Change made to IoF Code on calling TPS-registered numbers
18 August 2015
Following recent correspondence with the Information Commissioner’s Office the IoF's Code of Fundraising Practice has been amended in relation to calling TPS-registered numbers.
Section 8.2.3 of the Code now reads:
8.2.3 The Telephone Preference Service
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) allows individuals or companies to register their telephone numbers to indicate that they do not wish to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls.
a) Organisations MUST* always check telephone numbers against TPS/CTPS before making calls.
b) Organisations MUST NOT* make direct marketing calls to Telephone Preference Service (TPS)/Corporate TPS (CTPS)-registered numbers unless the person who registered the number has notified the organisation that they are happy to receive calls for the time being.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has produced guidance on direct marketing including the definition of ‘consent’ and the key points for consent to be valid.
Administrative/ calls differ from marketing calls in that they are not made with the specific purpose of soliciting a donation/sale, and so are outside of the Regulations.
c) Marketing calls under the guise of administrative calls MUST NOT* be made.
With these changes being specifically requested by the Information Commissioner’s Office we recommend that all organisations take steps to ensure that they act accordingly with the new changes as soon as possible.
We understand that there is a need for further guidance and clarity for charities on this issue which we are seeking from the Information Commissioner’s Office as a matter of urgency. As soon as we have further information we will of course share it with you. If you have any specific questions or issues that you would like us to address please let us know. In the meantime we as advise all members to read the ICO guidance on direct marketing for an explanation on the rules and application of the Data Protection Act and Privacy and Communications (EC Directive) Regulations.
Commenting on the changes, Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and Research has said:
“Telemarketing is an essential form of communication for charities to be able to reach out to their supporters, talk to them about their work, and to seek further support. We have made this change to our Code of Fundraising Practice following engagement with the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure full compliance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and Data Protection Act.
While it is of course crucial that all charities fundraise according to the law, we are really concerned about charities not being able to contact individuals who have existing and long-standing relationships with charities – this will have a severe and significant impact on the amount of money that charities can raise, and threaten the sustainability of some organisations.
We agree that the rights and privacy of individuals is of fundamental importance, but charities need a proportionate and reasoned regulatory system to govern this that does not unduly restrict the ability to raise money for their causes. We have real concerns that rules and legislation that have been designed to govern the whole of the direct marketing sector are unduly restricting the ability of charities to maintain relationships with their supporters which we urgently want to see addressed.”