S-DPFPrivacy & Data Protection Foundation certification
About the course
Our Privacy & Data Protection Foundation (PDPF) course provides you with a thorough understanding of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). During the course, you will systematically analyse the GDPR’s terminology and provisions, and you will learn how the supervisory authorities interpret GDPR requirements. At the end of the course, you will have a clear picture of rights and obligations under the GDPR, and you will be able to translate the law to your daily life and work.
The knowledge you obtain in this course readies you for the next (Practitioner) level, where you will accomplish complex DPO assignments, such as writing a privacy notice and performing a data protection impact assessment.
- Understand the GDPR through easy-to-read explanations, real-world examples and fictive scenarios;
- Study with course materials based on guidelines issued by the national data protection authorities and the European Data Protection Board;
- Assess your progress with exercises and practice tests;
- Prepare for your certification assessment with a free sample exam.
No previous knowledge or experience is required.
The course is suitable for absolute beginners and those would like to deepen their basic GDPR-knowledge. If you already have a good understanding of the GDPR and you are interested in practicing a Data Protection Officer’s tasks, we advise you to register for the Practitioner level.
About the certificate
Core data protection competencies you will validate with your SECO-PDPF (S-PDPF) certificate
The Privacy & Data Protection Foundation certification exam covers a set of competencies that are essential for DPOs as well as any professional who handles personal data on a regular basis.
By passing the exam and earning a SECO-Privacy & Data Protection Foundation (S-PDPF) certificate, you demonstrate the following data protection competencies:
- Demonstrate a good understanding of the GDPR and the opinions of the Article 29 Working Party (European Data Protection Board);
- Determine which GDPR provisions are relevant to your organisation;
- Identify the controller, the processor, and the competent supervisory authority;
- Understand the DPO’s role, tasks and responsibilities;
- Understand the processing principles and know how to give them effect in practice;
- Identify a lawful basis for the processing;
- Assess the compatibility of processing purposes;
- Know on what conditions you may process sensitive data and other specific categories of personal data;
- Understand the data subject’s rights and their limitations;
- Determine what information must be provided to data subjects;
- Know how to handle data subject requests and on what grounds a request may be rejected;
- Recognise extra-EEA data transfers and know what requirements they must meet;
- Know what to include in a processing register;
- Identify “appropriate” technical and organisational measures to ensure the protection of personal data;
- Know how to document and notify data breaches;
- Determine whether a processing activity requires a data protection impact assessment (DPIA);
- Know what documents you must create and maintain to demonstrate compliance to the supervisory authority.
What are the benefits of an S-PDPF certificate?
An S-DPDF certificate demonstrates that you truly understand how to handle personal data in a GDPR-compliant way. In today’s increasingly digitalised and privacy-aware society, this ability is highly valued by employers across every sector, from IT to banking and beyond. Due to the persistent labour market demand for GDPR-expertise, obtaining an S-PDPF title will provide you with tremendous opportunities for career advancement in any profession that involves personal data.
If you are considering a career in privacy & data protection, S-PDPF is the first step towards opening yourself to a constantly expanding range of data protection jobs. Depending on your interests and background, S-DPDF may set you on the path to becoming a Data Protection Officer, a GDPR consultant, a GDPR project manager, a privacy consultant, or a compliance officer.
If you are an IT or information security professional, S-PDPF may be your first milestone to success in one of the abundant IT and cybersecurity roles that require a working knowledge of the GDPR. Adding clearly defined data protection skills to your profile will help you advance your career as a security manager, an IT security consultant, a security architect, or a data engineer.
If you work with personal data in any other field (such as healthcare, education, HR, marketing or sales), S-PDPF is your opportunity to give yourself a competitive advantage over your fellow professionals and improve your career prospects. Demonstrating an excellent understanding of the GDPR will likely increase your chances of getting a new job or transitioning to a higher position within your field.
Who should certify?
The course and the certificate are ideal for you, if
- You are looking for a way to enter the privacy & data protection profession;
- You are an IT or information security professional looking for new challenges;
- You work with personal data in HR, marketing, sales, customer service, education, health care, or any other field;
- You are a startup founder or a freelancer and you would like to build trust in your business by ensuring continued GDPR-compliance.
How to prepare for the certification exam?
You can prepare for your certification exam by taking a course or by self-study.
We also offer classroom training through our accredited education partners. To find a course in your country, visit the Get Trained page.
If you prefer to prepare by self-study, make sure that you fully understand the requirements before you book your exam. Download the exam syllabus and the sample exam to familiarise yourself with the structure and topic areas of the certification exam. We also recommend you to purchase our course book.
How to book a certification exam?
You can take your certification exam at an accredited exam centre or online.
For more information on the exam, please refer to the SECO Examination Guide.
S-PDPF certificate and digital badge
Upon successful completion of a SECO Privacy & Data Protection Foundation certification exam, you will receive the S-PDPF certification title and a digital badge. Your credentials will grant you a one-year SECO membership. After your certification expires, you will have the option to re-certify by paying a small fee.
For more information on the certification process, please refer to the SECO Certifications Guide.