The ICO exists to empower you through information.

A blog about our advisory check-up service by Roxanne Stephen, one of our data protection experts in the small business advice team at the ICO.

February 2024

Don’t leave data protection to chance

Getting data protection right makes good business sense. It can help you feel confident that you’re providing customers with the products and services they want, while avoiding problems that could catch you off guard and threaten your business reputation. 

Your customers and others you deal with trust you with their personal information. Putting data protection into action in your organisation will make sure you don’t let them down. 

That’s where our advisory check-up service comes in, helping small businesses with valuable data protection advice.

Get peace of mind with an advisory check-up 

Advisory check-ups are short informal sessions, providing free, practical data protection advice to sole traders, small organisations and charities. They’re carried out by one of our data protection experts, via a one to one Microsoft Teams meeting, lasting around two hours.

We’ll discuss your processes and practices and help you identify improvements. It’s not an audit, it’s purely voluntary and tailored for the benefit of your organisation. You’ll also receive a useful report showing you what you’re doing well and what else you need to do to handle people’s information effectively as your business grows.

Can I apply for an advisory check-up?

The service is dedicated to helping those who employ fewer than 50 staff, because we recognise that smaller organisations often have less support to get data protection right.

You’ll need to be registered with the ICO (unless you’re exempt), and already have some data protection procedures in place. If you don’t have those yet, it’s easy to get going, take a look at our top tips for beginners or contact us for help.

If this sounds like you, what are you waiting for? Apply for your check-up today.

Still wondering if an advisory check-up will help your small organisation? 

Take a look at what Richard Deak, General Manager at The Loch Rannoch Highland Club said about his recent advisory check-up.

When recommending it to other small businesses, Richard said: 

"Go for it, the know-how and encouragement from the experts definitely gives you peace
of mind as a small business to know what you’re doing is right or wrong. There’s no
criticism, the service is very encouraging and it helps put you on the right path. It’s good
to have the freedom of speech with someone who is in the know, to guide you and give
you confidence you’re doing things right."

Richard also added:

"The advice we received has definitely saved us time and money. The ICO registration fee
isn’t much, and this advice would have cost me £1,000 elsewhere – great value for money."

Beat the queue. Apply today in minutes!  

Advisory check-ups are popular and get booked up fast!  It’s quick and easy to apply for your check-up today.