Three Routes to Review Before Taking Your Data Protection Course


Contrary to popular belief, the role of a data protection officer is not really glamorous. However, data protection officers are considered crucial in today’s digital environment. This is especially true since digitalisation is the only option for businesses that want to survive in today’s current economic environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only devastated the global economy, it has also proven that those who can conform and quickly implement digital transformation will make it through any challenges without much trouble. Unfortunately, digitalisation also makes employee and customer data incredibly vulnerable.

To ensure data is protected accordingly, businesses now employ data protection officers or DPOs. The primary task of a data protection officer is to assist the organisation in governing how personal data is being used, collected, stored, or disclosed within the organisation and in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

Data protection officers who want to develop and implement privacy program networks, measure performance, create a company vision, etc. take data privacy certifications. Data privacy certification courses can also provide a solid foundation for the governance of privacy programs and outline the protection of assets, among others.

Data protection officers who wish to enhance their data protection competencies can review the following routes:

DPO Hands-on / Data Protection Course

This is considered a baseline course DPOs can take. This workshop will not only cover the “what” of the local data protection law, it will also teach participants how to comply as well. Once completed, participants will get a Proficiency in Data Protection and Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC). It will be awarded by the OCEG (Open Compliance & Ethics Group).

OCEG is a “nonprofit think tank that’s dedicated to achieving a world where every organisation and every person strives to achieve objectives, address uncertainty, and act with integrity.” The course also provides 3 different roadmaps: Academic Qualifications Route, Professional Certification Route, and Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance Route.

Academic Qualification Route

After completing the DPO Hands-on Course, Data Protection Officers can opt to further their data protection competency and knowledge by taking courses that will lead to Advanced Diploma/Degree/Certificate from partner universities.

The courses are modular in nature so participants can take them at a time and pace that’s convenient for them.

Professional Certification Route

After completing the DPO Hands-on Course, participants have the option to go for a professional certification with the International Association of Privacy Professionals or IAPP if they feel they already have the data competencies as a compliance officer or DPO.

The IAPP is the most comprehensive and the largest global information privacy resource and community. The IAPP was founded in 2000 and is classified as a not-for-profit organisation that helps support, improve, and define the privacy profession globally.

Recognised by regulators worldwide, the IAPP certification is also considered the benchmark certification for data privacy professionals.

Governance, Risk Management & Compliance (GRC) Route

The data protection practice entails the governance of personal data within the organisation. It also involves the management of risks in processing personal data to ensure there is compliance with the local data protection laws.

The roadmap will provide an avenue for those who have completed the data protection hands-on courses. It is also available for those who would like to expand into the area of GRC.