Data Protection Certification Policy

Who should apply

This certification is the professional qualification for those working in the field of Data Protection. The objective of the certification and training programme is to enable participants to obtain an expert’s working knowledge of Data Protection and to qualify them as Data Protection professionals. The certification is offered in cooperation with the network of DPOs and for the EPSO Competition for Administrators in the Field of Data Protection it is considered an asset by the European Union. Moreover, holding the EIPA professional certification shows to employers and other organisations that you possess an in-depth knowledge of data protection as well as the skills to implement it in practice.

Training and application
To prepare thoroughly for the examination, EIPA offers you twice a year a full-week programme (4-day training). On the last day of those courses, the examination takes place. Both courses are fully hands-on with lots of different case studies, parallel group-based workshops, individual Q&A and practical tools to retain and take away the must know knowledge for immediate use on the job. Moreover, each training day, a number of useful tips will be given to help you with the certification exam.

On completion of the course, participants can take part in an exam leading to the awarding of the EIPA Data Protection Professional Certificate.

A few details about the examination:

  • Examinees are requested to use their own device. Ideally, either a laptop or a tablet is needed.
  • Examinees must ensure to be able to send their essay via email from their devices to a designated email address that will be indicated on the day of the exam.
  • The examination can be taken twice a year at EIPA headquarters in Maastricht or online depending on the how the course is organised.
  • The examination consists of two essay questions, of which only one must be answered and which is intended to assess the understanding of the participants on how to interpret and apply the legal framework in practice.
  • The examination lasts 2 hours.
  • The maximum score obtainable is 100 points and in order to pass the examination, examinees need to obtain 60 points.
  • In answering the essay examinees will be allowed to access the legal texts provided by EIPA on the day of the exam. The texts will be selected by the Examination Board.

Examination process

In order to guarantee a fair process, two randomly allocated reviewers from the examination board will evaluate the essays separately. The Chair of the examination board will have the last word after seeing the conclusions of both reviewers.

The examination is offered in English only. The time limit for the examination is sufficient for the vast majority of candidates, including non-native English speakers. No points are deducted due to possible grammar or language mistakes.

Handling of exams
EIPA will take all available precautions to ensure the appropriate and secure handling of completed essays.

Examination re-sit
In the event you did not manage to reach the set threshold and did therefore not pass the exam, you are offered the opportunity to do one examination re-sit for €150 within one year.

The Examination Board
The exam is under the supervision of an examination board. The examination board meets regularly to discuss the certification course requirements and approve the examinations. They discuss as needed to review and resolve any submitted certification appeals. The examination board consists of experts who have proven knowledge of and practical expertise in the field of data protection, one of whom will serve as chair.

Certificate validity
Data Protection issues continue to change and it is very important to keep yourself ahead and update your knowledge regularly. Therefore, the EIPA certificate is valid for a period of two years. In order to update your knowledge and maintain the validity of your certificate you will need to attend EIPA’s refresher course on data protection every two years. You will receive an updated certificate after taking part in this.

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