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Counselling

Can a high school counsellor request information on the status of a high school student's application for admission to an Institution?

Yes, if the student has actually been enrolled in the Institute. Disclosure of the fact that the student is enrolled could be disclosed since it would not be considered to be an unreasonable invasion of the student's personal privacy [Sections 17(2)(j)]. However, it would be better for the student to obtain the information needed and provide it to the counsellor.

What is the legal responsibility of a counsellor versus the Institute with respect to personal information records?

The FOIP Act defines "employee" as including a person retained under contract to perform services for a public body [Section 1(1)(e)]. Therefore, whether or not the counsellor is a paid employee of the Institute does not affect responsibilities under the Act. If the counsellor is a contractor, the contract should specify who has custody and control of personal information and set out rules to ensure the counsellor complies with the Act. If a request is received for personal information contained in counselling records, the counsellor is legally obligated to provide those records to the Institute and should assist the FOIP Coordinator in making an assessment on release of the records.

Can the Registrar release a student’s address/phone number to a faculty member who is teaching the student or to a Counsellor at the same Institute?

This information would only be supplied on a "need to know" basis. Section 40(1)(h) allows for disclosure to an employee of the Institute if the information is necessary for the performance of his or her duties. The onus is on the employee to show why this information is necessary and a notation about the disclosure should be placed on the student's file.