How to become a data protection officer

As you might have expected, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has created a spike in demand for data protection and privacy experts.

Organisations are desperate to hire people who can guide them towards regulatory compliance and avoid large fines. 

For many organisations, this isn’t just a wish; they are legally required to find such a person and appoint them as a DPO (data protection officer)

The demand for DPOs makes it an ideal job role for those looking to advance their career.

You need plenty of experience, as well as demonstrable soft skills, but it provides opportunity with plenty of room for growth. Let’s take a look at how you can get started. 

What a DPO does

It’s worth summarising exactly what a DPO’s tasks are, because you’ll see that they are responsible for more than simply reviewing GDPR compliance. 

Yes, they are broadly tasked with advising organisations on how to comply with their legal requirements concerning data protection. But that doesn’t just include things like monitoring policies and looking into the need for DPIAs (data protection impact assessments). 

It also involves helping staff understand their data protection obligations and serving as a point of contact for individuals who contact the organisation with data protection and privacy queries. 

This means that DPOs will be regularly discussing the GDPR to people who aren’t technically minded. As such, they must have strong communication skills and be capable of explaining complex issues without using jargon. 

It’s much harder to teach skills like that than to train someone on the ins and outs of the GDPR, but still eminently possible. 

Hiring a DPO

Finding a qualified DPO obligations is a hard task, because candidates must have a broad range of knowledge and experience. For those struggling to find someone, IT Governance is here to help.

With our DPO as a Service, one of our data protection experts will act as a remote DPO, working with you to understand your organisation and its compliance requirements.

They’ll complete the necessary tasks and provide you with guidance whenever you need it.

The service is also ideal for organisations that aren’t legally required to appoint a DPO but still want someone to provide expert advice.

But no matter what their title or your compliance requirements, our experts will ensure you get the necessary support.

Unsure whether you need a DPO? Download our beginner’s guide to the data protection officer to learn more about what they do and the benefits of appointing one.


A version of this blog was originally published on 30 July 2019.

No Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.