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DPUP — purpose statement checklist

Use this checklist to make sure that a written purpose statement covers everything it needs to.

Completing the checklist

  • Answer ‘Yes’ if this is covered — great!
  • Answer ‘N/A’ if something doesn’t apply — for example, there may be no data matching involved.
  • Answer ‘No’ if the purpose statement has not covered this. Either you need to add something to the purpose statement or there is an issue that still needs to be addressed and worked through. This should happen before going ahead with any collection or use of people’s information.

Does the purpose statement explain

  1. What data or information is necessary for the purpose.
    • What data or information will be collected or used?
    • What parts of it will or can identify people and what parts cannot or will not identify people?
    • Who is this data or information from or about?
      These are the characteristics, groupings, populations, or communities that the data or information comes from. For example, service users enrolled in programme X, who access services from agency Y, people aged under 25 and so on.
    • What data or information matching (linking) will happen?
  2. What the purpose is for collecting or using it.
    • What actions, tasks, decisions, activities or processes will the data or information be used for?
    • What will this data or information not be used for?
  3. Why this purpose matters or what the outcomes are meant to be from using the data or information in this way or for this action / task, and so on.
  4. Who will see the data or information.
    • In the agency that collects it?
    • In any other agency that might access it or use it for this purpose?
    • Who will not see it, and what will it not be used for? This describes the limits, or constraints, that are fair and reasonable to tell someone about, given the reason, or purpose, for collection or use.
  5. What laws allow this collection or use.
  6. What choices will service users have about the collection or use of their data or information for this purpose.

Final check

  • Make sure that the purpose statement is free from jargon, written clearly and is easy to understand.
  • Include other people, to look at the draft purpose statement and check that it is easy to understand and tells them what they need to know.
  • Make a plan to translate the purpose statement, or present it in different ways, if that makes sense for those who need to know about it.
  • Make a plan to share the purpose statement with those who need it: those who provide information or data, collect it from service users or who may need to explain this to them.
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