Part 1. Frequently Asked Questions
  Part 2. Download Adobe Acrobat reader
  Part 3. List of Acronyms
  Part 4. Glossary of Terms

Part 4. Glossary of Terms

NHS Tayside has sourced the glossary definitions from various sources.  We have made every effort to provide accuracy.   Definition is provided on an 'as is' basis, if you are not sure, please cross reference with another source.

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Term Description
Absolute Exemption
This is an exemption which is not subject to qualification :C i.e. does not require the public interest test applied to it.
Accessible Record
Health or Education records and some Local Authority records.
Accessible Public Record
Any record kept by a public body and covered by the Data Protection Act of 1998.
(in respect of our accountability) :C Answering to the general public for the way we use our powers and carry out our duties. Accepting responsibility for any failure, incompetence or deceit. Taking the action necessary to correct errors and mistakes.
A small piece of computer software code forming an application. More normally associated with the JAVA programming language.
A person requesting information from a public body.
European name for section, as used in the European Convention of Human Rights.
Automated Data
Information which is processed by any type of automatically operated apparatus, especially computers
A numerical range consisting of zeros and ones used by computers
A software program that provides the facility for a web user to interact with the resources of the web via a screen image.
Caldicott Committee
The name of the committee invited to undertake the review of uses made of patient-identifiable information for non-clinical purposes.  Names after its chairperson, Dame Fiona Caldicott.
Caldicott Guardian
A senior health professional who has a strategic role for the management of patient information, including agreeing and reviewing protocols governing the protection, use and disclosure of patient information
Caldicott Principles
The framework for protecting patient confidentiality.

Inventory or listing of sets of data held by a public body.

Citizen?.s Advice Bureau
Where to go to receive free, impartial, independent and confidential advice relating to most everyday subjects.
Clinical Governance
The framework through which the NHS is accountable for the continuing improvement of quality of their services whilst still safeguarding high standards of care, thereby creating  an environment which aims for clinical excellence.
Code of Practice
The documented procedures operated by public bodies to enable them to comply with the legislation.
Common Law
Law which is determined by decisions made by the courts and can therefore change over time.
Complaints Policy
The documented procedures operated by public bodies to deal with complaints received from applicants.
That which should not be disclosed to a third party.
Contempt of Court
The deliberate disregard or disobeying of the judicial processes.
The intellectual or actual ownership of creative work. It is provided automatically to any author of original work, as soon as that work is created. The 1988 Copyright, Design & Patents Act granted copyright owners the exclusive rights to print, distribute and copy their own work. Permission therefore, must be sought from the copyright holder by anyone else wishing to do the same.
Data Controller
This is the person, organisation or authority which determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data is or is to be processed. In most cases the employer will be deemed as being the data controller
Data Holder
Someone holding and processing information about another.
Data Processor
The person or organisation processing personal data on behalf of a Data Controller, e.g. An agency or bureau carrying out Payroll.
Data Protection Act 1998
UK wide legislation governing the rights of living individuals and the responsibilities of Data Controllers with regard to the release of personal information.
Data Protection Officer
The person within a public body responsible for the compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data Protection Principles
The standards of good information handling practice as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data Subject
The individual who is the subject of the personal data.
Decision Notice
A notice in which is embodied the Commissioner?.s decisions about any complaints of non-compliance.
The identification of an illness or other health problem by means of its signs and symptons, ruling out other possible illnesses.
A law passed by the European Union which is binding upon those countries which form the European Union. In itself it does not have any direct effect, but each country within the European Union has to pass a national law which meets the standards as laid within it.


Term Description
Stands for electronic mail :C a communication system for the sending and receiving of text messages and attached files.
Electronic Clinical Communications Initiative

A programme of work to ensure that relevant NHS Scotland staff share appropriate information about patients electronically, under the necessary safeguards. It is the electronic joining up of GPs and practice based staff (Primary Care) with clinicians in the hospital (Acute) setting, with the intent that the patient's experience of NHS Scotland is improved

Enforcement Notice
A notice issued to a Public Authority by the Information Commissioner to force that Public Authority to comply with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
European Court of Human Rights
The court which administers the European Convention of Human Rights, sitting in Strasbourg, and operates within the framework of the council of Europe as opposed to the European Union.
European Court of Justice
The court of the European union, sitting in Luxembourg
Evidence-based practice
An approach to decision making in which the clinician uses the best evidence available, in consultation with the patient, to decide upon whichcourse of action suits the patient best.
Describing certain information as specified within the FoI legislation that a public body is not obliged to release even if requested.
Fees Notice
A notice in writing to an applicant in which a Scottish Public Authority must set out its charges for requested information if charges are to be levied.
Fees Regulations
Regulations which will set out what Scottish Public Authorities can charge applicants for the provision of information.
FoI Officer
Freedom of Information Officer. The person within a public body who is responsible for compliance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act of 2002.
General Practice Administration System for Scotland
The Crown Copyright patient system used by some 85% of GP practices within Scotland
Health Professional
A Consultant, Doctor, Nurse or other specially trained individual having certain responsibilities regarding the health of individuals or groups.
Health Record
Information relating to the physical or mental health, or condition of an individual, as made by or on behalf of a health professional in connection with the care ascribed that individual.
Is a term defined in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act of 2002. Information is deemed as Held by an authority if it is held by the authority otherwise than on behalf of another person. It is also defined as Held if it is held by another person on behalf of the authority. Information is not deemed as Held if it has been supplied in confidence by a Minister of the Crown or a department of the United Kingdom Government.
Historical records
Records which are older than 30 years old, the 30 years beginning from the start of the calendar year after the record was crerated.
Historical records file
The file is deemed to be a Historical record file when 30 years has passed from the date on which the last document within that file becomes an historical record.


Term Description
Means data recorded by any means including CCTV or video, but can also mean something which is not recorded but which is sought by the Information Commissioner from an authority.
Information Notice
A notice in writing which the Scottish Information Commissioner can give in certain circumstances where he/she requires information to deal with a complaint, or to check on compliance.
The World wide network of computers giving people access to view, download and upload data. Often referred to as ??The Web?�
A restricted form of the Internet only available to those linked in to a private network, thereby restricting what is available to in-house personnel only and not the general public.
Keeper of the Records of Scotland
The title given to the person responsible for the preservation of historical records in Scotland.
Legal Privilege
The right of the individual or entity to consult lawyers about ones legal position and to have the privacy of those consultations respected. In most circumstances such information is privileged from disclosure or from being seized by a law enforcement agency.
Local Health Care Co-operative
A voluntary grouping of General Practitioners and other local health care professionals supporting the primary care team in delivering care within their locality.


Member States
Title attributed to those countries which belong to the European Union.
National Archives of Scotland
The place in which is kept the historical records of Scotland.
Non-absolute Exemptions
A class of exemption in which the public authority must still consider whether the public interest in the providing the requested information outweighs the interest served by the application of the exemption.
A rule or code which is not found in a law but which is adopted by an organisation and may have enforcement mechanisms attached which in some cases could ultimately lead to the courts.
A term for secondary legislation made by the Scottish Parliament to give effect to more detailed areas under the law.
Personal Census Information
That which is collected under the Census which relates to an identifiable person or household.
Personal Data
That data relating to a living individual which if in the possession of a data controller could by itself or with other data already in the possession of the data controller easily identify the living individual.
Those employees employed by the employer. Also used as a shortened term for Personnel Department.
Something which can have a real negative impact upon a circumstance or on an individual, and is more than just an embarrassment or inconvenience, and instead would amount to being a potential interference in properly carrying out a public function or specified interest.
A section of the Data Protection Act 1998, of which there are 8.
The obtaining or recording of data.
The making available of information either on the internet or in other forms.
Publication Scheme
A mandatory published guide to classes of information that a public authority body is obliged to publish.
Public Authority
A publicly owned body such as a Health Board, a Local Authority or the police.
Public Interest Test
A framework for assessing if information which has been kept secret from the public should continue to do so.


Term Description
Refusal Notice
That which a Scottish Public Authority must give to an applicant of it is claiming that the information requested is exempt and cannot therefore be provided.
Relevant Filing System
A term which defines those sets of manual information which are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998.
Requirement for Review
This is the term used to describe that which occurs when an applicant is not happy with the manner in which a Scottish Public Authority has dealt with a request for information.
Scottish Executive
The devolved government for Scotland which is accountable to the Scottish Parliament.
Scottish Information Commissioner
The person responsible for enforcing the Freedom of Information (Scotland) act 2002, and also for providing guidance on good practice.
Scottish Ministers
A collective term used to describe the Scottish Executive.
Scottish Parliament
The devolved parliament for most matters Scottish as decided upon by those in the United Kingdom government sitting in London, England.
Scottish Public Authority
A name given to those bodies in the ownership of the state such as the Scottish Executive, local authorities, NHS Scotland, Universities and Colleges, and the Police.
Section 60 Code
A code of practice issued by the Scottish Ministers which deals with the handling of requests for information.
Substantial Prejudice
Something deemed as to be causing serious interference with matters of public interest.
Third Party
Those people other than the data subject, the data controller or data processor, or those people authorised by the latter two including direct employees, and who should not be party to information regarding the data subject.
Trade Secret
Something which relates to a trade or business and which is used in that trade or business and which the owners of have taken steps to protect and also limit the widespread dissemination or publication of it due to it having economic advantage or value to that trade or business. It can include secret formulae, patents, techniques, processes, technological secrets and business information such as marketing studies or customer lists.


Term Description
United Kingdom Information Commissioner
The person responsible for Data Protection over the whole of the United Kingdom as well as Freedom of information relating to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and cross-border public authorities.
The process of transferring data from a ??client?� computer (e.g. a Personal Computer) to a remote ??Server?� computer.
Vexatious request
One of a series of requests, that are made habitually and without reasonable grounds.
World Wide Web
Another name for the internet


Term Description

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