Learning at scale on data handling for Hackney Council

The London Borough of Hackney is a local Government authority in the UK, responsible for the welfare of 300,000 residents and business owners.

It employs nearly 4,000 people and work with countless other subcontractors and volunteers, all of whom come in to contact with personal data belonging to those who live and work in this part of London.

The introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK on 25th May 2018, was an important catalyst to ensure Hackney staff understood their responsibilities. Note: understood, not ‘aware of’ or ‘read about’. We’ll come back to why that’s important.

Since 2018 we’ve been running a compulsory online learning program for staff.

Working with the team, we identified 5 critical areas of responsibility, which we turned into questions. Previous user testing showed that learning modules described as questions performed better than traditional chapter-style titles.

Each question has a choice of tasks for participants to complete, to demonstrate they have understood the content. Answers are freeform – there are no multiple choice questions for people to game.

Hackney’s Digital Action Plan guides staff through 5 critical areas of responsibility

So far 4,000 people have completed the program. You can read about the project from Hackney Council’s perspective.

Results from a staff survey demonstrated that the majority of respondents felt they:

  • had a better understanding of whether they are allowed to collect data
  • felt more confident knowing when and how to share and delete data