Privacy Policy

Introduction

Alberta Chartered Professional Accountants Assistance Society (“CPA Assist”) is a not for profit entity incorporated under the Societies Act (Alberta) governed by an independent Board of Directors and operated by an Executive Director. While CPA Assist receives funding from CPA Alberta, CPA Assist functions independently.

CPA Assist provides 24/7 confidential support to Alberta professional accountants, candidates, and their immediate families in times of stress and crisis. CPA Assist offers a network of talented professional counselors and dedicated volunteers to assist in times of need. Various support mechanisms are offered through CPA Assist’s website and 24 hour toll free confidential telephone support.

CPA Assist’s Commitment to Privacy

CPA Assist recognizes that confidentiality and the protection of privacy are cornerstone values and keys to its success. As such, CPA Assist is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of personal information of its volunteers, employees, donors, beneficiaries, stakeholders and those who access the services CPA Assist provides. CPA Assist values the trust placed in it and recognizes that maintaining this trust requires that CPA Assist be transparent and accountable in how it treats the personal information it is provided with. This Privacy Policy (the Policy) is a statement of principles and guidelines concerning the protection of this personal information.

Some administrative functions of CPA Assist may be performed by employees of CPA Alberta, each of whom are required to maintain strictest confidentiality over all CPA Assist information that they come into contact with and to comply with this Policy.

CPA Assist shall in all respects comply with all applicable privacy legislation. Where there is a conflict between the wording of this Policy and applicable privacy legislation, CPA Assist’s conduct shall be governed by applicable privacy legislation.

CPA Assist is responsible for personal information under its control and has designated CPA Alberta’s Privacy Officer as CPA Assist’s Privacy Officer and the individual who will ensure compliance with this Policy as well as CPA Assist’s legal obligations in respect of privacy. This Policy and additional information in respect of it may be obtained by visiting the CPA Assist’s website at www.cpa-assist.cpaatest.ca or contacting the Privacy Officer at 1-800-232-9406, by fax 780-425-8766, or by email privacy@cpaalberta.ca.

Questions or concerns with this policy or personal information should be directed to CPA Assist’s Privacy Officer at:

CPA Assist – Alberta Chartered Professional Accountants Assistance Society
580 Manulife Place, 10180 – 101 Street
Edmonton AB T5J 4R2

This Policy will be periodically reviewed and, if necessary updated, to address new issues and/or to reflect changes to the services CPA Assist provides.

Personal Information

For the purposes of this Policy, “personal information” is information about an identifiable individual. It includes things such as name, age, gender, marital status, financial information and other information which can be linked to an individual’s identity name, gender, and marital status. It does not apply to the information of non-individuals, such as corporations, and generally speaking, to business contact information of individuals.
Purposes of Collection of Personal Information

CPA Assist’s primary purpose for collecting personal information is for its operations to provide various support mechanisms to Alberta professional accountants, candidates, and their immediate families offered through CPA Assist’s website and 24 hour toll free confidential telephone support.

Currently, CPA Assist gathers information for the following purposes:

  • Managing information concerning CPA Assist volunteers.
  • Establishing training and development requirements for CPA Assist volunteers.
  • Determining an applicant’s suitability and eligibility for participation as a CPA Assist peer support volunteer.
  • Recognizing CPA Assist volunteers’ contributions to the CPA profession.
  • Providing general and non-identifying information that may be of interest concerning CPA Assist’s activities (e.g. annual report, volunteer applications, donation opportunities, general information).
  • Managing and improving its operations.
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with Alberta professional accountants, candidates, and their immediate families in respect of the products and ervices CPA Assist provides.
  • Providing Alberta professional accountants, candidates, and their immediate families with its products and services.
  • Obtaining a better understanding of the needs of those who utilize the services of CPA Assist.
  • Developing or enhancing the services CPA Assist provides.
  • Meeting legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Other purposes for which consent is given.

Commitment to Confidentiality

  • Confidentiality is a core value and is an essential cornerstone to the success of the programs CPA Assist provides. As a result, CPA Assist will use its utmost efforts to ensure that the confidentiality of those who utilize the professional services made available through CPA Assist and its Service Provider(s) are strictly protected. This includes CPA Assist using its utmost efforts to ensure strict confidentiality in respect of the personal information CPA Assist collects.

Ensuring confidentiality by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • CPA Assist is responsible for personal information in its custody and under its control, including information that has been disclosed by CPA Assist to a third party. CPA Assist will ensure that when it discloses personal information to a third party, that the personal information is permitted to be disclosed and that proper contractual arrangements are in place to protect the confidentiality of the personal information.
  • CPA Assist will not collect personal information indiscriminately. CPA Assist will endeavor to ensure that both the amount and type of personal information collected is limited to those things which are necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected.
  • CPA Assist does not sell, lease, or trade personal information to other parties. This includes the CPA Alberta.
  • CPA Alberta does not record, collect, maintain, or have access to personal information of individuals who utilize the services under CPA Assist.
  • CPA Assist will take all steps to ensure that any of its service providers will act in a professional and responsible manner, consistent with appropriate ethical standards and guidelines to ensure that services provided conform to the highest professional standards in the field which includes strict confidentiality and protection of an individual’s personal information.
  • To enhance confidentiality, only statistical (non-identifiable) information will be provided to CPA Assist by the Service Provider. These statistics and reports do not contain any personal information. Personal identifiers such as the client’s name, title and address are replaced with a number which is cross-referenced to a master file that contains this information separately and to which CPA Assist does not have access.
  • The Service Provider maintains only those records necessary to carry out its responsibilities to the individual and for the statistical reporting on the program. Should the Service Provider’s contract be terminated, custody of all client files will remain with that Service Provider.
  • Peer support volunteers go through a comprehensive application and screening process prior to being selected as a peer support volunteer. In addition, prior to commencing their responsibilities as a peer support volunteer, each person receives training regarding privacy policies, the protection of personal information and the importance of confidentiality including signing a confidentiality agreement.
  • Employees and others who come into contact with CPA Assist’s information are trained and required to maintain confidentiality over the information they come into contact with and to comply with this Policy.
  • When CPA Assist intends to use or disclose previously collected personal information for a new purpose not previously consented to, unless permitted or required by law, CPA Assist will identify the new purpose prior to its use or disclosure and it will not be used except with consent.

Limits of Confidentiality and Disclosure

In certain circumstances, CPA Assist, a CPA Assist Service Provider, or a CPA Assist peer support volunteer are permitted by law to disclose personal information without consent. Such circumstances include the disclosure of the information that is necessary to respond to an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual or the public. Examples would include suspected cases of child abuse, a threat of suicide or other life threatening situation(s).

Collection, Use and Disclosure Practices

CPA Assist shall in all respects comply with applicable privacy legislation. Therefore, in the course of collecting, using, storing and disclosing personal information, CPA Assist will use its best efforts to ensure that:

  • The collection, use, retention and disclosure of personal information is either permitted by law or has been consented to (by law or otherwise). In obtaining consent from an individual, unless the purpose(s) for the collection, use and/or disclosure is obvious from the consent requested, the purpose for consent will be explained prior to the subject information being collected.
  • Where personal information is subject to an individual’s consent, prior to the use of that information for a purpose(s) other than for which it was collected, CPA Assist offers an individual the opportunity to opt not to have their information used for purposes beyond those for which it was explicitly collected.
  • Internal access to personal information will be based only on the need to deal with the information for the reason(s) for which it was collected.
  • Personal information is stored in secured locations and on servers controlled by CPA Assist, CPA Alberta or at the offices of Service Providers. Specific safeguards (physical, organizational and technological) are in place to ensure that the information is not shared or disclosed more widely than is necessary to achieve the purpose(s) for which it was collected.
  • Personal information is carefully protected to ensure that it is being used appropriately in accordance with this Policy and the law. Measures (including periodic reviews of CPA Assists practices and procedures) are undertaken to ensure that the integrity of this information and this Policy is maintained and properly adhered to.

When an individual provides CPA Assist with personal information and where it is reasonable that a person would voluntarily provide that information, an individual is deemed to have provided his/her consent for the collection, use and disclosure of that information.

From time to time, CPA Assist may disclose certain personal information which is permitted by law in respect of:

  • Volunteers and/or staff who act as adjudicators on behalf of CPA Assist in the assessment of volunteer applications.
  • Service Providers, CPA Alberta and other organizations or individuals retained by CPA Assist to perform certain functions on behalf of CPA Assist (e.g. data processing, office/professional services, document management, bulk mailings).
  • Any third party or parties where consent to such disclosure is provided or where disclosure is required or permitted by law. Where personal information is transferred to a third party (including any Service Provider or CPA Alberta), CPA Assist will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the information being transferred is being used appropriately including ensuring that the third party has personal information policies and procedures in place that are at least comparable to those of CPA Assist.

Opting Out

An individual who wishes to withdraw consent for CPA Assist to use or disclose the information provided may do so by advising CPA Assist in writing. The withdrawal of this consent will likely affect CPA Assist’s ability to continue to provide services

Security of Information

When CPA Assist engages outside organizations to perform specialized services, CPA Assist only provides these organizations with the information necessary to perform those services. CPA Assist will ensure that when it discloses personal information to a third party, proper contractual arrangements are in place to protect the confidentiality of the personal information and to ensure that the personal information is permitted to be disclosed by law or is used only within the scope of the specific purposes that have been consented to.

In addition, CPA Assist endeavors to maintain adequate physical, procedural and technical security for its offices, information storage and destruction, electronic files and on-line systems so as to prevent any unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or alteration of an individual’s personal information. Paper-based files are stored in secure operating premises. Electronic files are maintained in a secure environment with restricted access. Access to more sensitive information files, such as donation information, are restricted to employees/volunteers who require access to them.

CPA Assist web page: The CPA Assist web page is hosted on a website owned by CPA Assist, located in Edmonton, Alberta. The CPA Assist website is protected as necessary, by alphanumeric passwords, physical protection and encryption. The website contains links to other websites. Although CPA Assist believes the organizations to which links are provided are reputable and have high standards, CPA Assist is not responsible for the content, actions or policies of those sites.

Under no circumstances is CPA Assist liable for any losses or direct, indirect, accidental, special or consequential damages owing or related to its web page or resulting use of the CPA Assist website.

Nothing contained on the web page is intended to provide or replace legal advice. Donors and their advisors seeking specific information or wishing to obtain a sample funding agreement or other documents for review are directed to contact CPA Assist directly.

Access to Personal Information

Individuals may make a written request to CPA Assist’s Privacy Officer for access to their personal information, the purpose for which it is being used, the persons to whom that information has been disclosed and the circumstances surrounding its disclosure. The Privacy Officer will then respond to the request as required under applicable privacy legislation.

Individuals may make a written request to the Privacy Officer for a correction to their personal information.

Any person whose personal information is held by CPA Assist has the right to:

  • know of the existence of such personal information and to have access to that information to ensure that it is accurate; and
  • complain to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, if that person believes that personal information is improperly collected, used, stored or disclosed;
  • complain to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, in connection with a decision, act or failure to act on the part of CPA Assist regarding an individuals’ personal information.

Changes to Privacy Policy

CPA Assist reserves the right to modify or supplement this Policy at any time. This Policy and CPA Assist privacy practices will be reviewed and updated to comply with federal and provincial legislation changes as they may apply. Therefore this Privacy Policy should be checked periodically for changes.

© 2016 CPA Assist