Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

ANNUAL NOTICE, September 01, 2015

UAB Medicine 2Line-WITH TAGLINEACPE and its CPE programs, as education programs accredited by the United States Department of Education, uphold the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  FERPA addresses privacy not confidentiality issues. This means students own the information about them and must know what is being collected and how it is being used. Their information cannot be shared without their written permission.

This ACPE CPE center/program guarantees to its students the rights to inspect and review education records, to seek to amend them, to specified control over release of record information, and to file a complaint against the program for alleged violations of these Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights.

A student record is: (1) any record (paper, electronic, video, audio, biometric etc.) directly related to the student from which the student’s identity can be recognized; and (2) maintained by the education program/institution or a person acting for the institution. 

  • Application materials of students admitted and matriculated are part of the student record.
  • Application materials for others are subject to particular state privacy laws for their retention, use and destruction. If no applicable laws exist, the center creates, publicizes, and follows its own protocol.

Directory Information is student information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.

  • Each Center defines directory information that will be released without specific consent unless a student “opts out.”   UAB interns and residents may “opt out” by putting a request in writing to the CPE Supervisor at any time prior to or during the unit requesting what pieces of directory information are not to be released.
  • At UAB Hospital, common directory information includes: name, address, email, telephone, date of birth, religion, previous education, and photograph. All other information is released only with the student’s written, signed, dated consent specifying which records are being disclosed, to whom, and for what limited purpose. An e-mail request is not sufficient.
  • Before releasing information, students must have received the Annual Notice. 
  • Current students can restrict directory information and/or record access at any time during attendance. Restrictions must be honored even after the student’s departure. Former students cannot initiate new restrictions after departure.
  • Subject to notification, the student’s name, address, denomination and unit of CPE successfully completed will be sent to the ACPE office on the student unit report at the completion of each unit of CPE.

ACPE requires that the CPE student record include the face sheet with directory information, the CPE supervisor’s evaluation report and the student’s own evaluation report, if submitted.

  • A copy of the CPE supervisor’s evaluation report will be given to the student. The student will be informed that the center will keep this evaluation for a specified period of time, and it will not be available to anyone else except with written permission from the student. If the student’s own evaluation is included, it will be kept with the supervisor’s subject to the same provisions. (Note “Exceptions” below)
  • A student has the right to object to record content. If not negotiable, the written objection will be kept with and released with the record. Grades are exempted from this right. 
  • Students are responsible for maintaining their own files for future use. The center will not keep a permanent file or evaluation reports beyond the time specified by ACPE Standards (which are currently 10 years.) Students will be informed at the time copies are given to them that it is their responsibility to keep copies for future use.
  • CPE students are expected to provide copies of supervisor and self-evaluations to their seminary and/or judicatory bodies.  For any seminary or judicatory body requiring evaluations to be submitted directly by the supervisor, students must give written consent for copies of the supervisor’s evaluation reports (and their own if applicable) to be sent to their theological school or other agencies or institutions.
  • The CPE Supervisor may keep process notes on a student. These process notes are for the exclusive use of the writer and are not considered a part of the student’s record. They should be kept separately from the student record.

Exceptions: Certain exceptions concerning the release of information exist to protect the health or safety of the student or others, and for the purpose of accreditation or complaint review, or as required for legal processes. Before releasing material in any of these circumstances, consult with the ACPE Executive Director or Associate Director.

Records Management: Centers must have written protocols for student record retention and destruction (how long records are kept, where, custodian; how destroyed) and for student review of records. Protocols must be followed consistently.

  • When an ACPE program closes, the regional accreditation chair arranges the secure storage of all student records of the closed program. The Accreditation Commission Chair and ACPE office will be informed of the records’ location.
  • UAB shall keep student records for at least ten years in a secure locked location. These records shall not be open to anyone outside the CPE center except with the student’s written request. (Note “Exceptions” above). After ten years, the center may destroy the student record except for a face sheet with identification information.
  • Health records (mental and physical) must be kept in locked, limited access files separate from other student records. Their use and release is also subject to ADA and HIPPA. Certain safety and employment records are also subject to other federal regulations and state laws and are kept separately.
  • Material written by students, such as verbatims and case histories that contain information about other persons, including other students, will either be destroyed or, if they are part of the student’s record, will have the identifiable information about everyone other than the student redacted.
  • FERPA requires students be able to review their record within 45 days of student’s request (may be less). Record inspection cannot be denied based on the student’s inability to come to the site or outstanding financial obligations. In the latter case, a center can note on the copy sent, “not available for official use.” When a student record contains identifiers of another student, those must be redacted. The Annual Notice details records maintenance protocols and should include whether/how students may copy their records.

Research: If information in student records or in a CPE supervisor’s records is considered of research value, and a CPE center or ACPE desires to collect and use such material for research, a release form shall be made available for the person’s signature. No personally identifiable material will be used for research without the person’s written permission for its use.

Violations of these protocols may be reported to the Chair of the Accreditation Commission at: ACPE, One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030.