This document provides model wording for use on a recording sheet, paper or electronic, which will give permission for someone collating data to use the records submitted. Its purpose is to help ensure that clear authority to make use of wildlife records is handed down with them. The statement has been developed to provide an alternative to the NBN model data collation licence as early experience suggests that the legally approved licence can be off putting to recorders.


IMPORTANT:  By submitting information on this form/card I agree that it may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically, including the Internet, for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses *in accordance with insert name of recipient’s data access policy.

Names and contact details of data suppliers will be used **for administration and verification purposes only. Your contact details will not be passed to other parties without the consent of the data supplier, whilst your name will form part of the record that is collated and disseminated. / **in accordance with insert name of recipient’s privacy policy, which can be found insert details of where to find privacy policy. / ** for administration purposes and to allow us to feed back the results of this survey after which your name and contact details will be deleted.
*   Optional wording: include where appropriate
**  Alternative wording: delete as appropriate


The first paragraph of the model statement sets the basis upon which permission to pass on and use the wildlife information is founded. The default statement is quite open, but there is an option to tie data access and use to the recipient’s data access policy, where one exists.

The second part of the model statement relates to the use of personal data – information relating to living individuals. There are three alternative wordings. The first alternative singles out specific uses of personal data common to wildlife data management. Where this is believed to be too prescriptive the second alternative provides the option to refer to the recipients privacy policy. All holders of personal information are legally required to publish a privacy policy identifying the personal data they collect, how it is used and to whom it is made available. This provides scope to define further details of personal data uses and management. The third alternative takes account of scenarios where there is no requirement to pass on personal details with a record, public participation surveys for example.


On cards or paper forms

Place the statement where it is likely to be read by the user, i.e. not hidden on the back unless the user is likely to use the back.

On electronic forms

Where data capture is via an electronically distributed (e.g. email) or Web based form, the statement needs to be part of the form, or displayed when the user accesses the form for the first time. In either case, the electronic version of the statement should contain links to data access and privacy policies.

Batch electronic transfers from a recording package to a collating body

Where wildlife data are captured in a recording package the model statement should be used to support any data export or exchange functions between parties. The supplying party needs to decide whether they are providing a copy of the data (i.e. retaining the original), or passing the original data to the recipient. In supplying a copy the data should be transferred with rights allowing the recipient to use but not edit the data. This will help protect the integrity of the raw data and maintain consistency with the original, particularly important if the recipient has a disseminating role parallel to the holder of the original data. In supplying the original the data should be transferred with rights allowing the recipient to use and edit the data, necessary to permit management tasks. In both cases it should be clear whether the recipient has authority to disseminate the data.


The following documentation is required in order to support the model statement above:

Access policy  [mandatory]

The access policy sets out the principles by which the recipient holds data and makes them available to others. The NBN data exchange principles are intended to provide a basis for such a policy.

Dataset specific conditions [optional]

A statement may be provided setting out how accessible a specific data resource or product will be to others. This statement should be the result of decisions on access made in relation to the access policy. For example, the statement should identify any records of a sensitive nature, availability of which may need to be restricted to selected users.

Privacy policy [mandatory]

The Data Protection Act requires that all holders of personal information must have a publicly available privacy policy. The privacy policy should define the personal information you collect, how it is used and to whom it is disclosed. The privacy policy for the NBN Gateway provides a useful model structure to follow. Where relevant, you should distinguish between:

  • a)  the use of personal information necessary for the interpretation of the data, where the collator requires authorisation for this purpose (for verification and survey administration purposes for example), and to disclose the information to others. Where personal information is not needed it should not be requested, and where submitted with a record should be destroyed.
  • b)  the use of personal information for other purposes such as membership, marketing of an organisation to the recorders etc. Where this is desired a statement setting out the planned use should be included on a ‘recording card’ with a tick box to consent to this use.


The NBN Trust sought legal advice on a framework of formal licences to support the supply and exchange of wildlife data and information products. The model data collation licence is the legally checked form deemed necessary to support the supply of wildlife data by a recorder to a collating body.

Experience suggests that this model licence can discourage previously casual data contribution. Best practice advice is for data collators to develop and implement a less legally complete declaration (e.g.: the model recording form statement given in this paper) supported by a clear statement of intent (e.g. a data access policy and privacy policy) to indicate basic sign-up to the use of data submitted.

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