Last Updated: June 23, 2022
AWE Education Privacy Statement
This document outlines AWE Education's privacy practices and policies, and provides information about confidentiality and laws related to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information while engaged in services through our organization.
Who We Are
AWE Education is composed of a team of coaches, educators and administrative personnel. We are a group of professionals and support staff that provides care to those who seek coaching through our organization. We also work with consultants or agencies that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to personal information in our possession.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is data that can be used to identify a person and details of their coaching protocol. This may include contact information (e.g., name, address, telephone number, e-mail address), personal characteristics (e.g., age, sex, cultural/ethnic background), and health details (e.g., presenting issues, health history, health conditions, treatments being received).
Collection and Use of Personal Information
In order to provide service, AWE Education will collect some personal information about you. We may also ask you to complete questionnaires or other self-report tests to enable a better understanding of your protocol needs.
The primary purpose of collecting this information is so we may:
- Evaluate your needs;
- Recommend appropriate actions; and
- Provide coaching options
ElectronicCommunication of Personal Health Information ("E-mail")
Disclosure of Personal Health Information
Access to Your Personal Information & Requests for Correction
Storage and Destruction of Personal Information
Questions and Complaints
Electronic Communication of Personal Information ("E-mail")
AWE Education offers e-mail communication as a method of contact between you and our team. We use e-mail to provide appointment confirmations and reminders, and to send invoices for services rendered. We may also use e-mail to communicate with you about appointment bookings and cancellations if we cannot reach you by telephone (or if you request we use e-mail as a primary method of contact).
E-mail is convenient and efficient; however, communicating by e-mail also encompasses risks that should also be considered.
E-mail is not recognized as a secure form of communication. Risks of transmitting your information bye-mail include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The privacy and security of e-mail communication cannot be guaranteed;
- E-mail is easier to falsify than phone, fax or mail. It is also impossible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the e-mail once it has been sent;
- E-mail can introduce viruses into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer;
- E-mail can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the sender or recipient. E-mail senders can easily misaddress an e-mail, resulting in it being sent to unintended and unknown recipients; and
- E-mail creates a permanent record. Even after the sender and recipient have deleted their copies of the e-mail, back-up copies may exist on a computer or in cyberspace.
We will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of e-mail information sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, we cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of e-mail communication.
Consent to the use of e-mail indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
- E-mails from you containing personally relevant information may be printed in full and made part of your record. Because these would become part of your record, other individuals authorized to access the record will have access to those e-mails;
- We will make reasonable efforts to read and respond to e-mails promptly. However, we cannot guarantee that any particular e-mail will be read and responded to within any particular period of time. Therefore, e-mail should not be used for emergencies or other time-sensitive matters;
- E-mail communication is not an appropriate substitute for coaching. You are responsible for following up with us to schedule appointments, where warranted; and
- If your e-mail requests a response from us and you have not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is your responsibility to follow up to confirm we did indeed receive your e-mail.
E-mail should not be used to discuss sensitive personal information, such as that related to mental health, disability or substance use. Therefore, we will not discuss such matters over e-mail.
E-mail communication is voluntary. Please advise us if you do not wish to engage in e-mail communication, and we will remove your e-mail address from our system.
SMS and Instant Messaging Communication of Personal Information ("Text or WhatsApp")
AWE Education offers Text or WhatsApp communication as a method of contact between you and our team. We use Text or WhatsApp to communicate with you between sessions.
Text or WhatsApp is convenient and efficient; however, communicating by Text or WhatsApp also encompasses risks that should also be considered.
Text or WhatsApp is not recognized as a secure form of communication. Risks of transmitting your information by Text or WhatsApp include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The privacy and security of Text or WhatsApp communication cannot be guaranteed;
- Text or WhatsApp is easier to falsify than phone, fax or mail. It is also impossible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the Text or WhatsApp once it has been sent;
- Text or WhatsApp can introduce viruses into a computer or mobile device, and potentially damage or disrupt the system;
- Text or WhatsApp can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the sender or recipient. Text or WhatsApp senders can easily misaddress an Text or WhatsApp message, resulting in it being sent to unintended and unknown recipients; and
- Text or WhatsApp creates a permanent record. Even after the sender and recipient have deleted their copies of the Text or WhatsApp, back-up copies may exist on a computer or in cyberspace.
We will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of Text or WhatsApp information sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, we cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of Text or WhatsApp communication.
Consent to the use of Text or WhatsApp indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
- Text or WhatsApp from you containing personally relevant information will never be printed;
- We will make reasonable efforts to read and respond to Text or WhatsApp promptly.However, we cannot guarantee that any particular Text or WhatsApp will be read and responded to within any particular period of time;
- Text or WhatsApp communication is not an appropriate substitute for coaching. You are responsible for following up with us to schedule appointments, where warranted; and
- If your Text or WhatsApp requests a response from us and you have not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is your responsibility to followup to confirm we did indeed receive your Text or WhatsApp.
Text or WhatsApp communication is voluntary. We require you to initiate a Text orWhatsApp chain of communication to indicate you consent to this form of communication.
Tele-Services (Virtual and Telephone-based Sessions)
AWE Education offers in-person, virtual (video) and telephone-based options for assessment and coaching services. Virtual and telephone-based sessions are also coaching services. Your Professional will discuss which mode of service is recommended based on your needs, and changes can be made throughout the course of your package with respect to the service you decide to pursue.
Virtual sessions are offered through the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Zoom videoconferencing meets Canadian privacy laws and is PIPEDA/PHIPA ComplianceGuide. Virtual sessions requires the use of a webcam or smartphone, and a link to the virtual session will be provided by e-mail prior to the session. We highly recommend you test your video/audio settings the day before your session, and contact Zoom’s tech support for assistance if needed. In the event of technical problems during your session, a back-up plan (e.g., a phone number where you can be reached) will be used to restart the session or to reschedule it. Your Professional may elect to use a different videoconferencing platform; the benefits/risks of that platform will be discussed with you prior to beginning virtual sessions.
Telephone-based sessions will involve your Professional contacting you by phone at your scheduled appointment time. Please note that in some cases, the Caller ID may show up as "Unknown" or blocked. We ask you to ensure you are available and can answer the call at the scheduled appointment time.
Engaging in coaching using virtual sessions or by telephone encompasses risks that should also be considered. Please note the following rights and risks in using virtual and telephone-based care:
- The laws and professional standards that apply to regular coaching services apply to virtual and telephone-based care.
- There are exceptions to client confidentiality policies that exist for coaching; these also apply to virtual and telephone-based services. The exceptions are provided in the "Disclosure of Personal Information" section below.
- You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. It will not affect your right to further sessions.
- Your Professional has the right, at any time, to determine if virtual and/or telephone-based sessions are not appropriate for your best interest. Should this be determined, your Professional will suggest alternative methods for sessions.
- Despite best efforts to ensure high standards of technology, there is always a risk that services could be disrupted or distorted by unforeseen technical problems.
- Consent to the use of virtual and telephone-based sessions indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
o Confidentiality still applies for tele-services, and the session will not be recorded by the Professional or the client.
o It is important to be in a quiet, private space that is free of distractions during the session.
o It is important to use a secure internet connection rather than public/free Wi-Fi.
o For child/adolescent clients, permission of a parent/legal guardian (and their contact information) is required toengage in tele-sessions.
o Use of virtual and telephone-based sessions is voluntary. Please advise us if you no longer wish to engage intele-services and we will discuss alternate options with you at that time.
Disclosure of Personal Health Information
In accordance with the laws, professional standards, and ethical codes we follow, the information you share with AWE Education remains confidential. This means your information will not be disclosed to anyone without your consent, with the exception of the specific situations outlined below.
Your information may be released without your consent in the following situations:
Harm to Self / Others
o If there is reason to believe that you are in danger of harming yourself or others in ways that may be life-threatening, AWE Education is ethically obliged to take action to ensure your safety and/or the safety of others. These steps may include contacting your identified emergency contact person, a family member or close other, seeking hospitalization, contacting the police, notifying others at risk, or some combination of these actions to ensure you and/or others are protected.
o If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child under 16 years of age is, or may be, in need of protection, AWE Education must, by law, report this information to a children's aid society. Examples of reportable situations include physical harm/abuse, sexual abuse, emotional harm (e.g., verbal abuse, humiliation, witnessing violence), or a pattern of neglect or failure to protect a child from harm.
o Additionally, if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a resident of a nursing, retirement or other long-term care home has suffered harm, or is at risk of harm due to improper or incompetent treatment or care, unlawful conduct, abuse or neglect, or possible misuse or misappropriation of the resident's money or funding, AWE Education is required to report this information to the Registrar of the Retirement HomesRegulatory Authority, or long-term care home director.
Sexual Abuse by a Regulated Health Professional
o If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a regulated health professional has sexually harassed or abused a client, AWE Education must, by law, report this health professional's name and information related to the sexual abuse to the appropriate regulatory body.
o Our records can be subpoenaed by a court order and AWE Education may be required to testify and give information obtained during the course of any assessment and coaching sessions. This information would never be provided voluntarily without your direct request or permission without the court order.
o If the police present a Court Order,Search Warrant or Urgent Demand for records related to a missing person, AWE Education is required to provide the information and/or records sought by police in order to assist with locating that missing person.
Access to Your Personal Health Information & Requests for Correction
With a few exceptions, you have the right to access or amend your personal information.This means that you may request to read coaching notes in your file, ask for corrections to be made to factual information, and for a copy of your information.
In these cases, your Professional will review the coaching notes with you and can help you understand any information that is not clear (e.g., short-forms, technical terms, etc.). Copies of your file will take time to provide due to the busy nature of our organization - we will provide an estimate of the timeframe and cost when your request is made.
If we cannot give you access, we will advise you in writing within 30 days if possible, and will outline the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access.
Storage and Destruction of Personal Information
A record containing your personal health information and information about your coaching sessions and other materially relevant interactions are maintained in a secured place while you are engaged in AWE Education's services.
Any personal health information that is stored electronically is protected by appropriate security measures (e.g., PHIPA-compliant software that includes bank-level encryption). After 10 years, your personal information is destroyed in a secure manner that protects your privacy.
Your Professional maintains responsibility for your client file. If your Professional leaves AWE Education, your file will stay with them and a copy will be retained by AWE Education.
Questions and Complaints
If you have any questions about our privacy practices and procedures, we encourage you to contact us:
PO Box 201 Carp, Ontario Canada K0A 1L0
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A8
Tel:(416) 326-3333 or (800) 387-0073