology Association, 24th May 2018


The Tropical Biology Association (TBA) respects people’s privacy and has policies and procedures to ensure personal information is kept secure, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. (The Information Commissioner’s Office is the most authoritative source of information: see .) The Tropical Biology Association does not sell its mailing lists or information from its databases.

This privacy policy explains how and why we use your personal data, to make sure you stay informed and can be confident about giving us your information. We periodically review and update both the policy and our procedures.

At any time you can request details of the information the TBA holds about you and can correct any errors. You can also ask to be removed from our mailing lists or request information in particular formats (for example, pdf or printed). Just contact us.

We are open and transparent about what information we gather and how we use it. We endeavour to ensure all information is up to date and will correct any errors of which we are notified. We keep all information safe and do not retain details longer than necessary.

The Tropical Biology Association collects information about people, primarily its alumni but also those who teach on its courses and addresses, such as academic institutions and field centres. This information is held in databases in our offices in Cambridge, UK and Nairobi, Kenya which are password-protected and can only be accessed by TBA staff.

The information is used primarily in connection with the TBA’s aims as set out in our Memorandum and Articles of Association. The key ones in this respect are:




The Tropical Biology Association does not share or make available personal information on its contacts, alumni, applicants, participants, teachers or others in its databases except as necessary to carry out its activities, as outlined below, and to fulfil its aims or to meet legal obligations.

Who we are

The Tropical Biology Association (TBA, “we”, “us”, “our”) is a limited company registered in England and Wales (Company No. 05827864) and a registered charity (no. 1116111). We have an office in Kenya, Nairobi. Our privacy and data protection policy relates to the activities of both offices, and to those of any other offices we may use.

The details that the Tropical Biology Association collects and processes

We collect and keep contact details, especially names, addresses including email addresses, and telephone numbers, and we record what information we send you and how and when. Most information is obtained directly from you, by asking you to fill in forms (including on SurveyMonkey and similar), or face-to-face but we may supplement this with publicly-available information, from sources such as an institution’s websites.

For alumni (those who have participated in our courses) we retain information on academic background, qualifications obtained, courses attended and information on work done. This enables us to maintain the network of alumni and also helps us, for example, when we are asked to provide references for alumni. We may ask for feedback from those who have participated in our courses and use this in publicity and publications.

For people who have taught or may teach on our courses we will hold details of their academic background, institutional address, areas of expertise and courses taught on.

When we take photographs, including video, of people and activities on our courses we ask permission to use these in our publicity and publications, including on websites, Facebook and social media.

For our institutional members we hold details of when they joined, what information they would like to receive, who to contact regarding renewals, and other details necessary to the administration of their membership of the Tropical Biology Association.

For applicants for job vacancies we gather personal information from CVs, letters of application and interviews. We only retain these for successful applicants – we do not keep CVs ‘on file’.

For our employees we hold personnel records (securely) with details of terms and conditions of employment (including salaries and pension), bank information, and other details required by law or relevant to the administration of staff.

How the Tropical Biology Association uses the information it holds

We’ll only use your personal data on relevant lawful grounds as permitted by the EU General Data Protection Regulation, Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulation and associated legislation.

Your personal data may be collected and used to help us deliver our charitable activities, including running courses and workshops and maintaining a network of biologists active in the field of tropical biology and conservation, help us raise funds, or complete your order or request. In doing so, your data will be used in a clear and transparent manner which we will explain at the time of collection or registration where appropriate, in accordance with any preferences you express.

The Tropical Biology Association will share personal data as needed with its staff in its offices in Cambridge, UK and Nairobi, Kenya, and with staff based elsewhere to carry out the TBA activities detailed below in the next sections. Some information will also be shared as needed with third parties, for example, travel agents, providers of accommodation, or mailing houses. In these instances we require that third parties only use the data for the intended purposes, do not hold onto it unnecessarily and keep it secure.

Most personal data is stored and used within TBA and is not made publicly-available via our websites or social media. We make it clear what details may be made public and when.

The Tropical Biology Association does not sell its mailing lists or information from its databases.

We may need to provide your personal data if asked by the police, or any other regulatory or government authority investigating suspected illegal activities,

Members and general contacts

We may send our members and other contacts information about TBA’s activities, including annual reports, newsletters and brochures, and our courses, including posters advertising them. If you do not wish to receive some or all of this material, or wish to specify how you receive information (e.g. pdfs or hard copy) please contact us.

The list of member institutions, with links to their websites, is put on our websites and may appear in our publications.

Applicants for our courses

We obtain detailed information on applicants for our courses in order to assess their suitability for the courses and to enable us to facilitate their attendance once selected. Much of this information is currently obtained using SurveyMonkey who collect and process data on our behalf but, in line with their privacy and data protection policies and our agreements with them, do not retain or use the data.

We will also ask for references and may follow these up. Information on individual course applicants is only kept until after the course has run. Information on applicants will be shared among appropriate TBA staff but not outside the organisation.

Some consolidated and anonymised data, such as numbers of applicants, their nationalities and gender, may be retained for operational reasons, for example, so we can gauge the effectiveness of our advertising.

Participants on our courses

Once applicants are selected we will require and request further details. For example, we need passport details in order to book airline tickets and may need bank details in order to reimburse expenses. We will require some health information in order to make sure we can look after our course participants as well as details of insurance and next of kin in case of emergencies.

Some of this information is collected using outside companies and tools such as SurveyMonkey in accordance with their privacy and data protection policies and our agreements with them.

Information is shared with staff in the Cambridge, UK, and Nairobi, Kenya offices, or based elsewhere. We will also share information with third parties who need the details to fulfil obligations. For example, we need to share passport details with our travel agents when booking tickets, and guest houses and field centres will need lists of participants and their dietary and other special requirements.

We retain information about participants, the courses they attended and what they did during the courses. Some of this information, such as names, nationalities and institutions of participants and details of projects written on the courses and their authors, is made publicly available in publications, on our websites and via social media. After their courses we keep in contact with our alumni, primarily by email but also using social media or by mobile phone. This enables us to provide follow-up support, for example writing references, and to maintain the network of TBA alumni.

We share information among the alumni to assist in networking, for example by putting alumni in one country in touch with each other, either directly or via our alumni associations. We may also put alumni working in similar fields in contact, to further their academic careers.

Details of our alumni associations, including names and email addresses for their coordinators, are on our website.

We will use information about our alumni and their careers to help promote the Tropical Biology Association and to publicise it activities. Where individual alumni are identified we seek their permission.

We may use Facebook and other social media to keep in touch with participants before, during and after their course. We emphasise to participants the importance of being careful about what personal details they make available.

Teachers and others facilitating the courses

We maintain databases of people who have taught, or may teach, on TBA courses which include, as well as contact details, information on their areas of expertise and academic qualifications, as well as the courses they have taught on. These databases are password-protected and kept securely in the TBA offices. Only appropriate staff have access to them.

We may request information from those who will be teaching on our courses in order to book flights and accommodation for them, to reimburse them for expenses and to ensure that we have the necessary information to enable us to organise logistics and teaching. This information is kept securely in the TBA offices and only appropriate staff have access to it.

The names of people who have taught on TBA courses and their institution, at the time they taught, are put on our website, to demonstrate the range and calibre of our teachers.

Applicants for jobs

In order to select potential applicants for jobs for interview we require information to assess their suitability for the role, how well they meet the person specification and how well they will be able to carry out the tasks entailed. This information will be collected using application forms, via CVs, covering letters and from references. It will only be shared with those involved in the recruitment process and details of unsuccessful applicants will be destroyed after a period of time (perhaps the same as the probationary period for the post) rather than ‘keeping them on file’.


The UK office holds details of its employees, including details of bank accounts.

This information is obtained directly from the employees and is necessary to carry out contractual obligations and statutory responsibilities, including payment of salaries, enrolment in pension schemes, tax and national insurance. Information is also needed for management responsibilities necessary for the organisational functioning of the organisation, including data relating to recruitment and employment, training and development, absence, and disciplinary matters.

Some is shared with other companies including Moorepay, who manage the payroll, pension providers, and the tax authorities.

Fundraising and marketing

The TBA raises funds from a variety of sources, which may include members or alumni. You may ask us not to send you fundraising appeals. If you make donations, or tell us you are going to (including advising us of potential legacies) this information will be recorded. Where appropriate this will include recording eligibility for gift aid and any communications we have with you regarding donations. This information will be kept securely and only made available to appropriate members of staff. We will not publish details of individual donors without first seeking their permission.

Your rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals:

  1. The right to be informed: our privacy and data protection policy explains how we collect, process, use, hold and protect your information.
  2. The right of access: please contact us if you have a subject access request, or any queries about our privacy policies or the information we hold.
  3. The right to rectification: if you tell us of errors we will correct the information.
  4. The right to erasure: if you ask we will delete the information we hold about you, unless we still have a legitimate interest in retaining the information or a legal obligation to do so.
  5. The right to restrict processing: individuals have the right to object to the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances and an absolute right to stop their data being used for direct marketing.
  6. The right to data portability: individuals have the right to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services.
  7. The right to object: individuals the right to object to the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances and an absolute right to stop their data being used for direct marketing.
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling: The GDPR has provisions regarding automated individual decision-making (making a decision solely by automated means without any human involvement); and profiling (automated processing of personal data to evaluate certain things about an individual). Profiling can be part of an automated decision-making process. If TBA uses these techniques, which we do not at present, we will abide by the provisions of the GDPR.

If you would like further information on your rights or wish to exercise them please contact us.

You will be asked to provide details of the personal information you want to access; where it is likely to be held; and the date range of the information you wish to access. We will also need you to provide information that will help us confirm your identity. If we hold personal information about you, we will give you a copy of the information in an understandable format together with an explanation of why we hold and use it.

Once we have all the information necessary to respond to your request we’ll provide your information to you within one month. This timeframe may be extended by up to two months if your request is particularly complex.

You have the right to contact the Information Commissioners Office ( ) if you have any questions about Data Protection.

Contact us

Email or write to the Tropical Biology Association, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, UK CB2 3QZ.