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Privacy policy


The National Physical Laboratory (“NPL”) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This policy (together with any other documents referred to on it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

The website is owned and operated by NPL. By continuing to use the Website and by submitting information to our Website, you are accepting the practices described in this policy.

Information we may collect from you:

We may collect personal information from you in the following ways:

  • When you make a phone call or send an e-mail to seek information about our services;
  • Recruitment and employment, including agents, suppliers and contractors;
  • Through our use of the Cookies on our website (please see the Cookies section below);
  • Through your request for publications and other marketing materials;
  • Through your request for information about our services and related topics and events;
  • Through your registration for events;
  • Through your contacting us with enquiries and comments;
  • Through tickets purchasing;
  • Through volunteering and event attendance;
  • If you are a next of kin of our staff or service users we may have your data given to us in that capacity.

If you take one of the steps mentioned above, we may collect and process personal information about you such as:

  • Your name, address, email address and other contact information;
  • Records of your correspondence with us, if you have contacted us;
  • Health data;
  • Protected characteristics;
  • Disclosure and Barring Service clearance data;
  • Interests;
  • Financial information;
  • Details of your visit to the website;
  • Multimedia files such as photographs and video footages;
  • Information about your service user experiences and 
  • Any other information provided to us when you contacted us for submitting an application for a job, such as health information including details of disability and Safeguarding necessities or other circumstantial details.

The means by which we collect such information is described in our cookies policy.

Information others may share with us about you

We never buy personal data from third parties or trade data with other companies. However, there are times when we have to report to our funders and regulators or other relevant bodies how we have used our funds/budgets and in those circumstances, we will report your information either aggregately or anonymously.

Where we store your personal data

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, our servers in the UK. It may also be processed by persons operating in the EEA who work for us or an organisation we have instructed. If we do send your personal data outside the EEA we will take steps to ensure that the recipient implements appropriate measures to protect your information.

Uses made of the information

We will process any of your personal data, in accordance with our obligations under applicable data protection laws and regulations, for the following reasons: 

  • to provide you with the services you have requested;
  • to comply with applicable laws and regulations; 
  • for administrative purposes; 
  • to assess enquiries; and to provide you with information about us and our services. 
  • to contact you for customer satisfaction and impact surveys
  • to support products or services you have obtained from us.
  • for marketing and market research purposes if you have consented to such use
  • to personalise and improve your experience of this website
  • in connection with processing a job application
  • to deal with any queries, complaints or problems reported on the Website
  • to notify you about changes to our service

If, at any time, you do not wish to receive further information about us and our services, contact us at

How long we keep your information

We retain the personal data processed by us in a live environment for as long as is considered necessary for the purpose(s) for which it was collected (including as required by applicable law or regulation).

In addition, personal data may be securely archived with restricted access and other appropriate safeguards where there is a need to continue to retain it.

Disclosure of your information

We may disclose your personal information to third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply any agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of NPL, or others. This includes exchanging information with other organisations for the purposes of safeguarding or other statutory regulations we have to comply with.

Your rights

You have a number of rights in relation to how your personal data is used. We have detailed some of your rights below:

  • You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right if you would like to ask us not to send you further marketing communications at any time by contacting us at
  • You have the right to access personal data held about you and to obtain a copy of it, including to receive your personal data, which you have provided to NPL, in a structured, commonly-used and machine readable format and the right to transmit that data to another data controller without hindrance, or to have that personal data transmitted to another data controller, where technically feasible.
  • You have the right to obtain without undue delay the rectification or completion of personal data which are inaccurate or incomplete.
  • You have the right to restrict or object to the processing of your personal data and to request its erasure under certain circumstances.

IP Addresses

NPL may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. This is statistical data about our users' browsing actions and patterns and does not identify any individual.


NPL’s website uses cookies to record visits to the website. This helps us to improve the website and provide you with a good experience when you browse the website.

Please see our Cookies Policy for more information.

Changes to NPL’s Privacy Policy

This privacy policy was last updated on 26th November 2018. NPL reserves the right to vary this privacy policy from time to time. Such variations become effective on posting on this website. Your subsequent use of this website or submission of personal information to will be deemed to signify your acceptance to the variations.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy should be addressed to

We hope that you won’t ever need to, but if you do want to complain about our use of personal data, please send an email with the details of your complaint to and addressed to our Data Protection Officer, Simon Buchanan. We will look into and respond to any complaints we receive. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the UK data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (“ICO”). For further information on your rights and how to complain to the ICO, please refer to the ICO website

If you need further information about NPL and how we manage your personal data, please visit:

  1. Our Cookies Policy
  2. Contact us page where you can contact our individual departments and centres and enquire about their Fair Processing Notices/Privacy Statements

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Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070