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ESF Participants Survey

The ESF Participants Survey is a survey of people who have undertaken training or received support funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

Information for people contacted in the ESF Participants Survey

What is the ESF Participants Survey?

The ESF Participants Survey is a survey of people who have undertaken training or received support funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).  The surveys take place via telephone interviews but sometimes face to face interviews are used instead.

The purpose of the ESF Participants Survey is to find out whether or not ESF training / support is helpful to people in areas such as seeking employment and improving skills.  

Under data protection law, we (the Welsh Government) are required to have a lawful basis for processing (i.e. collecting and analysing) the information you provide as part of the ESF Participants Survey.  In the case of the ESF Participants Survey we are using the ‘public task’ lawful basis.  This means we are processing the information you provide for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, in other words, so that we can carry out some of our functions in researching the effectiveness of publically funded training.  You don’t have to take part in the ESF Participants Survey but we hope that you will.

IFF Research is a survey company that is undertaking the ESF Participants Survey on behalf of the Welsh Government.


Why is the ESF Participants Survey important?

The findings from the ESF Participants Survey are essential for improving future training and support.  We will also provide some of the analysis of the survey to the European Commission who provides the money for ESF training and support


What will happen to the information I give to IFF Research?

IFF Research will provide the information you give to them to us, the Welsh Government who will be the data controller for the information.  We will only use the information to undertake research to help improve Welsh Government policy. The Welsh Government may provide your anonymised answers to other organisations such as those running European Social Fund projects to allow them to improve the services they offer to others in the future, and to other researchers to allow them to analyse the data and learn more about how training can be improved to help people.  

As part of the survey you will be asked if you are happy for your answers to be linked with other information held about you by the Welsh Government and other organisations for research purposes.  This will only happen if you say yes to this question.  The reason we want to do this is it is often possible to learn more useful things this way.  For example, how someone’s health may be affected by their experiences of work.  If you say yes to this, your answers will be combined with some personal data we hold about you (e.g. name, contact information, National Insurance number, date of birth) and this personal data will be used to link up your answers to the survey with other information.  This will only be done for non-commercial research purposes, will only be undertaken by the Welsh Government or by research organisations and will be carried out in a secure way.  If you say no to this question, IFF Research will only send back your anonymised answers to the Welsh Government.

Where the Welsh Government undertakes further analysis or follow up research like that outlined above, this work may be commissioned to be carried out by an accredited third party (e.g. a research organisation or a consultancy company). Any such work will only be undertaken under contract. Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions for such contracts set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

We will never use your information in a way that directly affects you.  

We will make sure that you are never identified in any information that reaches the public domain.  For example, your name or any other information that may identify you will never appear in any research reports.

The information you give will be held securely by the Welsh Government until 2026 at the latest. After this it will be safely destroyed.  We will make sure that any other organisations that hold the information you provided as part of the survey will store it securely and destroy it after this date.


Do I have to take part?

No one has to take part if they don’t want to but to get an accurate picture of whether ESF training and support is helpful to people your answers are very important to us.


How do I do access the information I gave to IFF Research?

You have a right to access the information you gave to IFF Research.  To do this, please phone: 0845 010 3355


How do I change the information I gave to IFF Research?

You have a right to change the information you gave to IFF Research.  To do this, please phone: 0845 010 3355.


How can I get my information deleted?

You have a right to change your mind over what we do with your information.  If you would like your information to be deleted, please phone: 0845 010 3355 and we will arrange this.


Who can I contact for further information?

You can either phone: 0845 010 3355 or you can contact the Welsh Government Data Protection Officer.  The Welsh Government Data Protection Officer is the Head of Governance and Assurance and can be contacted on:

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner’s Office is the independent body who oversee the data protection legislation. They can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
SK9 5AF.