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MCS has routine methods for collecting statistical information for the purposes of monitoring service effectiveness & quality. We also from time to time, as an organisation, conduct surveys & engage in other methods of consultation for research purposes.
The information set out below gives an overview of the ethical principles we follow & the safeguards that are in place for people who participate in the research activities MCS is responsible for.
As a BACP accredited service we follow the Ethical Guidelines for Research in the Counselling Professions as well the Code of Human Research Ethics published by the British Psychological Society. These provide the in depth & detailed principles of good practice informing the approach to areas of research MCS engages in.
Some keys points to note if you are involved in a research process or project with us:
- All data collected as part of our research processes, including general data collection for service monitoring is rendered anonymous. Where personal information is provided this will always be separated from research data.
- Under the terms of GDPR a person has the right for information that identifies them to ‘be forgotten’ & to request the erasure of data where the data is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected.
- Consent given by a person for MCS to keep non-identifying information or data provided through research or via routine monitoring processes can also be withdrawn. When such a request has been made MCS will destroy the information or data concerned providing the request is made within 12 months of the date it was given.
- If a person has concerns about the way research has been conducted or monitoring is being carried out this can be taken up with the appropriate MCS staff member. Typically this will be the Clinical Director or Clinical Co-ordinator. This is in line with our complaints procedure, a copy of which can be obtained via the MCS office.
- We recognise that sometimes topics covered in the research we do can give rise to distress or other related emotional responses. MCS endeavours to conduct research in ways that minimises the potential for people to be overly effected or activated in this way. However if this does occur we advise that the person speaks to their GP or similar trusted health practitioner.
- MCS sees research as a valuable part of what we do to ensure that we are providing the best possible experience for people & developing our service in line with local need. In this context we do not use, or allow third parties to use, data for purposes that stray from the stated aim of the research as originally presented.