Monday, 17 September 2018

Data Protection: How To Choose The Right Certification

How to choose the right data protection certification

Recently you heard about the IAPP and our training and certification program in a feature: Complete Guide to IAPP Certification.

With the increased demand for data protection training due to the GDPR, I have been fortunate to work with companies, like Firebrand Training, to expand the IAPP’s training capabilities and deliver to the market certified data protection practitioners that are vital to the work that needs to be done.

Achieving a certification is no easy task. There are multiple training days out of the office, textbooks to read, sample questions to answer and plain old “put your head down and study”. What motivates people to take on this extra work?

Why achieve a data protection certification?

Many individuals know that certification can boost one’s career and ultimately differentiate them in front of employers. More importantly, certifications serve to validate your skills and knowledge.

As individuals begin researching the training and certification options available in the marketplace, it is important to understand and assess the features of these programs to properly evaluate and make the right choice.

Some important factors to consider when assessing an organisation offering certifications is:

  • Does the training simply teach you how to take the test?
  • Does the exam assess experience and competence, or merely the retention of knowledge?
  • Does the certification have independent accreditation from a third party?
  • Does the certification require ongoing education?
  • Is the certification based on real-world job requirements or simply a test of knowledge?

For example, in 2015, the IAPP’s CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM and CIPT went through the demanding process to become ANSI-accredited to the rigorous ISO standards.

Having an independent accreditation of our credentials provides current and future credential holders with a high level of confidence as to the substance and integrity of our certification program. As such, the IAPP offers the world’s first and only accredited global certification in information privacy.

In addition, we also require certified individuals to acquire CPEs (Continuing Privacy Education) credits to maintain their certification.

This ensures individuals must expand their knowledge on an ongoing basis: staying up-to-date on the latest legislative and regulatory landscape, understanding current data protection trends and methods to do their job better. The learning doesn’t stop once the training or the exam ends.

As the data protection landscape continues to rapidly evolve, it’s essential that practitioners doing this important work demonstrate the necessary skills needed for such a complex field.

Taking the additional step to pursue an internationally recognized certification can be advantageous, for both the individual acquiring the certification and the employer.

Since not all certification programs are the same, it’s important to take the time, do some due diligence, and choose the path that best fits professional goals.

With our conservative estimate of 75,000 Data Protection Officers needed worldwide, the time is now to get certified.

Guest post contributed by Alyssa M Rosinski, Director Global Channel and Partners, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)