The British Small Animal Veterinary Association

1. Introduction

We respect your privacy and the security of your personal data. This Privacy Policy explains how and why we collect and use your personal data, how we store and handle data, and how we keep it safe.

We do use personal data to enable us to tailor your experience and help us ensure we are giving you relevant, useful and timely information.

We never sell personal data to third parties.

We may occasionally share personal data with organisations we work with who meet our high privacy standards.

Because we are committed to maintaining the security of your personal data, it is likely that we will need to update this Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any significant changes, and you will be able to check it here whenever you wish.

We hope this answers any questions you may have, but if not please do get in touch with us on 01452 726700 or email us on

2. What personal data do we collect?

Personal data refers to any information which identifies you, or which can be identified as relating to you personally, such as your name, address, phone number and email address.

  • We collect personal data provided by you. This includes information you give us when you join us as a member, buy products or services, attend BSAVA courses or events, take action or volunteer your time to support our work.
  • We collect personal data when you engage with us digitally. This includes registering to our website(s) and using our apps, and when you connect with us on social media.
  • We may collect personal data that is provided by a third party. This includes personal information provided by an employer to enable us to process your membership.
  • We may also use publically available personal data. This includes information from news sources and Companies House, for example.

We only collect data we need, and we will always make it clear why we are collecting it.

  • We collect personal details – such as your name, date of birth, work/ home/ education/ other address, email address(es), telephone number(s), date of graduation, RCVS number, evidence of qualifications and specialisms – where this is necessary for managing membership or product sales (including CPD and education events).
  • We collect financial information – such as personal bank details, payment information, billing and delivery addresses and contact number – where this is necessary for processing product sales (including membership, CPD, events and publications).
  • We collect information about your interests and preferences – such as any specialisms, topics you’re interested in, visits to our website(s) or apps and how you would like us to contact you – where this is relevant to tailoring communications and targeting special offers or subjects of particular interests.
  • We collect images – such as photographs, screenshots, CCTV images and video – at some events and activities. We will always let people know when we are capturing images at events, either at the event or in communications ahead of the event.

2.1 CCTV

If you visit Woodrow House, BSAVA Head Office, you may be recorded on Closed Circuit Television. CCTV is used to provide security and protect our staff and visitors to Woodrow House. CCTV will only be viewed when necessary (for example, to detect or prevent crime) and footage is stored for a set period of time. BSAVA complies with the Information Commissioner’s Office CCTV Code of Practice, and we put up notices so you know when CCTV is used.

2.2 Lecture Capture

If you attend a course, event or lecture organised by BSAVA (in-person or online) these may be recorded for educational purposes. This technology captures a combination of the lecturer’s spoken voice, fixed camera feed pointed at the lectern and on screen display such as a power point presentation. You may appear in the recording, be heard on audio (e.g. if asking a question during the lecture) or your name stated if a question is asked on your behalf.

You will be informed if the session is being recorded. You may have the right to opt out of recordings at any point. If you decide you do not wish to be recorded during a lecture you should discuss your initial concerns with a member of BSAVA staff.

2.3 Event photography and videography

Photographs, screenshots and video imagery are sometimes collected at BSAVA events, including our annual Congress. Photographs, screenshots and videos may be included in our communications, including on our website(s) and circulated to media and other interested parties for marketing purposes.

Whilst it may not be practically possible to opt out of having your image captured at an event, you do have the right to opt out of your image/basic online profile being used. If you decide you do not want your image/basic online profile to be used in marketing materials, you should discuss your concerns with a member of BSAVA staff.

2.4 Volunteers

If you volunteer for BSAVA, we may ask you to provide additional information for contractual reasons and for safeguarding purposes.

2.5 Third party websites

From time to time we might collect information from other organisations where the data are available publicly. We sometimes use public information (for example, the Electoral Register or tools such as MOSAIC that provide demographic information) to better understand our audiences and tailor and target communications effectively.

3. How we use your personal data

We will only use your personal data on relevant lawful grounds as permitted by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), tailored by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR). We only collect personal data we need, and we will always make it clear why we are collecting it. We will only use your personal data for the purpose(s) outlined at the time we collected it.

You can change how we use your personal data at any time – find out how in Section 7, ‘What are your rights over your personal data’ section below.

3.1 Providing our services to you

We use personal data to enable us to fulfil legal and contractual obligations. This includes complying with our contractual or legal obligations to share data with law enforcement.


We will use the personal data you provide to us as a BSAVA member to fulfil our contractual agreement with you. This includes:

  • Posting BSAVA magazines, journals, Formulary and loyalty benefits.
  • Providing information about our Annual General Meeting and any relevant updates or changes to our governance.
  • Sending and processing renewal information.
  • Sending emails relating to the services which form part of your membership package.

Personal data is also used to confirm your identity when you contact our Membership Services Team, register on our website or use our app(s).

You cannot remove general consent for service emails or administrative contractual emails while retaining your membership. If you no longer wish to receive these communications, you will need to cancel your membership.

Products and services

We will use the personal data you provide as a customer to fulfil any orders or bookings you make. This includes:

  • Processing any orders, bookings or applications that you make through our website(s), via BSAVA Head Office, Regions or during an event. This may include passing your details to third party suppliers to supply or deliver the product or service that you ordered. Your details will be held for a reasonable period of time afterwards in order to fulfil any statutory obligations, such as for refunds.
  • Administering educational programmes that you have enrolled on such as PGCert / MRes or VN Merit Award, including if necessary academic admission and registration, enrolment with Nottingham Trent University and organising courses, examinations and certificates.
  • To respond to your queries, refund requests and complaints. We may keep a record of these for a reasonable time to inform any future communication with us and to demonstrate how we communicated with you throughout.
  • To process payments and to prevent fraudulent transactions. We do this on the basis of our legitimate business interests. This also helps to protect our customers from fraud.
  • To send you communications required by law or which are necessary to inform you about our changes to the services we provide you. For example, updates to this Privacy Policy, product issues, and legally required information relating to your orders, bookings or membership. These service messages will not include any promotional content and do not require prior consent when sent by email or text message.
  • To administer any of our prize draws or competitions that you enter based on your consent given at the time of entering.

3.2 Marketing

If you consent to receive marketing information from us we will use the personal data that you provide, as well as details of your past transactions, to keep you informed about products and services which you may be interested in. We may also send you survey and feedback requests to help improve and develop our services and products to meet the needs of the veterinary profession.

We will contact you according to the preferences you have given us – for example, if you tell us you do not want to be contacted by email, we won’t email you.

You are free to opt out of marketing communications any time by updating your communication preferences online through MyBSAVA or by contacting us directly.

Social Media and Web Advertising

If you use social media, dependent upon your settings, we may use social media tools to help manage our relationship with you, or with other people who behave similarly online. This includes creating custom audiences, look-a-like audiences and retargeting/remarketing. For example, you may receive targeted content on your social media feeds from us, or we may use your profile to help us identify similar people and audiences for marketing purposes.

We will also use your social media username if you choose to interact with us through those channels, to help us respond to your comments, questions or feedback.

You may also receive targeted adverts on webpages you visit, dependent on your interactions with us, for example if you have visited our join BSAVA membership pages.

3.3 Profiling and targeting

We want to make sure you have the best possible experience of BSAVA and prevent unwanted communications from us.

We use automated profiling and targeting to help us better understand our members and customers, so that we can:

  • Make sure our communications (e.g. emails) and services (e.g. website and apps) are relevant, personalised and interesting to you.
  • Bring you offers and promotions that are most relevant to your interests.
  • Develop, test and improve the systems, services and products we provide to you.
  • Ensure our services meet the needs of our members and the veterinary profession.

We will carry out internal research and analyse how you interact with us (for example, on our website) to help us understand the success of our activities, better understand behavior and responses and identify patterns and trends.

We will often aggregate this data and look at it as a whole, rather than on an individual basis. This helps us to understand trends in our audiences and to assess how our different communications and products are performing, and where we can make improvements.

We may use personal data to help us create audience profiles which enable us to better target our communications to you and other people. For example, we may use your personal data to help find other people with similar profiles online who may be interested in BSAVA products and services.

We may from time to time work with third parties to help capture or analyse data. We will always ensure that these organisations meet our strict data policies and standards.

We may also use publicly available information, such as MOSAIC demographic information, to further help us refine and target our messaging and products appropriately.

3.4 Card payment information

If you purchase products or services from us and provide your payment details via hard copy form or over the phone, this information will be processed only for the purposes of taking payment for the service or product you wish to purchase.

Any payment information is destroyed once used for this purpose via confidential shredding or, if the form has additional information required regarding your purchase, will be redacted in such a way as to no longer be visible.  We do not store any credit card information electronically. All payment processing is performed directly online via our payment service providers Barclaycard, Stripe or Worldpay. Paperless Direct Debit processing activities are performed via our third party provider GOCardless.

3.5 Cookies and third-party websites


Our website(s) use cookies to distinguish you from other users to help us provide you with a personalised experience, and to improve our website(s) and services.

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your computer’s hard drive by your web browser when you first visit our website. The cookie allows us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit to the site.

The information we collect by using cookies is not personally identifiable: it does not include information about your computer settings, your connection to the internet e.g. operating system and platform, IP address, your browsing patterns or geographical location.

For more information about how BSAVA uses cookies, please see our cookie policy

Third-party websites

The BSAVA provides links to other websites for your convenience. These external websites will have their own privacy policies, and if you click on a link BSAVA’s Privacy Policy will no longer apply. We do not accept any responsibility or liability.

Social media buttons and interactions

Visitors may use these to bookmark or share our web pages. There are buttons for Twitter Share, Facebook Share, Instagram and Google Plus. The BSAVA Library also has buttons for LinkedIn, CiteULike, Digg, Reddit, Bibsonomy, and Research Gate. These work using scripts from domains outside of BSAVA and it is likely those sites will collect their own information about what you are doing. You should review the policies of each of these sites to see how they use your information and to find out how to opt out, or delete, such information.

3.6 Protecting you and our business from crime

We use your personal data to help protect our business and your account from fraud and other illegal activities, including using your personal data to maintain, update and safeguard your account.

We will also monitor your browsing activity with us to quickly identify and resolve any problems and protect the integrity of our website(s). For example, using automated monitoring of unsuccessful login attempts to identify possible fraudulent attempts to gain access to your account.

4. How we protect your Personal Data

We know how much data security matters to all our members, customers and delegates, and we want to keep your personal data and our information systems safe and secure. We treat your personal data with the utmost care and are committed to taking all appropriate steps to protect it.

We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks and undertake quarterly Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant scans. We have a robust process in place to help us assess, manage and protect all of our new and existing systems to ensure they are up to date and secure. Sensitive data (such as payment card information) is secured by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

All new staff complete mandatory information security and data protection training when they start working for BSAVA, and this is regularly refreshed for all staff on an annual basis.

Although we take all reasonable steps to keep your personal information safe and secure, external threats are constantly evolving and we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information and/ or use of the website(s).

5. How long will we keep your Personal Data?

We will keep any information provided by you only for as long as it is needed for the purposes for which it was collected. The length it will be stored for will depend on the exact nature of the information, what it is being used for and, on occasion, statutory legal requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data we consider:

  • The amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data.
  • The potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data.
  • The purposes for which your personal data was processed and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means.
  • The applicable legal requirements.

When that retention period has expired, we will securely delete (or anonymise if more appropriate) your personal data.

6. Disclosing and sharing your personal data

We never sell personal data to other organisations.

From time to time we may share personal data with organisations we work with. When this happens, we will first ensure these companies meet our high privacy standards, and we will always maintain strict control of what they see, how long they see it and what they use it for, which we will record in a written data processing (or data sharing) agreement.

The type of third parties we routinely work with are:

  • IT companies who support our website(s) and other business systems.
  • Operational companies such as delivery couriers.
  • Mailing houses who help us deliver membership magazines and journals.
  • Direct marketing companies helping us manage our electronic communications with you.
  • Research organisations who help us better understand our audiences and products.
  • Assessors for examinations and coursework and mentors who provide support.
  • Event logistics companies essential to our event management and operational functions.
  • Virtual event platform providers for the purposes of hosting Congresses and other Events when required.
  • Professional advice givers who support our business, including for example accountants,
    management consultants and legal advisors.

We may be required to disclose personal information to third parties in order to comply with a legal obligation, or upon a valid request to do so. This may include sharing personal data about individuals with law enforcement bodies, or to help assess fraudulent or potentially fraudulent activity in our premises or on our systems. These requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis and take the privacy of users into consideration.

7. Where your personal data may be processed

The majority of BSAVA’s suppliers are based within the UK, EU and EEA. Sometimes we will need to share your personal data with third parties and suppliers outside the European Economic Area (EEA) in order to fulfil our contractual obligations to you.

7.1 Protecting your data outside the UK

We may share personal data that you provide to third-party data processors in countries that are outside the UK, such as the EEA (including all EU Member countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the USA.

Any transfer of your personal data will follow applicable laws and we will treat the information under the guiding principles of this privacy policy. We will ensure any third-party data processors adhere to our contractually agreed standards.

If you require more information about these contracts, please contact our Data Protection Owner on

8. What are your rights over your personal data?

Individuals have rights over their personal data and at any point whilst we are in possession of or processing your personal data, you can contact us to enact your rights.

8.1 Withdrawal of consent

If you have given your consent for BSAVA to contact you for marketing purposes or otherwise, you may withdraw that consent at any time. You can also make changes to how you would like to hear from us.

  • You can unsubscribe from BSAVA communications by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of any BSAVA email.
  • If you have a web account, you can manage your contact preferences online via MyBSAVA.
  • For BSAVA Library email alerts you can manage your preferences under ‘My BSAVA Library Preferences’ (accessed via MyBSAVA)
  • Alternatively you can contact the Membership Services Team on 01452 726700 or via
  • Or you can contact the Data Protection Owner on or by post to:

The Data Protection Owner,
Woodrow House,
Waterwells Business Park,
1 Telford Way,

You may continue to receive communications for a short period after changing your preferences while our systems are fully updated, for example, if a subscription mailing has already been sent out by the mailing house.

Restricting the use of your data for direct marketing on social media

If you do not want to receive marketing communications from us on social media, you can prevent the use of your data for building look-a-like audiences or for targeted advertising by updating your privacy settings on the social media platforms you use:

Please note: BSAVA cannot guarantee that you will never see BSAVA content on social media, since the platforms you use may target content based on other criteria and without your data being provided by us (for example through interest targeting).

Alternatively, you can make a subject access request to restrict the processing of your data, as outlined below in section 8.4.

8.2 Access to personal data

You have a right of access to personal data that is held by us as a data controller.

To ask for your information please email us on or write to:

The Data Protection Owner,
Woodrow House,
Waterwells Business Park,
1 Telford Way,

8.3 Updating your personal data

You have the right to correct data that we hold about you that is inaccurate or incomplete.

If you have a web account, you can update your personal information at any time online via MyBSAVA.

Alternatively you can contact the Membership Services Team on 01452 726700 or

8.4 Other data subject requests

You have further rights over your data, which include your right to:

  • Ask for the data we hold about you to be erased from our records (your right to be forgotten).
  • Ask us to restrict the processing of your data, which includes objecting to certain automated processing, including profiling (your right to restriction of processing).
  • Ask to have the data we hold about you transferred to another organisation (your right of portability).

There may be legal reasons why we need to process your data. If we believe we cannot action your request, we will explain to you the reasons for our refusal. If you don’t think we should be using your personal information, or if you wish to exact any of your rights, please email us on or write to:

The Data Protection Owner,
Woodrow House,
Waterwells Business Park,
1 Telford Way,

8.5 Checking your identity

To protect the confidentiality of your information, we will ask you to verify your identity before proceeding with any request you make under this Privacy Policy.

If you have authorised a third party to submit a request on your behalf, we will ask them to prove they have your permission to act on your behalf.

9. Where we rely on Legitimate Interest

We sometimes use Legitimate Interest as our legal basis for processing personal data. This will usually relate to the promotion of services and products, or the sharing of information which we believe is relevant and important for the veterinary community.

In cases where we are processing your personal data on the basis of our legitimate interest, you can ask us to stop for reasons connected to your individual situation.

10. What to do if you’re not happy

If you feel that your data has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with any aspect of this policy, please contact the BSAVA Data Protection Owner via or call 01452 726700. Alternatively you can write to:

The Data Protection Owner,
Woodrow House,
Waterwells Business Park,
1 Telford Way,

If you are unhappy with our response to any requests you have made to us regarding the use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). For further information about your rights and how to complain, please visit the ICO website.

10.1 If you live outside the UK

If you are based within the EU, you can contact our EU GDPR representative:

Ametros Ltd,
Unit 3D,
North Point House,
North Point Business Park,
New Mallow Road,



If you live outside the UK including the EU, you also have the right to lodge your complaint with the relevant data protection regulator in your country of residence

11. Non-UK members and customers

By using our services or providing your personal data to us, you expressly consent to the processing of your personal data by the BSAVA or on our behalf. You retain the right to ask us not to process your data in certain ways, and we will respect your wishes.

Sometimes we will need to transfer your personal data between countries to enable us to supply the goods or services you have requested. In the ordinary course of business, we may transfer your personal data from your country of residence to ourselves and to third parties located in the UK.

By dealing with us, you are giving your consent to this overseas use, transfer and disclosure of your personal data outside your country of residence for our ordinary business purposes.

This may occur because our information technology storage facilities and servers are located outside your country of residence, and could include storage of your personal data on servers in the UK.

We will ensure that reasonable steps are taken to prevent third parties outside your country of residence using your personal data in any way that is not set out in this privacy policy. We also make sure that we adequately protect the confidentiality and privacy of your personal data.

We will ensure that any third parties process your personal data only in accordance with their legitimate interests. These third parties may be subject to different laws from those which apply in your country of residence.  Please note that we do not take active steps to ensure that any overseas recipient of your personal data complies with the laws which apply in your country.

This Policy was last updated on 30/05/2023