Terms & conditions


This fair processing notice tells you who we are and what to expect when the Natural History Museum collects your personal information as part of our recruitment process.  It should be read in conjunction with our organisational Privacy Notice, which you can find here.

This notice provides information on:

  • Who we are;
  • How and why we collect, store and use your information;
  • How we keep your personal information safe and secure; and
  • Your rights in relation to your personal information.


The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. More than five million people visit the sites in South Kensington and Tring every year, and the website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collections and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity.

The Natural History Museum Trading Company (NHMTC) carries out the commercial activities of the Museum (e.g. events, retail and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition). As a wholly owned subsidiary, NHMTC is subject to the Museum's policies and procedures.

In this privacy notice and in the data protection statements which you will see wherever we collect your personal information, 'the Natural History Museum', 'the Museum' and 'we' refer to the Natural History Museum and the Natural History Museum Trading Company. As a wholly owned subsidiary, personal data may be shared from the Natural History Museum to the Natural History Museum Trading Company and vice versa.

The Museum is the data controller of your personal information.


We collect and processes a range of information about you in connection with our recruitment process. This includes:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
  • whether or not you have a disability for which the organisation needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
  • information about your criminal record if you have any unspent convictions;
  • information about your entitlement to work in the UK; and
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, health, age, religion or belief, and socio-economic background.


We collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms submitted through our applicant management system, from CV’s, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment including online tests.

We will also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers and information from criminal records checks. We will only seek information from third parties once a job offer has been made to you and in all circumstances, inform you in advance.


We need to process personal data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you as this is the aim of the Museum’s recruitment process. We also need to process your data at the stage of entering into a contract with you.

In some cases, we need to process data to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations. For example, we are required to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.

In other cases, we have a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process, as outlined in the lawful basis section below.


We will always use a lawful basis for processing your data in connection with our recruitment process.  The basis for processing your data is set out below:

Lawful Basis Purpose
Legal Obligation  To carry out pre-employment checks for successful applicants prior to them starting, such as DBS checks if applicable, or to confirm an individual’s right to work in the UK.
Legal Obligation To check that successful candidates are statutorily allowed to the role they have applied for, such as checking a driver has a driver’s licence.
Legal Obligation To process health information only at the stage of inviting a candidate in for an interview, so we can ensure reasonable adjustments have been identified where necessary and can be made. This is to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to the Equality Act 2010.
Consent  To process special category data for equal opportunities and diversity monitoring. Data that we collect is used for anonymous reporting, applicants are entirely free to decide whether or not to provide such data, and there are no consequences for failing to do so.
Consent  To send you email alerts about upcoming job opportunities that you have asked to receive. These can be stopped at any time. To communicate with you about possible future employment opportunities for which you may be suited if you are unsuccessful.
Performance of a contract To manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate’s suitability for employment and decide on whom to offer a job (i.e. steps necessary before entering into an employment contract).


In some limited instances our processes are based solely on automated decision-making.  For example, if you state that you do not have the right to work in the UK in your application, for a vacancy for which we could not obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship, your application will not proceed further.


Data will be stored in a range of different places, including in our applicant management system and on other Museum IT systems.

Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR team, the selection panel involved in the recruitment process, managers in the business area with a vacancy and other internal departments where necessary (such as sharing your name with Security staff when you are attending an in-person assessment).

If your application is successful and you are made an offer of employment, we will also share your data with former employers to obtain references for you. We will also share your data with the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks.

We will not transfer your data outside the European Economic Area.

We have internal policies, procedures and controls in place to try to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our employees in the performance of their duties.

Where we engage with third parties to process personal data on our behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisations measures to ensure the security of data. We undertake due diligence and Data Protection Impact Assessments on any third parties we work with.


If your application for employment is unsuccessful, we will hold your data on file for 12 months after the date of your last application for employment. 30 days before the end of that period, you will be notified that your data is due for deletion and will have the option to choose for your data to be retained. If you do nothing, your data will be deleted at the end of the 12 month period.

If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your employee file and our HR management system and retained during your employment. More information will be provided to you as part of our Employee Privacy Notice.

Where you opt in to receive job alerts from us, you will be able to specify how long you wish to receive alerts for. If you wish to unsubscribe before the end of this period, you can do so via the ‘Unsubscribe’ link in any job alert email from us. At the end of this period, you will automatically stop receiving job alerts. You can opt in again at any time via our website.


As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
  • request the Museum to change incorrect or incomplete data;
  • request the Museum to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
  • object to the processing of your data where the Museum is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
  • ask the Museum to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the Museum’s legitimate interest in processing the data. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Data Protection Team: dataprotection@nhm.ac.uk.
  • subject to certain exemptions if you are subject to a decision based solely on automated processing you can ask us to review the decision. 

If you believe that we have not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO) on 0303 123 1113 or through their website: www.ico.org.uk.


You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to us during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, we will not be able to process your application properly, and possibly not at all.

You are under no obligation to provide information for equal opportunities monitoring purposes and there are no consequences for your application if you choose not to provide such information.


If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice please contact the Data Protection Team: dataprotection@nhm.ac.uk.

This Notice was last updated: February 2024