Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection


Includes full GDPR instructionPractitioner Certificate in Data Protection

The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection ("PC.dp.") is the practical qualification for those that work in the fields of data protection and privacy. It is fully up to date with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Successful completion of the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection Programme demonstrates to employers and others that the candidate possesses a solid knowledge of data protection law, as well as an understanding of the practical implications for organisations of the GDPR.


The Programme

Individuals wishing to gain the qualification must complete the three elements of the Programme:

  • 5 days face-to-face teaching
  • study of course materials
  • the Examination - held in London (each June and December), Glasgow (each June) and Belfast (each December)

The tuition section of the Programme requires candidates to attend four one-day Compulsory Courses and one one-day Elective Course (see upcoming course dates below).

Each course is held in several cities throughout the UK and Western Europe at various times of the year. An exemption from the requirement to attend Data Protection Essential Knowledge - Level 1 is available to candidates who already possess a sufficient level of knowledge of the basics of data protection. Candidates wishing to apply for the exemption must submit a letter signed by their current or previous employer stating that they have worked in the field of data protection for at least two years.


Residential and Distance Learning

The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is available as a Residential Programme and a Distance Learning Programme.


Practitioner Certificate ExamExam Dates

The next dates for the Examination (Standard and Residential Programmes only) are as follows:

  • Monday, 14th December 2020
    (London and Belfast)
  • Monday, 14th June 2021
    (London and Glasgow)
  • Monday, 13th December 2021
    (London and Belfast)
  • Monday, 13th June 2022
    (London and Glasgow)
  • Monday, 12th December 2022
    (London and Belfast)


The Fee

£2,595 / €2,895 / $3,395 plus VAT (fully inclusive of tuition, materials and the Examination). A reduced fee of £2,295 / €2,570 / $2,995 plus VAT applies for candidates that are exempt from attending Data Protection Essential Knowledge - Level 1.

Candidates who have already attended any of the Compulsory or Elective courses are not required to attend them again - a discount of £300 / €325 / $400 per course already attended will be applied to the Programme fee.

A discount of 10% is available for each additional candidate from your organisation enrolling at the same time.


Syllabus and Examination Board

The Syllabus for the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection Programme, which includes instruction on the General Data Protection Regulation, is available for download here.

Information on the Members of the Examination Board is available here.


Continuing Professional Development

The GDPR requires data protection professionals to maintain their knowledge on an ongoing basis. Therefore, the Examination Board has stipulated that candidates are required to attend one designated training course per year after the first anniversary of successfully completing their qualification. For further information on the annual requirements, visit the Qualification FAQs.


Register of Qualified Data Protection Practitioners

A list of all candidates who have sucessfully passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection can be viewed here.


Further Information

If you have a query about the Programme, please:

  • visit the FAQs page
  • telephone PDP at +44 (0)207 014 3399
  • send an email



Applications for the Programme can be made by



The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is accredited by the Law Society and the Bar Council with 25 hours CPD


Pre-2018 Qualifiers

Candidates who gained their qualification prior to 2018 can upgrade their qualification for the GDPR era by undertaking the GDPR Conversion Programme


Dates for Upcoming Courses

  Compulsory Courses
Candidates must attend all 4 courses shown in the table below (click on the links to see the course descriptions which open in a new window)

Compulsory Courses City Date
Data Protection Essential Knowledge - Level 1
LondonMon 18 Jan 2021
BristolMon 08 Feb 2021
ManchesterMon 01 Mar 2021
GlasgowMon 22 Mar 2021
BelfastMon 19 Apr 2021
LondonMon 10 May 2021
CardiffMon 05 Jul 2021
LondonMon 12 Jul 2021
LondonMon 06 Sep 2021
BelfastMon 20 Sep 2021
ManchesterMon 11 Oct 2021
EdinburghMon 25 Oct 2021
LondonMon 01 Nov 2021
BristolMon 15 Nov 2021
Data Protection Essential Knowledge - Level 2
LondonTue 19 Jan 2021
BristolTue 09 Feb 2021
ManchesterTue 02 Mar 2021
GlasgowTue 23 Mar 2021
BelfastTue 20 Apr 2021
LondonTue 11 May 2021
CardiffTue 06 Jul 2021
LondonTue 13 Jul 2021
LondonTue 07 Sep 2021
BelfastTue 21 Sep 2021
ManchesterTue 12 Oct 2021
EdinburghTue 26 Oct 2021
LondonTue 02 Nov 2021
BristolTue 16 Nov 2021
Handling Subject Access Requests
LondonThu 21 Jan 2021
BristolThu 11 Feb 2021
ManchesterThu 04 Mar 2021
GlasgowThu 25 Mar 2021
BelfastThu 22 Apr 2021
LondonThu 13 May 2021
CardiffThu 08 Jul 2021
LondonThu 15 Jul 2021
LondonThu 09 Sep 2021
BelfastThu 23 Sep 2021
ManchesterThu 14 Oct 2021
EdinburghThu 28 Oct 2021
LondonThu 04 Nov 2021
BristolThu 18 Nov 2021
Data Security
LondonWed 20 Jan 2021
BristolWed 10 Feb 2021
ManchesterWed 03 Mar 2021
GlasgowWed 24 Mar 2021
BelfastWed 21 Apr 2021
LondonWed 12 May 2021
CardiffWed 07 Jul 2021
LondonWed 14 Jul 2021
LondonWed 08 Sep 2021
BelfastWed 22 Sep 2021
ManchesterWed 13 Oct 2021
EdinburghWed 27 Oct 2021
LondonWed 03 Nov 2021
BristolWed 17 Nov 2021

Elective Courses
Candidates must choose 1 of the courses shown in the table below (click on the links to see the course descriptions which open in a new window)

Elective Course City Date
Data Protection in the Workplace
LondonFri 22 Jan 2021
BristolFri 12 Feb 2021
ManchesterWed 03 Mar 2021
GlasgowFri 26 Mar 2021
BelfastFri 23 Apr 2021
LondonFri 14 May 2021
CardiffFri 09 Jul 2021
LondonFri 10 Sep 2021
BelfastFri 24 Sep 2021
ManchesterFri 15 Oct 2021
EdinburghFri 29 Oct 2021
LondonFri 05 Nov 2021
BristolFri 19 Nov 2021
International Data Transfers - Overcoming the Limitations
LondonFri 22 Jan 2021
LondonFri 14 May 2021
LondonFri 10 Sep 2021
ManchesterFri 15 Oct 2021
EdinburghFri 29 Oct 2021
Conducting Data Protection Impact Assessments
LondonFri 22 Jan 2021
BristolFri 12 Feb 2021
ManchesterFri 05 Mar 2021
GlasgowFri 26 Mar 2021
BelfastFri 23 Apr 2021
LondonFri 14 May 2021
Isle of ManFri 02 Jul 2021
CardiffFri 09 Jul 2021
LondonFri 16 Jul 2021
JerseyMon 19 Jul 2021
LondonFri 10 Sep 2021
BelfastFri 24 Sep 2021
ManchesterFri 15 Oct 2021
EdinburghFri 29 Oct 2021
LondonFri 05 Nov 2021
BristolFri 19 Nov 2021


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"The course content was informative and well presented, with very knowledgeable trainers. The exam was challenging, so I feel a real sense of achievement in having gained this qualification."
Caroline Chalk
Head External Information Services
Civil Aviation Authority


"I found the course to be thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening in a number of areas. I have managed to apply the knowledge gained through the course already in my day to day role."
Brendan Byrne
Senior Managing Consultant Security & Privacy


"The qualification strikes the right balance of interpreting important and complicated legislation and imparting this to students with a well structured course, underpinned with simple to understand information and then a vigorous examination. Organisations should feel assured by any of its staff undertaking and passing this qualification that their information is being managed and shared securely."
Kim Bellis
Records Service Manager
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust


“I am very pleased to have followed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection course and passed the examination. This will be of great benefit to my employer, as it demonstrates the value we place on this complex area of ethics and compliance.”
Alan White
Data Protection Manager
Pitney Bowes


"The course which was delivered by experts in the field of Privacy and Data Protection Law was very enjoyable and engaging. The examination was based on applying legislation and knowledge to practical cases rather than a test of how much information you could remember. I am delighted that I passed the exam and to have a qualification that is very much respected, as well as letters after my name! I recommend both the course and the examination for anyone wanting to increase their knowledge of Data Protection Law."
Bleneta Carr
Pearson Education


"I am delighted to have achieved this qualification. The Certificate sets a recognised standard for data protection professionals and it has provided me with the knowledge and confidence of data protection requirements, especially in light of the impending new Regulation."
Joanne Maurizi
Assistant Manager


"Attaining the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection evidences that I have the in-depth knowledge and understanding of data protection issues required to ensure our firm remains compliant with the requirements of the legislation. The intensive 5 day course delivered by data protection experts was extremely informative, and provided me with essential technical background and practical work based scenarios before undertaking the exam."
Helen Hassen
Quality & Investigations Manager
Brewin Dolphin


"Synectics Solutions recognises that compliance with data protection regulation is critical to all organisations that handle personal information. It has never had a greater focus than at the present time. Having looked at the training and professional qualifications available, we concluded that the PDP certification was the most appropriate for our business. The course was delivered by legal experts in the field. They were able to bring the events to life with real-life scenarios and case studies."
Steve Sands
Head of Security
Synectics Solutions


"This qualification is the foundation for supporting my colleagues across the diverse business areas."
Linda Downey
Information Risk and Privacy


"I am so delighted to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection exam. All of the courses attended together with the materials supplied were excellent and have proven to be valuable to me in my role."
Diane Gore
Legal Advisor
Supporter Relations at RSPB


"Hats off to PDP for this programme. It is comprehensive and well taught with good quality materials. The examination at the end, and the revision required to pass it, reinforced the syllabus well. A must have for anyone who is serious about expanding their knowledge base in this area. I would recommend it very highly."
Alexis Colfer
Group Legal Counsel
Grass Roots


"After passing the exam I feel a lot more confident about dealing with the complex area of data protection"
Catherine Allnutt
Head of Information Management
The Charity Commission


"The course was of high quality and challenging. It’s provided me with very useful relevant knowledge. I and the Society are absolutely delighted that I have passed."
Hilary Swift
Data Protection Analyst
Skipton Building Society


"I am delighted to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. The course provided by PDP was excellent; each tutor was extremely knowledgeable and brought each course to life with real life examples."
Amanda Gorry
Senior Risk Analyst
Royal Bank of Scotland


"I am delighted to have gained this qualification. It was an excellent course and the enthusiasm and experience of the speakers made it a valuable and interesting experience."
Alexandra Bain
Senior Legal Counsel
Cable & Wireless Communications


"The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is an excellent programme. Informative and enjoyable, it has increased my knowledge and understanding of data protection, improved my policy advice and will continue to bring benefits to my organisation, its customers and partners. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone working within data protection."
Lesley Gauld
Improvement Advisor
Fife Council


"I have worked in DP for a number of years in different roles and I was looking for a way to cement the knowledge that I had, I chose PDP as my training provider due to their links with the ICO. The day sessions were fabulous and the supporting materials were a really nice reference point for the further studying I carried out. I was thrilled to have passed the exam, but I am also really grateful for the opportunity to learn with like-minded individuals. I now have a qualification, along with a network of people who work with DP and my company have gained on a number of levels from the course."
Kerry Scholefield
Compliance Officer
Covéa Insurance


"The discipline of having to study the Data Protection Act in sufficient depth to pass a 3 hour exam combined with five days of face-to-face teaching has taken my knowledge and understanding of data protection to a much deeper level. I now feel much more confident about providing detailed advice to staff on how to comply with the Data Protection Act."
Allan Anderson
Head of Information Security
Scottish Prison Service


"The information provided during the individual training sessions has been invaluable in my role as an Information Governance Officer. I found the exam stretching and I am delighted that the hard work has paid off."
Teresa Evans
Information Governance Officer at Birmingham City Council


“I'm so pleased to have achieved this qualification. The course content was excellent and the speakers were always willing to share their experience and discuss detailed practical scenarios.”
Cindy Knott
Professional Support Lawyer
Slaughter & May


“I decided to take the Certificate in Data Protection as I felt that I needed to manage our data protection provisions backed up with a recognised qualification.”
Karen Dove
Head of Customer Support & Quality, DPA Officer


“I am delighted to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I found the 5 day course very enjoyable, as well as being extremely informative.”
Amanda Fairclough
Assistant Solicitor
New Forest District Council


“As a Records Manager, it has helped me immensely to identify, prioritise and scope out my records management goals. As a Governance Manager it has allowed me to apply the legislation to a variety of scenarios, advise others with confidence and help protect the Institution against the consequences of non-compliance. Thank you PDP for such a worthwhile qualification.”
Jennifer Rochfort
Governance Manager
The University of Nottingham


“I was delighted to successfully pass the exam and become a Certified Data Protection Practitioner. On a personal level this gave reassurance and increased my confidence. On a professional level, it demonstrates that my employer takes data protection seriously.”
Michala Liavaag
Information Management Officer
Horsham District Council


“The course was given by those with practical experience in the field of data protection and as such having successfully completed the Data Protection Practitioner Course I feel I have a good grounding in the everyday practicalities of dealing with data protection issues. I am delighted to have passed the examination and I now feel much more qualified to work in this field.”
Judith Hills
Legal Associate
Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd


“Excellent course given by experts. The exam required thorough revision of all material provided. I am proud of having achieved this valuable qualification”
Sabine Duffy
Legal Counsel


"I am very pleased to have completed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection, a process which I found both challenging and enjoyable. As an in-house compliance professional, I want to ensure that our business is up to date with data protection law and best practice."
Paul Finnegan
Compliance Officer
Irwin Mitchell LLP


“I am really pleased to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I feel more confident in my role as Data Protection Officer having undertaken this comprehensive study of data protection legislation.”
Claire Dumbleton
Knowledge Manager
The Society and College of Radiographers


"This is an excellent course which I would highly recommend. I am delighted to have gained the highly respected Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. Compliance with data protection requirements is of significant importance and gaining this qualification will give organisations great confidence in engaging qualified data protection professionals to assist them with compliance issues."
Thelma Stober
Director of Corporate Law and Governance
Equality and Human Rights Commission


“It is nice to have a data protection qualification with wide recognition. I think this will encourage more data protection professionals to take a formal qualification, which is likely to change the way that organisations and companies view their data protection officers.”
Sam Kirkland
Information Governance Manager
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust


“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. Thank you for all of your help and assistance over the past year while I have been taking the courses and waiting to sit the exam. It was a great help having all of the information to hand in a clear and timely manner and certainly made life a lot easier.”
Tracy Linton
Head of IT
Rickerbys LLP


“I was delighted to hear that I was successful in passing the exam which I confess was exceedingly rigorous and tested the boundary of my practical knowledge. This success and experience of the course has empowered me with the self belief and the know how to face whatever Data Protection challenge lies ahead of me and my organisation.”
Mark Brincat
Freedom of Information Officer
Enfield Council


“I’m delighted to have achieved this qualification – the examination was by no means an easy one – and the course as a whole has been an invaluable underpinning to the data privacy advice I give our clients.”
Phil Gorski
Wiggin LLP


“The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection was challenging, as it should be, but also surprisingly enjoyable. My employer is pleased that I was successful in passing as, personal achievements notwithstanding, it enables the service to demonstrate that its staff are working to the highest national standards.”
Anna Stephenson
Data Protection Officer
Suffolk County Council


“I am very pleased to have passed. The programme was both challenging and informative. I feel more confident in my role as a Data Protection Officer and the qualification gives my organisation confidence in my knowledge and skills.”
Pamela Forde
Archive Manager
Royal College of Physicians


“The 5 day programme dealt well with both the basics and the technical side of data protection and having an optional subject area to study was particularly useful. The programme was delivered in a very practical way and I am already using the knowledge I gained in my DPO role. The qualification represents a cultural shift for data protection professionals, helping DPOs to raise the profile of data protection within their organisations and helping organisations realise the many commercial benefits that data protection compliance can bring. Many thanks.”
Ben Moreland
Legal Counsel


“I am thrilled to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I can now speak with authority and confidence on the subject of Data Protection within my organisation and with those working in the field. I have found the training courses and materials to be invaluable when responding to subject access requests and providing advice on compliance within my organisation.”
Sara Brodie
Policy, Performance and Research Officer
Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland


“I am delighted to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. The training sessions provided were enjoyable to attend and the content of the course overall was extremely thorough and relevant for my professional role. The end-of-course examination was also challenging and successfully obtaining this professional qualification has given me greater confidence and a more extensive knowledge base to go forward in my career.”
Matthew James
Privacy & Communications Advisor


“I am delighted to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I have gained a thorough understanding of data protection law which will greatly assist me in my role. I found the course extremely useful, especially the case studies and group discussions.”
Lisa Smith
Corporate Information Manager
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service


"I thought the course might have been a little mind-numbing but it wasn’t the modules were really interesting and informative. Its enabled me to be much more confident when handling colleagues queries on data protection."
Corrine Pepperell
Assistant Company Secretary
EMTA Awards


“I am delighted that I now hold the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. This accreditation will without doubt benefit both myself and the company I work for, the ongoing work I do in data protection and the future challenges that we face.”
Rosy Edwards
Fairpoint Group Plc


“The programme has provided me with a great understanding of the practical application of data protection law and I am very pleased to have passed the exam. The combination of five days of quality tuition followed by a rigorous examination really helps you to develop your knowledge and skills, and so I highly recommend it to those working in the field.”
Andrew Kniveton
Deputy DPO
Isle of Man Financial Services Authority


“I’m delighted to have passed the examination of the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection Programme with PDP. I found the course to be professionally managed and tutored by individuals who are clearly experts in their field.”
Donna Newton
Addleshaw Goddard


“I found the expertise of the trainers to be very high and the quality and thoroughness of the course modules to be excellent.”
Piers Leigh-Pollitt
Doyle Clayton


“I found the course to be challenging and packed full of detail which, together with the course notes that I still refer to frequently, gave me an excellent foundation in the GDPR. I feel like I was actually taught, and learned, the subject rather than just given sufficient information to pass an exam. I highly recommend this course.”
Sarah Ubiera Baez
Attorney General’s Chambers (Isle of Man)