Data Protection Practitioner


Privacy & Data Protection Practitioner certification

About the certificate

Core data protection competencies you will validate with your SECO-PDPP (S-PDPP) certificate

The Privacy & Data Protection Practitioner certification exam covers a set of high-level data protection competencies that are essential for DPOs as well as any professional who seeks a career in privacy & data protection.

In particular, an S-PDPP certificate attests to your ability to:

  • Translate corporate goals and needs into a vision on handling personal data and build enterprise-wide commitment to data protection;
  • Draft and implement a strategic data protection policy in line with the GDPR’s data protection principles;
  • Draft a GDPR-compliant privacy notice;
  • Create data inventories and data flow maps;
  • Perform a Data Protection Impact Assessment and identify appropriate organisational and technical measures to reduce data protection risks;
  • Incorporate data protection into business processes and projects;
  • Establish procedures for receiving and managing data subject requests and complaints;
  • Identify elements to include in a data processing agreement;
  • Implement a process for managing data processing agreements;
  • Document data breaches and draft a data breach procedure;
  • Create and maintain processing registers;
  • Translate ‘privacy by design and by default’ principles into policies and procedures;
  • Design a privacy awareness program;
  • Ensure compliance with the accountability principle through the use of monitoring tools and effective documentation;
  • Monitor the maturity of a data protection program and identify compliance gaps;
  • Design data protection reports that support good governance and decision-making;
  • Prepare for GDPR compliance audits and investigations by the supervisory authority.

What are the benefits of an S-PDPP certificate?

An S-PDPP certificate enables you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills employers look for in Data Protection Officers and privacy professionals. With data protection jobs on the rise and a severe shortage of data protection specialists worldwide, earning an S-PDPP title is a unique opportunity to launch and enjoy a rewarding career in a constantly expanding field.

Privacy & data protection careers – The GDPR has created a persistent demand for Data Protection Officers. In 2017, it was estimated that the new European Regulation would create a minimum of 75,000 DPO jobs worldwide. Consequently, research in 2018 showed that 92% of all companies preparing for GDPR-compliance were planning to appoint a DPO, even if not required by law. As GDPR-compliance is a dynamic process and digitalisation brings new privacy challenges, the demand for Data Protection Officers will only continue to grow. In parallel, as data protection evolves, new privacy and data protection roles emerge. Examples of new data protection job titles include GDPR tester, GDPR paralegal, data protection analyst and GDPR consultant.

IT and information security careers – Data protection skills are not only important for Data Protection Officers. According to, around seven percent of information security jobs advertised today specifically ask for a working knowledge of the GDPR. Examples include information security officers, IT security consultants, IT controllers, data architects and data managers.

Who should certify?

The course and the certificate are ideal for you, if

  • You aspire to pursue a career as a Data Protection Officer, GDPR-consultant, privacy consultant or compliance officer;
  • You are an IT or information security professional and you wish to specialise in a privacy-related area of security;
  • You are an inexperienced DPO looking to structure your knowledge and gain more practice.

How to prepare for the certification exam?

You can prepare for your certification exam by taking a course or by self-study.

We 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.

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-PDPP certificate and digital badge

Upon successful completion of a SECO Privacy & Data Protection Practitioner certification exam, you will receive the S-PDPP 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.

As a prerequisite to renewing your certification, you have to meet Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements. CPE requirements can be met by attending workshops, conferences and webinars, publishing articles, providing training, and performing other similar activities that help you maintain your professional competencies.

For more information on the certification process and Continued Professional Education (CPE) requirements, please refer to the SECO Certifications Guide.