GDPR Candidate privacy notice


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Kew Enterprises Limited is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use information about you (referred to as “personal data”). You are being sent a copy of this privacy notice because you are applying for work with us (whether as an employee, worker or contractor) or you may be applying for a volunteer, trustee role or to come and join one of our courses as a student, apprentice or intern.  It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the recruitment or application exercise, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR).




We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:


  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  • Kept securely.



In connection with your application to work or study with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal data about you:


  • The information you have provided to us in your curriculum vitae, covering letter and any other document you submit alongside your application including to verify your identity or right to work or remain in the UK.
  • The information you have provided on our application form, including name, title, address, telephone number, personal email address, date of birth, gender, employment history, qualifications and disability status.
  • Any information you provide to us during an interview.
  • Test results or results from group activities, presentations and pre-interview tasks

We may also collect, store and use the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal data:


  • Information about your nationality or ethnicity, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, disability status, health and sickness records.
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences.



We collect personal data about candidates from the following sources:


  • You, the candidate.
  • Third party recruitment agencies or other educational institutions with whom you may be studying or associated with, from which we collect the following categories of data: CV, qualifications, and employment history data.
  • Disclosure and Barring Service via Reed Screening in respect of criminal convictions.
  • Your named referees, if successful in your application, from whom we collect the following categories of data: length of time known, relationship to you, job title, dates of employment, comments about your suitability.



We will use the personal data we collect about you to:


  • Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role or course.
  • Communicate with you about the recruitment or application process.
  • Keep records related to our hiring or application processes.
  • Comply with legal or regulatory requirements, including reporting.
  • Where successful, to carry out background and reference checks, where applicable.

It is in our legitimate interests to decide whether to appoint you to the role or grant you access to a course, since it would be beneficial to our business to appoint someone to that role or area of study.


We also need to process your personal data to decide whether to enter into a contract, employment or other engagement with you, such as a volunteer, student or trustee relationship, with you.


Having received your application form and supporting documents and the results from any required tests, we will then process that information to decide whether you meet the essential requirements to be shortlisted for the role or course. If you do, we will decide whether your application is strong enough to invite you for an interview if applying for a job. If we decide to offer you an interview, we will use the information you provide to us at the interview to decide whether to offer you the role. If we decide to offer you the role, we will then take up references and depending on the role we may also need to carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service check before confirming your appointment.  For study applications, the process may vary, but will generally involve an assessment of educational background and compliance with any criteria associated with the course of study or bursary before informing you whether you have been successful or not.


If you fail to provide personal data


If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history), we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if we require references for a role and you fail to provide us with relevant details, we will not be able to take your application further.




We will use your sensitive personal data in the following ways:


  • We will use information about your disability status to consider in discussion with you, whether we need to provide appropriate adjustments during the recruitment or application process, for example whether adjustments need to be made during a test or interview.
  • Similarly, we will use information about your nationality or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.




We envisage that we will process information about criminal convictions.


We will collect information about your criminal convictions history if we would like to offer you the role (conditional on checks and any other conditions, such as references, being satisfactory). Depending on the role we may be entitled] to carry out a DBS check in order to satisfy ourselves that there is nothing in your criminal convictions history which makes you unsuitable for the role. In particular:


We are legally required by Defra and Civil Service Resourcing to carry out Basic Disclosure checks for all employees of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and for certain roles an Enhanced DBS check with or without a barred list check.

We have in place an appropriate safeguarding policy document and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data.




You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.




Why might you share my personal data with third parties?


We will only share your personal data with the following third parties for the purposes of processing your application: Hireserve, who provide and manage our recruitment portal, Reed Screening, who provide our DBS checking service and third- party recruitment agencies. All our third-party service providers and other entities in the group are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal data in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.




We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.


We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.




How long will you use my information for?


For job related applications, we will retain your personal data for a period of two (2) years after we have communicated to you our decision about whether to appoint you to the role.  We retain your personal data for that period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the recruitment exercise in a fair and transparent way. After this period, we will securely destroy your personal data in accordance with our data retention policy and applicable laws and regulations.  For educational related applications, we may retain your application information for as long as any successful applicants attend any subsequent course and for all applicants (whether successful or not) for a reasonable period to resolve any queries. 





Your rights in connection with personal data


Please let us know if you have any queries or concerns about the way that your personal data is being processed by us by contacting us via or in writing to the HR department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE.


Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:


  • Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal data about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to another party.

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal data, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal data to another party, please contact  Please note that you do not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights).  However, if a request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive, we may exercise our right to refuse to comply with the request.




When you applied for this role, you provided consent to us processing your personal data for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your application and, subject to our retention policy, we will dispose of your personal data securely




We have appointed a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal data, please contact the in the first instance or you can write to the Data Protection Officer via The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE. You also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.