Privacy & cookies

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General information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect us to do with your personal information when you contact us, including by phone, email, and post and when you visit our website or subscribe to our newsletter.

When we process your personal information, we promise to:

  • make sure you know why we need it
  • only ask for what we need, and not collect too much or irrelevant information
  • make sure it is accurate and up to date
  • let you know if we share it with other organisations, unless we have a legal obligation to pass it on without telling you
  • protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't
  • make sure we don't keep it longer than is necessary

The first part of the notice is information we need to tell everybody.

Controller's contact details

Architecture and Design Scotland falls under the legal entity of the Scottish ministers in relation to processing of your personal information. We are the controller for the personal information we process, unless otherwise stated.


Opening hours: Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 4.30pm.

From the UK: 0131 556 6699

International callers: +44 131 556 6699



Architecture and Design Scotland
9 Bakehouse Close

146 Canongate

Data Protection Officer’s contact details

You can contact our Data Protection Officer at or via our postal address.

Please mark the envelope ‘Data Protection Officer’.

Your data protection rights

Data protection law gives you certain rights that you may exercise in respect of your own personal information.

  • you have a right to request a copy of personal information we hold about you, by making a subject access request. This right always applies. There are some exemptions, which means you may not always receive all the information we process. 
  • you have the right to ask us to update our records if you believe that the data we hold is inaccurate or incomplete. This right always applies
  • you have the right to ask us to erase your personal information. There may however be some circumstances in which we cannot comply. Such as, if we have a legal duty to keep data, or we process it in a particular way
  • you have the right to ask that we stop or restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances
  • you have the right to object to processing if we are able to process your information because the process forms part of our public tasks
  • you have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us from one organisation to another, or give it to you. This right only applies to information you have given us and we are processing information based on your consent or under, or in talks about entering into a contract and the processing is automated


You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. We have one month to respond to you. Please contact us at if you wish to make a request.

Your right to complain

If you have concerns about our compliance with data protection laws, please contact our Data Protection Officer in the first instance at They will look into the concerns you have raised and provides the response.

If you are not satisfied with the DPO’s response you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The ICO are the supervisory authority responsible for data protection in the UK. You can contact the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 08456 30 60 60

More information is available on the Information Commissioner's website. You can also report any concerns via the Information Commissioner Officer's website.

How we get information

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

  • you have a question or a concern about something
  • you have made an information request to us
  • you subscribe to our newsletter

We also receive personal information indirectly, in the following scenarios:

  • we have contacted an organisation about an issue you have raised and it gives us your personal information in its response

Lawful basis for processing

We process your personal information because:

  • you have given us clear consent for us to process your personal data for a specific purpose
  • processing is necessary for a contract we have with you, or because you have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract
  • processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation that applies to us
  • processing is necessary to protect your (or some else’s) life
  • processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review to make sure it is up to date and accurate. If this privacy notice changes in any way, we will update this page. Regularly reviewing this page ensures that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we share it with other parties.

Contacting Architecture and Design Scotland

You may have written to us, or contacted us by phone, because you have a question or concern about something. This part of the privacy notice sets out how we use your personal data, and your rights when communicating with us.

What we do with information we collect from you when you contact us

When you write to us or call us, your enquiry will usually be first handled by Corporate Infrastructure Team. They will then send it to a specific team so that your question can be answered. We will only use your personal information for the purpose of handling, investigating and resolving your issue. We will use the contact details you provided to respond to your correspondence. If you have raised any issues about a third party, we may use the contact details you have provided for them to investigate your issue.

What personal information we collect

We need enough information from you to answer your enquiry. If you contact us via email or post, we’ll need a return address for response.

Who we share your information with

Your enquiry will often need specialist advice, and will be passed to the relevant team for consideration and input.

In some circumstances we will share your information with other organisations. When we do that we’ll satisfy ourselves that we have a lawful basis on which to share the information and document our decision making and satisfy ourselves we have a lawful basis on which to share the information.

Visiting our website

We collect information about you when you visit our website, and when you interact with our pages. We also collect information when you provide feedback or subscribe to our newsletter.

What we do with information we collect from you when you visit our website

We use this information to:

  • improve the site by monitoring how you use it
  • respond to any feedback you send us, if you've asked us to
  • send out email alerts to those who have subscribed to our e-newsletter
  • record and/or publish your response to a survey or consultation
  • publish your comment on a blog or discussion site




If you contact us asking a question or giving feedback, we collect your email address and any other personal data contained in your message. If you contact us asking for information, we may need to contact other government bodies to find that information.

Cookies are small text files that are temporarily placed on your computer while you visit our site. Cookies are widely used by websites and help make websites run more effectively. To use our site you must select or disable cookies. You can change your browser’s privacy settings to block cookies. Please note that this may impact the functionality of some aspects of our website.

When we link to other websites, we encourage you to read the privacy policy statements contained on those sites.

We use a number of third party websites to enhance your experience of using the A&DS website. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Shorthand Social 
  • Surveymonkey
  • Vimeo 
  • YouTube 
  • Flickr
  • Issuu
  • Microsoft Forms 

These website have their own privacy policies which we encourage you to explore.

We use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect information on how you use the site, using cookies and page tagging techniques.

The information we - and Google - collect doesn't identify anyone. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through the site, for example through subscription to our mailing list, we will be upfront about it.


Subscribing to our e-newsletter

We collect your email address and subscription preferences when you sign up to our e-newsletter. You can also provide your name but this is optional.

We track how our emails are used - for example whether you open them and which links you click on. The lawful basis we rely on to process personal data when you subscribe to our newsletter is consent. This means you have the right to withdraw your consent, or to object to the processing of your personal data for this purpose at any time. You can unsubscribe from receiving the newsletter at any time by selecting the 'unsubscribe' link that appears in every email. Once you have unsubscribed, your details will be deleted immediately from the system.

How we contact you 

By signing up to receive our e-newsletter your name and email address will be held on a database. We will send you our regular e-newsletter, as well as any special news information – such as invitation to events, activities and opportunities. We sometimes share information about events by trusted and relevant partners, but we never share your details with third parties.

Our email marketing system requires you to confirm your subscription. When you sign up please check your inbox (and also spam/junk folders) to confirm your subscription. Until you confirm you will not receive any information from us. Unconfirmed emails will be removed from our system on a regular basis. 

We do not share your contact details with anyone outside A&DS, however please note that the suppliers of our email marketing programme (RRD Creative) has access to the data to allow them to maintain the system. They do not use, interpret or analyse any of the individual data.

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