As you will be aware, all businesses need to keep records of their financial activities regardless of their size. Have you considered that you should also retain records of your students' basic details, class attendance records, health questionnaires, disclaimers etc.?
Whether you agree with the necessity to keep records or not, we live in a world with a blame culture. You will undoubtedly have heard the phrase, 'where there's blame, there's a claim'. You should keep information on file in case of an insurance claim!
I do not want to see our members' careers devastated by an insurance claim, and I highly recommend that you first have teacher insurance in place and, secondly, keep records of your students and classes.
Remember your records are your first line of defence if a student makes a complaint or if you receive an insurance claim against you. A claim may come in years down the line, and you must have records.
I would recommend that you keep the following information:
You may need these to prove whether someone was present (or not) in your class at the time of an allegation.
Things to include: student contact details, emergency contact details, their previous yoga experience and whether they have a medical condition or injury. Get them to sign that the information they have provided is correct.
Be sure to tell students that their data will be kept securely and not shared with anyone else.
Effectively, a series of statements to reject potential legal claims made by class participants.
Any incident, such as someone feeling ill or having an accident in class, should be noted.
The GDPR came into effect in May 2018. The act states that records should be kept no longer than necessary (although they do not define how long that is). Complicated!
For guidance, let's look at Contract Law and our own insurance company, Balens Ltd. They recommend that we keep records for at least seven years. In the case of children (minors under the age of 16), they recommend keeping records indefinitely.
The Statute of Limitation (UK Law) applies to late discovered situations, which can lead to an allegation of negligence 3 or 6 years from the date the student finds a problem. I do not want to scare you; I want to make sure you know that claims or complaints can arise much later!
It would help if you informed your students of your information storage procedures. If you are collecting information in the form of a Student Information form, then it is essential to make people aware of the following:
If you are storing student data electronically, you must ensure it is held securely and cannot be accessed by other people or shared with them. If you use paper to store student information, it is best to keep it locked up.