Information Sharing Guidance

Data protection laws are not a barrier to information sharing so long as it is in the right context and situations. This page sets out some key points around information sharing.

Seven golden rules for information sharing

  • Remember that the General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Laws and human rights law are not a barrier to sharing information but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is handled and shared appropriately.

  • Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

  • Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.

  • Consider the possible impact of sharing information alongside individual rights to privacy, and try to work in partnership with people to keep them informed about how their information will be handled and shared, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

  • Consider safety and well-being: base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.

  • Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely way, and is shared securely.

  • Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it - whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

In summary sharing information is vital for early intervention to ensure that children and young people get the services they require. It is also essential to protect children and young people from suffering harm from abuse or neglect and to prevent them from offending.

The information sharing guidance for practitioners providing services to children, young people, parents and carers offers more detailed guidance about when and how to share information legally and professionally.


This page was added to the website on 2 July 2015
8 November 2015 to include document downloads
31 May 2019 to include updated practice guidance

Document downloads

Information Sharing Guidance Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window pdf icon Information Sharing Guidance [555kb]