IT policy

This policy provides guidance about acceptable use of any IT facilities including hardware, software and networks, provided by City of Bristol College. This policy applies to all access (including email and attachments) relevant to the College whether this be on a computer/laptop on College premises, use of a laptop at home or use of College software through a home computer.

The guidance in this policy also applies to the Wireless Security Access Policy and Agreement.

The policy establishes a framework and describes the standards that users are expected to observe when using these facilities for email, and ensures that users are aware of the legal consequences attached to inappropriate use of the facilities.

Context

This policy should be read in conjunction with other College policies and procedures pertaining to acceptable standards of conduct and behaviour, e.g. rules for the conduct of employees, anti-bullying and harassment policy and procedures, disciplinary policy and procedures, general regulations for students and IT procedure and guidelines.

Use of all IT facilities provided by City of Bristol College is subject to the relevant policies and regulations, in particular the College IT regulations and the College internet policy statement.

Users should be aware that their usage of facilities for email will be monitored and, in some cases, recorded in line with the Human Rights Act 1998, Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Data Protection Act 1998, Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) Interception of Communications Regulations October 2000. This policy complies with these regulations.

Associated with the provision of these services and facilities, City of Bristol College takes seriously its responsibility to provide an appropriate regulatory framework, including specific standards and guidance for the appropriate use of these College services and facilities. The IT policy constitutes a component of this regulatory framework.

Key principles

The following key principles are fundamental to the IT policy and underpin its implementation at all stages:

  • This policy applies to all members of staff, students and other authorised users of College IT facilities
  • The College supports the appropriate and proper use of the internet, email and related services and facilities that the College provides for its students, staff and other authorised users
  • All users of IT and email facilities provided by the College are bound by the relevant College policies and regulations
  • The College may arrange for an appropriate disclaimer (or advertising) to be appended to all email messages that are sent to external addresses from the College, in order to provide necessary legal protection
  • The standards of acceptable use reflect the values of the College and College management will be responsible for judging reasonable bounds within the standards of acceptable use. In circumstances where there is a breach of the standards of acceptable use, the College will withdraw any unacceptable material and as a matter of course a full investigation into the breach will take place
  • Users should be aware that if found to be in breach of the acceptable standards that the disciplinary policy and procedure may be instigated. Furthermore publication of some materials may not only amount to a disciplinary offence, but also a criminal offence, in which case the issue will be reported to the police for them to take appropriate action
  • In relation to the personal use of College IT facilities for email, users should refer to the IT procedures. If users are in any doubt about what constitutes acceptable and appropriate use, they should seek the advice and guidance, in the case of members of staff, of their manager, and in the case of students, of their course tutor
  • All users, on joining the College will be advised of where they can access a copy of this policy
  • The policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it reflects expected developments in the operational use of the system and best practice

Responsibilities

The policy is maintained and regulated by the College's ICT functional area and jointly, with regard to employment issues, with Human Resources.

Managers have a responsibility to ensure that they fully understand the email policy and effectively communicate this to staff.

All users have a responsibility to ensure that they fully understand and comply with the acceptable standards outlined in this policy.


Last reviewed January 2012