B9: Emergency Contact Protocol

  1. All students are asked to provide details of an emergency contact when registering for their course. This information will be held on ORMS’ student record system, in accordance with ORMS’ B5: Data Protection Policy and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
  2. Students can nominate anyone they choose to be their emergency contact – it need not necessarily be their legal next of kin. Students should, however, let that person know that they have been nominated as the emergency contact and that they have given ORMS that person’s details.
  3. Emergency contact details will only be used very rarely by ORMS. Wherever possible, the permission of the student will be sought prior to ORMS getting in touch with the emergency contact.
  4. If it is not possible for consent to be obtained (eg. because the student is incapable or unconscious) or if permission is denied, in very exceptional circumstances ORMS may still go ahead and use the emergency contact details. This is most likely to be when there are serious concerns for the welfare of the individual student. Examples of circumstances when a decision might possibly be made to get in touch with the emergency contact may include:
    • admission to hospital (NB. ORMS is not always aware when a student has been admitted to hospital)
    • serious illness (including psychiatric illness)
    • when a student is ‘missing’.
  5. In all cases where the consent of the individual student has not been obtained, a decision to get in touch with the emergency contact will be taken by the Education Director or their nominee. If any other member of staff considers that there is a need to get in touch with a students’ emergency contact (and the individual student has not given permission) they should in the first instance discuss the case with the Education Director. The contact will be made by the Education Director personally or by their nominee.
  6. For students who are under eighteen years old, ORMS is obliged to contact the student’s parent/guardian in certain circumstances. In any such case, a decision to make contact will be made by the Education Director or by a senior manager nominated for this purpose.
  7. Where there has been a death, it is usually the responsibility of the police to contact the next of kin. In accordance with the policy on the release of personal information, ORMS might provide emergency contact details to the police but would not normally be involved in the initial, direct contact with the next of kin.