December 9, 2023

Guide to the Best Data Privacy Certifications: What Are They, What Are the Best Privacy Certifications, and Do You Need One?

Learn about data privacy certifications for professionals and businesses in this comprehensive guide. Discover the best certifications for privacy professionals and understand how businesses can ensure compliance with privacy laws. Secure Privacy provides essential guidelines and training solutions for data privacy.

This article will help you understand what it means to be certified with a data privacy certification, both as a business and as a privacy professional. Whatever brought you to this article, we've got you covered.

Data privacy certifications are not explicitly prescribed by any law, so there is a lot of mystery around them, usually created by those who sell the certifications. Here we'll get into:

  • What data privacy certifications are
  • The differences between data privacy certifications for businesses and privacy professionals
  • What are the best certifications for privacy professionals?
  • The best certifications for businesses

What are data privacy certifications?

Data privacy certifications serve as a tool to signal to other people that you have knowledge of data privacy or that your business is compliant with privacy standards and requirements.

When an aspiring privacy professional gets certified, he or she demonstrates having the necessary theoretical and sometimes practical knowledge to implement a data protection compliance program in an organization.

When a business certifies, it demonstrates that it is implementing appropriate measures for protecting the data privacy of its customers.

There is no single certificate for both businesses and individual professionals. There are separate certifications for both.

A guide to the best data privacy certifications for professionals

The demand for data protection jobs is going up. Employers, most often, require some sort of certification for the candidates to prove their knowledge. As a result, more people now want data protection certifications.

Benefits of data privacy certification for privacy professionals

Getting a data privacy certificate has two main benefits.

First, it's a great learning experience. It teaches how to keep data safe. Getting a certificate means reading through thousands of pages of data protection materials needed to prepare for the exam.

Second, it meets job requirements. Employers rely heavily on these certifications when hiring candidates for jobs.

Now, you may be wondering: What are the best certifications for professionals?

The best data privacy certification program for privacy professionals

No data privacy certificate holds an 'official' status, as they are all provided by various organizations. The significance of each certificate largely depends on the reputation of the issuing organization and the rigor of their certification process. This means that the value and recognition of these certificates can vary, with some being more respected and acknowledged in the industry than others.

Therefore, when choosing a data privacy certification, it's important to consider the standing and credibility of the issuing body.

There are many certificates a professional could obtain, but here are the most popular that could benefit you most:

Certified Information Privacy Professionals (CIPP)

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) offers the Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification. The CIPP certification is designed for professionals who work in the fields of privacy and data protection. It provides a comprehensive understanding of privacy laws and practices globally, helping individuals navigate the complex landscape of privacy regulations.

The CIPP program offers four regional variants to cater to specific compliance laws: CIPP/A for Asia, CIPP/E for Europe, CIPP/US for the United States, and CIPP/C for Canada. It also adheres to ANSI/ ISO Standard 17024:2012.

The program is aimed at data protection and security experts involved in managing information, compliance, legal obligations, data governance, and human resources. These are the ideal candidates for this certification.

Candidates need to clear a 90-question exam in 2.5 hours to get the certificate.

Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)

The IAPP offers a certification known as the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM). The CIPM is designed for professionals who are responsible for managing and implementing privacy policies and frameworks within organizations. This certification focuses on privacy program governance, encompassing the skills and knowledge necessary to establish and maintain an effective privacy management program.

Privacy officers, privacy managers, legal experts, and those in charge of overseeing and managing privacy initiatives within an organization frequently pursue the CIPM certification. Like other certifications from the IAPP, CIPM requires candidates to pass an exam that tests their knowledge and understanding of privacy management principles. It is part of the broader suite of certifications offered by the IAPP to address various aspects of privacy and data protection.

Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT)

The IAPP offers Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) certification. This certification is specifically designed for IT professionals, information security professionals, technologists, and individuals responsible for implementing privacy by integrating privacy controls into technology and systems.

Professionals pursuing CIPT certification often include privacy professionals with a strong IT or technology background, as well as IT professionals who want to specialize in privacy. Like other IAPP certifications, CIPT requires candidates to pass an exam that assesses their knowledge and skills in privacy technology. It is part of the broader suite of certifications offered by the IAPP to address various aspects of privacy and data protection.

Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)

The CDPSE certification by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) is the first technical and experience-based privacy certification in the field.

Applicants need a minimum of five years of professional experience in at least two domains specified in the exam content outline. Professionals already holding CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, CSX-P, or FIP certifications can waive 2 years of this experience requirement.

This certification is designed for data analysts, data protection solution architects, compliance officers, and software engineers. It equips them to integrate data privacy into technology development, product creation, or process design.

PECB Certified Data Protection Officer (CDPO)

The Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) Certified Data Protection Officer training prepares individuals for the role of Data Protection Officer, equipping them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies for implementing GDPR compliance programs. The program is best suited for professionals who already have experience in data protection.

To earn the PECB Data Protection Officer certification, candidates must meet the following strict requirements:

  • Clear an exam.
  • Possess a minimum of five years of professional experience (with at least two years in data protection);
  • Complete 300 hours of data protection activities, and
  • I agree with the PECB Code of Ethics.

PECB provides a course for the Certified Data Protection Officer exam, which includes practical training.

Certified in Data Protection (CDP)

The CDP certification is suited for professionals who want in-depth data protection training. It's also for those aiming to understand data protection practices related to international security standards and privacy laws throughout the data lifecycle.

The Identity Management Institute, a program that focuses on various data protection laws and international security standards, provides it.

To get the CDP certification, candidates must first join the Identity Management Institute (IMI), an independent international body that developed and manages the CDP designation.

A guide to the best privacy certifications for businesses

Certifications available for businesses are focused on data security rather than data privacy. There is no data privacy program for businesses. Instead, they need to be compliant with the privacy regulations and be able to prove compliance with the laws, but no certificate would prove that their privacy operations are aligned with the GDPR, the CCPA, or other data privacy regulations worldwide.

The best they could do is implement the best practices for data security and privacy and be accountable to the supervisory authority and the data subjects.

There are some data security certifications, such as ISO/ IEC 27001, but that's different from data privacy.

However, some laws, such as the GDPR and the CCPA, require organizations to train their people about data privacy. Again, there is no official certification that could help, but this is where the Secure Privacy Training Courses might help.

Secure privacy and data protection courses

We at Secure Privacy help companies reach compliance with privacy laws and regulations worldwide. Our cookie compliance solution and the privacy policy generator are aligned with 40+ data privacy laws and regulations.

However, if your employees and contractors lack an understanding of privacy issues, have no data protection or privacy education, and don't know much about privacy and security, no software will make you compliant.

That's why we are developing micro-learning courses for the training and certification of your people. They contain only the essential information they need to get a good overview of a specific law and what they need to do in a specific situation.

Once a course can be done in a couple of hours, it can shift the perspective of the learner for the better.

Learn more about the Secure Privacy Training Platform here.

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