Privacy Policy and Terms of site usage

General Terms of Site Usage


Neither content of this web site nor any element thereof, including without limitation text, graphics, images, or any other materials, may be copied, re-purposed, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or redistributed, unless otherwise stated, or unless there is a specific written agreement between OFTEC and you.

The materials on this site are copyrighted and any unauthorised use of any materials it contains may violate copyright laws.

All rights, title, and interest in and to this Web Site are owned by OFTEC. The web site is protected by relevant copyright legislation.

Any material, information or other communication you transmit or post to this site will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary and may be reproduced by OFTEC to further its cause, unless you tell us otherwise in writing.

OFTEC does not take any responsibility for materials on those websites this site links to.

Privacy Notice

1 – Introduction

This Privacy Notice explains in detail the types of personal data we may collect about you when you interact with us. It also explains how we’ll store, handle and keep that data safe.

It’s important that we explain how we use your personal data and we want you to be fully informed about your rights. This is why it is such an extensive document.
We may need to update our Privacy Notice from time to time. We recommend that you check this notice for updates on a regularly basis.

As a business, we interact with a diverse range of customers, such as home owners or their agents, government agencies, local authorities, heating professionals, etc. For the purpose of this document ‘registrants’ can be defined as individuals who have contacted us with regard to our registration schemes. “Members” can be defined as individuals that represents a business that have contacted us with regard to Trade Association membership.

Whether you are interacting with our websites (,,,, or with us by telephone, post, email or text message, under GDPR, OFTEC is the “Data Controller”.

2 – What is OFTEC

OFTEC is the trading name for the Oil Firing Technical Association Limited. We are a not-for-profit company registered in the UK and Republic of Ireland under registration number 2739706. Throughout this notice OFTEC may also be referred to as ‘we’ or ‘us’.

OFTEC operates a number of divisions:

Registration Services – administers a register for heating technicians working with liquid fuel, solid fuel, solar thermal, biomass and heat pump installations. Plus, those undertaking Part P electrical work
Trade Association – represents the interest of liquid fuelled appliance, fuel storage tank and associated equipment manufacturers, plus a number of training providers.
OFTEC Direct – is a retail outlet offering tools, equipment and consumables to heating technicians and the general public.

3 – The legal basis for using your personal data

Laws on data protection specify the different reasons that a company may collect and process your personal data. We will make it clear to you what data is necessary to collect in connection with each particular service we provide when we collect your personal data.

The reasons for which a company may collect and process your personal data are defined by data protection laws. These include:


We can collect and process data that you have given your consent for us to use. For example, this might be if you have ticked a box to receive an email, a newsletter or when you have completed an application form to join our registration scheme or join our trade association.

Contractual obligations

In order to comply with our contractual obligations we may need your personal data. For example, if you wish to join the OFTEC registration schemes we need to collect and hold your personal data for the purposes of fulfilling our obligation to service that registration. We will also need to share certain elements of this data with third parties in order for us to deliver the service that you have requested. For example, external producers of identity cards, certificates or publishers of the Oil Installer magazine.

Legal compliance

There are occasions, such as when there is a suspicion of fraud or other criminal activity, where we may be required by law to collect and process your data and pass on your details to the authorities responsible for law enforcement.

Legitimate interest

As part of the process of running our business, we require your data to pursue our legitimate interests. This will not materially impact your interests, freedom or rights. For example, if you are a registrant, we will use your qualifications and registration history to send you timely reminders about training and renewing your registration. We will also keep records of any non-compliant aspects of your work in order to carry out on going risk assessment of your ability to work compliantly and use your postal and/or your email address to send you important updates relating to your registration. For example, technician eNews or the Oil Installer magazine.

If you are a trade association member, we will contact you with information or advise you of working group activity relative to your sector of industry.

If you purchase a product through OFTEC Direct, we may contact you regarding warranty or product recalls.

4 – When do we collect your personal data?

We may collect your personal data:

  • through the use of Cookies, when you visit our websites. See our Cookies Policy.
  • when you make an application to join our registration schemes.
  • when you make an application to join trade membership.
  • when you enquire about or purchase goods through OFTEC Direct.
  • when you contact us to make changes to your registration details.
  • if you contact us with a technical enquiry.
  • if you contact us to make a complaint.
  • when you visit any of our websites and create an account.
  • when you visit any of our websites and apply changes to your account.
  • if you purchase a product or service by phone, but don’t have (or don’t use) an account.
  • when you book any kind of appointment with us or book to attend an event. For example a heating show or industry meeting.
  • when you enter a prize draw or competition.
  • when you choose to complete any surveys we may send you.
  • when you comment on or review our products and services.
  • when you fill in any forms. For example, if an accident happens within the head office premises.
  • when you’ve given a third-party permission to share with us the information they hold about you.

5 – What sort of personal data do we collect?

We will only collect data to deliver a service that you have requested from us.

To process and maintain a registration, we will collect your name, postal address, email address(s), telephone number(s), your national insurance number, a photographic image of you, your date of birth, details about qualifications relating to your scopes of registration, inspection records and details of complaints made against you. We may also collect details of other interactions that we have had with you. For example, when you notify us of changes in your circumstances.

To process and maintain a trade association membership, we will collect the name of the business, names of personnel in specific areas of the business, postal address(s), email address(s), telephone number(s) and information relating to your declared interests at the application stage.

To process a technical enquiry, dependent upon your method of contact with us, we may collect your name, postal address, email address(s), telephone number(s).

To process a complaint concerning work undertaken by a registrant or activities of a trade association member, we will collect the name(s), postal address(s), email address(s), telephone number(s), plus other relevant details to enable us to process the complaint. These may include details of the affected property/equipment and/or information relating to its owner(s) or appointed agent.

If you have accounts with us, we will also collect account log-in and payment details. For example, details relating to work notification, to access the restricted areas of our websites or to purchase products and services.

6 – How and why do we use your personal data?

For registrants, we use your personal data in order to identify you as an individual and to allow us to monitor your competency and registration status in line with our obligations to operate a registration scheme.

Some examples of how we use your personal data are listed below:

  • Your national insurance number is used as your unique identifier.
  • Your name, postal and email address(s) are used to communicate to you updates and information relative to the services or products that you have requested from us.
  • A photographic image is used to produce your registration identity card.
  • Details of your competency certificates allow us to monitor your registration status and notify you when you require reassessment and/or to re-register with us.
  • Details of inspections or consumer complaint investigations allows us to monitor and assess your competence and eligibility to apply for or remain on our register.

If you choose not to share your personal data with us, or refuse certain contact permissions, we may not be able to provide you with some services you have requested.

From time to time we will send you information that you require to maintain your competency as a heating technician. For example, technical updates, electronic news letters, the Oil Installer magazine or other important communications that you need to be aware of. These may include notifications relating to changes in legislation or safety recall notices.

Your details may need to be passed to a third party to supply or deliver products or services that you have requested from us. See section 9 for further information.

To protect our business and your account from fraud and other illegal activities, we may use your personal data to maintain, update and safeguard your account. We’ll also monitor your browsing activity with us to quickly identify and resolve any problems and protect the integrity of our websites. We’ll do all of this as part of our legitimate interest. For example, by checking your password when you log-in and using automated monitoring of IP addresses, to identify possible fraudulent log-ins from unexpected locations.

We may send you communications required by law, or which are necessary to inform you about our changes to the services we provide you. For example, updates to this Privacy Notice, product recall notices, and legally required information relating to the products and services that you have requested from us. These messages will not include any promotional content and do not require prior consent when sent by email or text message. If we do not use your personal data for these purposes, we would be unable to comply with our obligations.

To display the most interesting content to you on our websites, we will use data we hold about your favourite brands or products and so on. We do so on the basis of your consent for our website to place cookies or similar technology on your device. For example, we might display a list of items you’ve recently looked at or offer you recommendations based on your purchase history and any other data you’ve shared with us.

To comply with our contractual or legal obligations, we may share data with law enforcement agencies. For example, as part of a criminal investigation or to aid court proceedings.

To send you survey and feedback requests to help improve our services. These messages will not include any promotional content and do not require prior consent when sent by email or text message. We have a legitimate interest to do so as this helps make our products or services more relevant to you.

7 – How we protect your personal data

We know how much data security matters to you. With this in mind we will treat your data with the utmost care and take all appropriate steps to protect it.

We secure access to all transactional areas of our websites using ‘https’ technology. All production databases are hosted on dedicated servers within a secure environment, which are protected by firewalls, and where public access is not permitted.

We regularly monitor our system for possible vulnerabilities and attacks to identify ways to further strengthen security.

8 – How long will we keep your personal data?

Whenever we collect or process your personal data, we’ll only keep it for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected.

With regard to registrants, when you leave our registration scheme, no further processing of your personal data will take place. However, to fulfil contractual obligations, we will typically retain your personal data for a period of seven years. At the end of the retention period, your data will either be deleted completely or anonymised. For example, by aggregation with other data so that it can be used in a non-identifiable way for statistical analysis and business planning.

If we have collected information that suggests that you or your previous activities present a risk to the general public, we will retain your personal information for a period of twelve years from leaving our registration scheme. This information is retained for the sole purpose of evaluating your eligibility to be granted registration in the future. For example, if your registration was previously revoked because of criminal activity, bringing OFTEC in to disrepute, or failure to carry out rectification work following surveillance or a complaint investigation.

With regard to trade association members, when you leave our association, no further processing of personal data will take place and it will be deleted after a period of two years. However, we will keep records of any complaint investigations against your business for a period of seven years.

With regard to technical enquiries, after providing a response to your enquiry, we will typically retain your personal data for a period of seven years (six years contractual limitation period plus one year to account for any delay that may arise in the execution of any work(s) following a technical enquiry). At the end of the retention period, your data will either be deleted completely or anonymised, for example by aggregation with other data so that it can be used in a non-identifiable way for statistical analysis and business planning.

9 – Who do we share your personal data with?

In order to deliver the service(s) that you have requested, we sometimes share your personal data with trusted third parties. Examples of the kind of third parties we work with are:

  • IT companies who support our website and other business systems.
  • operational companies such as delivery couriers.
  • external producers of identity cards, certificates or publishers of the Oil Installer magazine.
  • contracted inspection personnel.
  • payment solutions providers.
  • regional Trading Standards departments.
  • local Building Control Bodies.

Here are the policies that we apply to those organisations to keep your data safe and protect your privacy:

  • We provide only the information they need to perform their specific services.
  • They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them.
  • We work closely with them to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected at all times.
  • If a service is fulfilled or we stop using their services, any of your data held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous.

Sharing your data with third parties for their own purposes

We will only do this in very specific circumstances having first gained your consent. For example, if you tick a box to grant consent to be sent promotional information from:

  • OFTEC Insurance Services
  • providers of service benefits for registrants such as fuel card providers


We may be required to share your personal information for the purposes of:

  • Fraud management – We may share information about fraudulent or potentially fraudulent activity in our systems. This may include sharing data about individuals with law enforcement bodies.
  • Criminal investigation – We may be required to disclose your personal data to the police or other enforcement, regulatory or Government body, in your country of origin or elsewhere, upon a valid request to do so. These requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis and take your privacy into consideration.
  • Business development – We may, from time to time, expand, reduce or sell OFTEC and this may involve the transfer of divisions or the whole business to new owners. If this happens, your personal data will, where relevant, be transferred to the new owner or controlling party, under the terms of this Privacy Notice.
  • To help facilitate your journey through our websites we currently use the following companies, who may process your personal data as part of the service they provide you, we suggest that you check the privacy notices of the following platforms before interacting with them:


    10 – Your rights over your personal data

    In line with GDPR data protection laws you have the right to request:

    • a copy of the personal data we hold about you.
    • the correction of your personal data if it is incorrect, incomplete or out of date.
    • that we stop using your personal data for marketing of products or services (either through specific channels, or all channels).
    • that we stop any consent-based processing of your personal data after you withdraw that consent.
    • that your personal data is deleted once there is no compelling reason for it to be processed further.

    Please note, for the purposes of administering a registration scheme we have a legitimate interest in keeping you informed about changes in regulations, technical requirements and safe working practices. For this reason, it is recommended that you do not opt-out of receiving publications such as Oil Installer and registered technician’s eNews whilst you are in active registration.

    To request a copy of the personal data we hold for you, please write to the Data Protection Coordinator at Foxwood House, Dobbs Lane, Kesgrave, Suffolk, United Kingdom, IP5 2QQ or email us at with “Subject Access Request” as the title.

    Registered technicians can access and amend their personal data at if it is out of date or incorrect. Alternatively, you can contact our Registration Team on 01473 626 298 (UK) or 01-8645771 (RoI) who will be pleased to help.

    If we choose not to action your request, we will explain to you the reasons for our refusal.
    Your right to withdraw consent

    You can choose to withdraw your consent for us to use your personal data at any time.
    Where we rely on our legitimate interest

    If you ask us to stop processing your personal data, we must do so unless there is a legitimate overriding reason for us to continue processing your data.
    Direct marketing

    We must comply with your request for us to stop using your personal data for direct marketing.
    Checking your identity

    To protect the confidentiality of your information, we will ask you to verify your identity before proceeding with any request you make under this Privacy Notice. If you have authorised a third party to submit a request on your behalf, we will ask them to prove they have your permission to act.

    11 – How can you stop the use of your personal data for direct marketing

    There are several ways you can stop direct marketing communications from us:

    • Click the ‘unsubscribe’ link in any email communication that you. We will then stop any further emails from that division, unless they are provided with legitimate interest.
    • Log into your OFTEC account at and change your preferences.
    • Write to the Data Protection Coordinator at Foxwood House, Dobbs Lane, Kesgrave, Suffolk, United Kingdom, IP5 2QQ or email us at with “GDPR Consent Withdrawal” as the title.

    Please note, “unsubscribing” from the Registered Technician’s eNews will result in you not receiving important updates that affects your registration and/or competence, which may result in withdrawal of registration.

    It may take a short period of time for our systems to be fully updated following a change to your preferences. During this time, you may continue to receive communications from us.

    12 – OFTEC Direct

    OFTEC Direct sells a range of products to help heating professionals perform their work.

    OFTEC Direct may, from time to time, send you relevant offers or information on new products available if you have opted in for this service. You can, at any time, opt out of receiving these communications by following the unsubscribe link in our OFTEC Direct newsletters or by contacting

    13 – Contacting the regulator

    At any time, if you feel that we have not responded satisfactorily to your request, or if you feel that your data has not been handled correctly, it is within your rights to register a complaint with the relevant data protection regulator in your country of residence.

    UK, contact the Information Commissioner’s Office via
    Republic of Ireland, contact the Data Protection Commissioner via

    14 – If you live outside the UK

    For all non-UK and Republic of Ireland registrants and members

    Although the General Data Protection Regulation data laws apply to the EU, we will apply the same policy for the processing of personal data held by us for residents outside this geographical area. We will honour your request for access to your personal data or request that we stop processing your data.

    By giving us your personal data for the purposes of registration, you are giving us consent to hold and process your data outside of your country of residence. This includes disclosing elements of your personal data to third party business connected with the day to day running of our business.

    This may occur because our information technology storage facilities and servers are located outside your country of residence and could include storage of your personal data on servers in the UK.

    15 – Any questions?

    We hope this Privacy Notice has been helpful in explaining how we handle your personal data and your rights to control it.

    If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Data Protection Co-ordinator for further guidance:

    Email us at with “Data Protection Enquiry” as the title.

    Alternatively, write to us at Data Protection Co-ordinator, Foxwood House, Dobbs Lane, Kesgrave, Suffolk, United Kingdom, IP5 2QQ

    From the UK, you may also wish to consult the Information Commissioner’s Office via or from the Republic of Ireland via

    16 – Last updated

    This notice was last updated on 23rd May 2018


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