Privacy Policy

Who we are
The Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) is a Registered Charity in England and Wales no. 1123044 and Company limited by guarantee no. 6462427.

What we collect
The types of personal information we collect may include your title, first name, surname, date of birth, your qualifications, home and work contact details (telephone, fax, street address, email address, credit card details or bank details) and your mailing address. We may also collect information relating to your employment, including where you are currently employed, your job title, areas of interest/expertise and your job function if this is relevant to your membership. In applications for some categories of membership we ask you to identify a referee and to provide contact information for them. When purchasing a service, your credit card details are also collected, and are temporarily stored until we have processed your order.

How we handle your personal information
The SfAM respects the privacy of its members and website users, and aims to act consistently with the Data Protection Act, and the eight principles of data protection (, that your information is:
1. Processed fairly and lawfully.
2. Obtained for specified and lawful purposes.
3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
4. Accurate and up to date.
5. Not kept any longer than necessary.
6. Processed in accordance with the “data subject’s” (the individual’s) rights.
7. Securely kept.
8. Not transferred to any other country without adequate protection in situ.

Generally, the SfAM collects personal information directly from you. For example, we collect personal information when you:

  • Deal with THE Society Office in person, by telephone, letter, fax or email
  • Fill out and submit a Membership Application form
  • Submit any other information in connection with your application for membership or the purchase of products and services
  • Make an enquiry via a web form
  • Apply for a grant
  • Register to attend an event

Why we collect information
We collect personal data to administer our activities, services or grants and bursaries.

Maintaining the accuracy of data
Members can correct or update personal data via the members area, or by contacting us by email:

Payment and bank details
Any information provided by you in connection with a Direct Debit payment or transaction regarding your credit or debit card numbers, expiry date and billing or delivery address will be used by us to process the transaction.

Credit card details are not stored on our servers, but are securely stored on the payment gateway – Barclaycard epdq - employed by SfAM.

Bank details may be collected during the grant application process to ensure rapid payment is made to successful applicants. This information will be held for as long as necessary to fulfil the stated purpose, and then permanently deleted.

Use and disclosure
The SfAM’s policy is not to disclose any personal information that we hold on you to any unrelated third party, except where you have given your express consent for us to do so or where required by law.

Arrangements are occasionally made with suppliers of goods and services (such as other scientific societies for their mailings to be sent to members). All material is carefully vetted and the mailing list is never released to third parties. The SfAM may use your email address for the purpose of notifying you about services, events or activities of relevance to you. If you tell us that you do not wish us to use your personal information for a particular purpose, we will not do so.

Email addresses of people who place electronic orders with SfAM are used for reply purposes only unless specifically stated otherwise. We also collect email addresses from people who subscribe to our email lists. If you do not want to receive email from us in the future please let us know by modifying your member profile <URL> or sending an email to

Personal information collected on this website will be used only for the purpose stated (such as the processing of grant applications) and such information will be held for as long as necessary to fulfil the stated purpose. Personal data collected during the process of membership application will be kept indefinitely, in a secure database, for the purpose of lapsed membership campaigns.

The SfAM (or its committee members/representatives) may, from time to time, email you with additional information considered to be relevant to your professional/scientific interests, but only to those who have given their agreement to receiving such communications.

Information that you supply to the SfAM is held securely and strict security procedures are followed to prevent unauthorized access or use.

Information to improve our site
We also collect information automatically about your visit to our site. This information is used to help us follow browsing preferences on our site so that we can regularly improve our website and enable more advanced features of our website.