What is the CAG precedent set review pathway?

Last updated on 14 Nov 2023

The Confidentiality Advisory Group precedent set review pathway has been developed to allow a more timely review process for applications that share the same issues as previous applications that have been reviewed by CAG.

Can I apply for review through the precedent set review pathway?

There are a number of precedent set categories describing commonly-arising situations which have been identified and discussed at meetings of the CAG, where the expertise of a broad range of members is applied to the establishment of precedent advice.

You should review the precedent set categories to determine if your application can be processed under this pathway.

Applications meeting any of the following criteria will be excluded from review by the precedent set review pathway and considered at a full CAG meeting:

  1. Access to information about potential abuse, social care data and/or prison populations
  2. Applications involving access to free text, except for the following categories where an exception can be applied:
  • a) Applications submitted under precedent set category 3 (where applicants are accessing confidential patient information onsite to extract anonymised data), where the confidential patient information in question will be extracted from medical notes at a GP surgery or
  • b) Applications submitted under precedent set category 10 (‘exposure to identifiable information when observing practices and procedures in a privileged area within a health and social care setting')
  • These exceptions will only apply where access to free text is time-limited, and no free text will be removed from the site

3. The establishment of a national database or one with a higher risk due to the quantity of information to be held and/or the information security arrangements to be implemented

4. Prospective data collections where consent is not intended to be sought

5. Seeking access to, or linkage with, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority research register, genetic information or non-health data

6. The transfer of confidential patient information outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), or to organisations who intend to use the information for commercial purposes

7. Projects where support is requested indefinitely without a specified exit strategy.

How do I apply for review through the precedent set review pathway?

To apply for review through the precedent set pathway you will need to read and follow the information on our guidance page.

If the sub-committee identify that your application meets one of the exclusion criteria (if not immediately apparent at validation stage) or that your application involves more complex issues than those initially identified, your application will be escalated for review at the next available CAG meeting. You will be kept informed of the reasons for escalation and given the opportunity to provide more information before your application is reviewed at the meeting.

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