Learning Hacks for DPOs (Data Protection Officers)

While not glamorous and often overlooked, the important role a Data Protection Officer (DPO) plays nowadays cannot be overemphasised. This is especially true since digitalisation is considered the only option for those who want to survive today’s current economic environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global economy and is seen as proof that only those that can quickly implement digital transformation can make it through adversity with ease. The pandemic also highlighted the importance of investing in Advanced Certificate in Data Operational Excellence.

The Advanced Certificate in Data Protection Operational Excellence comprises five modules that cover operational aspects in information security and data protection. It also includes practical application for Data Protection Impact Assessment and Data Protection by Design.

Participants are awarded the Advanced Certificate in Data Protection Operational Excellence after completing five modules in twelve days. The course is ideal for Compliance Managers, Data Protection Officers, and other personnel that are handling data protection responsibilities.

To keep up with new data protection demands, lifelong learning for Data Protection Officers (DPOs) is emphasised. To accelerate the learning journey, below are learning hacks your staff, management, and Data Protection Officer should keep in mind:

Consider micro accreditation for general staff

Most employees, especially those that process personal data might not be able to commit attention and time to in-depth training. Conducting training sessions that are topic-centric (i.e., lunch and learn, e-learning, and town hall training can make learning more convenient and efficient for attendees and organisers alike.

Attend specialised training for management and managers

For them to perform their roles accordingly, staff and management involved in data protection need to deepen their knowledge of recent data protection trends and data protection in general.

To keep up with the increasing need to comply with data protection laws, attending specialised classes by seasoned professionals with operational experience can help contextualise and accelerate learning.

Attending specialised classes will also enable management and staff to monitor or run the data protection management programme implemented and developed by their organisations.

Additional areas of competence can include knowledge of other data protection laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Information Security, and learning how to carry out Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA).

Attend international forums by seasoned professionals and experts

While data protection laws can differ across jurisdictions, many controls tend to be common. Networks and organisations such as the Data Protection Excellence Network (DPEX) and the IAPP conduct forums where experts share their insights and learnings with fellow data protection practitioners.

Join DPO support groups on social media

If you want to get more regular updates, it is recommended that you join DPO support groups on social media or  subscribe to data protection-related newsletters. For instance, Straits Interactive provides weekly updates on their LinkedIn and Facebook pages.