PDPC developing local certification for Data Protection Officers (DPO)

The Straits Times reported today that the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), which is the government body under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) responsible for enforcing Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA), announced that it is developing a local certification programme for data protection officers (DPOs).

Under the PDPA, all organisations which come under the scope of the Act are mandated to appoint data protection officers (DPOs). These officers may be employees or external consultants. The DPO has to ensure that the organisation is compliant with the PDPA.

Based on the PDPC’s survey of 1,513 organisations in March and June 2016, only about 40% of Singapore organisations have a DPO on their payroll.

While there is a foreign certification for data protection issued by the US-based International Association of Privacy Professionals, training for which is conducted by Straits Interactive, the PDPC hopes that the local certification will encourage more people to take up DPO certification, and give more recognition to the role of DPO. ST reports that “Experts estimate that there will be more than 10,000 DPO jobs here over the next three years.”

It is good for organisations to review their PDPA compliance and ensure they have a DPO appointed.

For individuals / employees / job-hunters, it is good to consider obtaining such DPO certification to boost one’s skill sets and qualification to meet the likely growing demand for DPO positions in the years to come.

For more information on PDPA compliance, visit http://www.singaporepdpa.com.

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