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Recording of Meetings

Guidance for Audio/Visual Recording of Meetings where professionals are working with families


Background

This provides guidelines and guidance for professionals where a service user wishes to make an audio/visual recording of a meeting / discussions between families and professionals.  It does not apply to making recordings of children or of court proceedings. 

Please note: It is contempt of court to record court hearings unless the court has given permission.

 

Legal Framework

There is no legal reason why a meeting or interactions between a professional and a service user(s) cannot be recorded; however there is a clear statutory law in place that prevents anyone from publishing information identifying a child as being the subject of care proceedings.  If a parent were to publish recordings or an account of their case in a way that identifies their child, the Local Authority are able by law to get an injunction to prevent this.

The Data Protection Act 1998 does not prevent parents recording meetings.  It was designed to apply to organisations processing data, not individuals, particularly if the data is collected for personal use.

The Professional's rights to privacy will not apply as the professional is attending the meeting in a professional capacity and their own private information will not be discussed.

 

Principles

Practitioners should always be transparent in their work with families and be accountable for what they have said or written in relation to a case.

If a service user(s) requests to record a meeting or you think that they are recording a meeting covertly you need to:

  • Be explicit in their case recording of advice given to parents in regards to the storage and security of the recording which is the service user’s responsibility.
  • Be clear that it is the responsibility of the service user to ensure the recording is for their own personal use, that the information should be stored securely and that it should not to be shared with others. The sharing and distributing of any recordings may lead to legal action.
  • Families should be informed that agencies would not normally want to accept copies of recordings.

Please note – if a case is part of court proceedings, it is a matter for the court to decide whether the recording or transcript can be included in evidence.

Where you have concerns or need more advice and guidance speak to your manager or a legal representative.

 

Guidance for Service Users

Should you wish to record a meeting, it will be your responsibility to:

  • Retain the recording and use it for your own personal record only.
  • Not distribute or publish the recording to any other party or in any public arena.
  • Retain and keep safe the recording.
  • Only use it in the way that is outlined in “reason for recording”.
  • Not share/distribute the information with anyone.