Accessing your personal data

How to make a subject access request (SAR) to see your personal records.

1 Overview

Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to access personal information held about you within any West Sussex County Council (WSCC) service. This is known as a 'subject access request'. It includes (but is not limited to) access to records in:

  • adults' and children's social care
  • human resources
  • education services.

We treat all requests in confidence. If your records include personal data about other people which is inextricably linked with your data we may need to ask for their consent before deciding which information we can disclose to you. We may contact you before we approach them.

For further information about the process you can refer to the following policy:

You can also find out more about accessing personal data on the Information Commissioner's Office website.

2 Make a request

To apply to see your own personal information, complete our online form. 

Subject access request online form (external link)

3 Time frames and charges

We will write to confirm we have received your application form. We may also ask for more information to help us locate your data.

  • We will disclose your personal data to you within the statutory time limit of one month of receipt of your request. If we need to extend the period of compliance by up to a further two months, because your request is complex or numerous, we will inform you within one month of receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.
  • There is no fee payable. However, we will charge a fee based on administrative cost if:
    • your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive
    • you request more copies of the same information.

4 Retention and destruction

The ID you provide will not be retained once it has been checked. We will retain records in relation to your request for a period of six years from the date of our response after which they will be securely destroyed.

5 Accessibility requests

Please let us know if there are any changes we can make to enable you to receive information from us or contact us.

6 The Care Leavers' Association

The Care Leavers' Association (CLA) is a user-led charity, run by care leavers, for care leavers. It awards the CLEARmark quality mark to local authorities who provide a good standard of service for care leavers seeking access to their care files.

We are one of a limited number of local authorities to be awarded this prestigious accreditation.


Last updated:
23 November 2023
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.