Transcription advice

Recording Interviews

Due to the difficulty in guaranteeing that a recorded interview will not contain personally identifiable data, it is safest to assume that all such recordings will be subject to the Data Protection Act. As a result you must adopt an approach that ensures the security of the recording and its content.

Interviews must be recorded on an encrypted device. Ideally this should be a University owned encrypted digital recorder. However, it is acceptable to use a personally owned device as long as it is encrypted and the University's Mobile and Remote Working policy (PDF, 95kB) is complied with. Acceptable devices include the Olympus DS-3500 digital recorder, or an encrypted smart phone/tablet/iPod (or any other encrypted device, including laptops).

Transcribing Interviews

There are several approaches that can be taken to transcribe interviews such that security of the recording and its content is not compromised:

  1. The recording can be transcribed by a member of University staff on a University owned computer
  2. The recording can be transcribed by a member of University staff on the Staff Remote Desktop service
  3. The recording can be transcribed by UK Transcription Limited, Rapid Transcriptions, The Transacription Company UK or Bristol Transcription Services. These are currently the only three external transcription companies which have been approved to process data subject to the Data Protection Act, for which the University is the data controller. (Both have entered into a formal "Personal Data Processing Agreement" drawn up by the Secretary's Office.)

Transferring Recordings to a Transcriber or Transcription Service

Recordings must be securely transferred to transcribers. This transfer could take the form of:

  1. a secure upload to an approved transcriber’s website
  2. a University approved encrypted memory stick that supports AES 256-bit encryption and is FIPS 140-2 compliant (you can order the Integral Crypto stick via the IT Shop)
  3. a file encrypted to AES 256-bit encryption using a utility like 7-Zip that is transferred via the University’s Facility for the Upload of Large Files service (FLUFF)
  4. a file encrypted to AES 256-bit encryption using a utility like 7-Zip that is transferred via your University Google Drive
  5. a file encrypted to AES 256-bit encryption using a utility like 7-Zip that is transferred via a CD or DVD

If an encrypted memory stick or CD/DVD containing an encrypted recording is transferred to a transcriber via the post then it must be a Recorded Delivery.

Encryption keys must be sent to the recipient by some other means, e.g. telephone, email, and must not be sent with the encrypted recording.

Transferring Recordings from a Transcriber or Transcription Service

Equal attention must be paid to the security of transfers of completed transcriptions from the transcribers and for the safe return or secure deletion of the recordings sent to them.

Purchasing advice

For advice on purchasing digital recorders, please use the SelfService Desk to raise an "incident" and assign it to Learning Facilities Management (as the "Service Provider").