Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection

Classroom / Virtual-LIVE Programme


"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..."

Ireland's leading Practical Qualification for Data Protection Professionals


The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection ("PC.dp.") is the world’s leading practical qualification on European data protection.

Successful completion of the internationally recognised 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 Classroom / Virtual-LIVE Programme

Individuals wishing to gain the Standard (also known as 'Classroom-based') qualification must complete the three elements of the Programme:

  • 5 days interactive 'Classroom' or 'Virtual-LIVE' training
  • study of course materials
  • the Examination (takes place online twice yearly)

The tuition section of the Programme requires candidates to attend four one-day Compulsory Courses and one one-day Elective Course.

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.


eLearning ("Distance-Learning") alternative

The Practitioner Certificate in Data ProtectionPractitioner Certificate in Data Protection is also available on a Distance Learning basis.


Exam Dates

The next date for the Examination (which takes place wholly online) are as follows:

  • Thursday, 7th December 2023 (Online)
  • Thursday, 6th June 2024 (Online)
  • Thursday, 5th December 2024 (Online)


The Fee

€2,495 (fully inclusive of tuition, materials & the Examination). A reduced fee of €2,195 will apply 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 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 includes full instruction on the General Data Protection Regulation.

Information on the Members of the Examination Board is available here


Register of Qualified Data Protection Practitioners

The online register of those who have gained the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection can be viewed 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. Designated training courses are listed in the following online FAQs section


Further Information

If you have a query about the Programme, please:

  • visit the FAQs page
  • telephone PDP at +353 (0)1 695 0405
  • send an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Applications for the Programme can be made by



The Institute of Banking, the LIA and the Insurance Institute of Ireland award CPD hours for the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. 


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
Virtual-LIVEMon 26 Feb 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Mon 13 May 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Mon 23 Sep 2024
Virtual-LIVEMon 25 Nov 2024
Data Protection Essential Knowledge - Level 2
Virtual-LIVETue 27 Feb 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Tue 14 May 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Tue 24 Sep 2024
Virtual-LIVETue 26 Nov 2024
Handling Access Requests
Virtual-LIVEThu 07 Mar 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Thu 16 May 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Thu 26 Sep 2024
Virtual-LIVEThu 28 Nov 2024
Data Security
Virtual-LIVEWed 06 Mar 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Wed 15 May 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Wed 25 Sep 2024
Virtual-LIVEWed 27 Nov 2024

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
Virtual-LIVEFri 08 Mar 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Fri 17 May 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Fri 27 Sep 2024
Virtual-LIVEFri 29 Nov 2024
Conducting Data Protection Impact Assessments
Virtual-LIVEFri 08 Mar 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Fri 17 May 2024
Dublin (Classroom)Fri 27 Sep 2024
Virtual-LIVEFri 29 Nov 2024


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“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The trainers explained the concepts clearly and concisely while also facilitating useful group discussions.”

Sara McAneney
IT Security Manager
Trinity College Dublin


“I enjoyed the qualification programme. I thought the quality of the teachers and the training was excellent.”

Jane Litchfield
Compliance Manager
American Express Europe


“For anyone working in the area of Data Protection, the Practitioner Certificate is a must. I am delighted to have passed and look forward to applying the skills and knowledge I have gained throughout the course into practice.”

Jan Corcoran
Head of Finance
Dillon Eustace


 "The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is an invaluable course in providing the knowledge and ultimately the credibility to engage my clients in all matters pertaining to information management and governance."

Stephen McGrath
Operations Governance Manager
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform


“I strongly recommend participation on the PDP Data Practitioner course.  In a time when privacy rights and insurance claims are hot topics, it is vital that companies remain up to date with what they can and cannot do, with what the they must and must not do in order to protect themselves and their employees.  PDP absolutely provides expertise in a clear and concise manner.”

Sean Ryan
Plant Engineer and Security Manager
Castolin Eutectic Ireland


"I’m really pleased that I was able to pass the exam. I’ve found the course incredibly helpful for my current role."

George Brennan
Subject Access Request Manager
Financial Ombudsman Service


"The work involved in getting the qualification - attending the programme course and preparing for the exam - results in a strong level of knowledge of data protection law and practice."

Lisa Sexton
Director of Risk and Quality


“I was delighted to have been given the opportunity by Fónua to attend the courses offered by PDP and even happier to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I feel this qualification has equipped me with the knowledge and confidence I require to advise both my organisation and customers on our obligations under the Data Protection Acts.”

Bríd O'Connor
Quality and Environmental Manager


“This was a very challenging programme delivered in an informative and interesting manner. The content encouraged me to critically appraise my day to day processes and I feel it has equipped me excellently to ensure compliance and safeguard the data entrusted to us. ”

Gráinne Dardis
Payroll Manager
Virgin Media


“The course material was comprehensive and challenging, particularly in the area of International Data Transfers. In this regard, the qualification is extremely useful and provides me with the confidence to deal with such issues. In addition, the modules are delivered by highly qualified, industry professionals."

Stephen Laffan
Information Governance & Data Protection Manager


“I thoroughly enjoyed the qualification programme. I found the presenters to be very engaging and informative and each of them relayed detailed information in a clear and understandable way. I really enjoyed immersing myself in data protection law for five days. The exam was challenging and required study of the materials provided and analysis of the questions being asked. I am delighted to have achieved the qualification."

Ann-Maree Blake


“As a security professional I found the 5 courses to be invaluable in dealing with data protection issues in my work . The data protection area can be a minefield when starting out and I found the trainers and course material were excellent at explaining how to apply this newly learned knowledge to everyday situations."

Joanne Ness
IT Security and PCI Manager


“The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is an invaluable course for those practising in the area of data protection as the course is given by those with practical in-depth experience of data protection law and its application.”

Olive McDaid
Senior Lawyer


“The importance of data protection is constantly increasing and companies need to be prepared for the challenges this brings. Having the certified data protection practitioner qualification provides assurances for both staff and service users.”

Michelle White
Quality Officer
Sims IVF


"I am delighted to pass the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. It will be good to be seen as an expert in my field, and wear a badge of professionalism. This will enhance my credibility and status with customers, fellow privacy professionals and people I deal with on a daily basis.

Róisín Barton-Murray
Project Manager
National Roads Authority


“I found the course Presenters and materials to be extremely good in providing an in-depth understanding of Data Protection Law and also in providing practical guidance on how to run a Data Protection Programme. I believe this Professional Certification allows Organisations to demonstrate that they are working to the highest established standards in this complex and increasingly critical field”

Frank O’Reilly
Data Protection Manager
Bord Gáis Eireann


“I found the course very useful for consolidating my Data Protection knowledge. I am delighted to have passed what was a relatively tough exam.  In the changing landscape of education, protection of Personal Data is becoming more and more important and a good level of knowledge is essential”

Fiona Nugent
HR Officer
Co Monaghan VEC


“As a Director of Corporate Services in a large Regulatory Body, Data Protection is a vital consideration in all transactions relating to the Public, Registrants and Staff.  The Practitioner Certificate course in Data Protection from PDP provided a comprehensive and detailed insight into the current Data Protection Acts and the impending introduction of the EU Regulation”

Peter Dennehy
Director of Corporate Services
An Bord Altranais


“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 Qualification 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


“I came away from this course with a greater confidence in interpreting the various requirements of the Acts and with a greater understanding of how these requirements could be applied in practice.  I enjoyed the interaction and sharing of experiences with fellow participants and I was encouraged to find how we all faced similar challenges in meeting our obligations to the Acts.  This course provided me with the knowledge to meet these obligations”

Andrew Kirwan
Audit & Compliance Manager
Sanef ITS Operations Ireland Ltd


“With the impending European data protection reforms, now more than ever it’s important to differentiate yourself from the crowd. I’m delighted to have passed both for my own sake but also that of the organisation where it demonstrates the value we place on dealing with our responsibilities to the highest professional standards.”

David Parker
Privacy Manager Europe
Crawford & Company


“I found this to be an enjoyable and challenging course, tailored to those who seek an industry recognised qualification in a field which has previously held limited options and delivered by credible professionals who are well respected as subject matter experts in the field of privacy and information rights.”

Rich Brameld
Data Protection and Compliance Manager
RWE npower


"I am extremely proud and pleased to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I found the courses and the exam thought provoking, and it has made me realise that Data Protection is a much bigger subject than I envisaged. I now feel confident having a recognised qualification under my belt.”

Emma Drew
Data Protection Analyst
Canada Life


“The PDP programme offers a fantastic array of knowledge and learning in the fast-developing area of data protection.”

Finín O’ Brien
Ronan Daly Jermyn


“The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is a challenging, comprehensive and extremely interesting week long course,  delivered by highly qualified professionals.”

Laura O'Dwyer


“The course offered a commendable balance between the pure legalities and practical examples of the application of data protection law to everyday scenarios. The lecturers demonstrated that not only were they subject matter experts, but as importantly, they could teach and impart their expertise in a comprehendible manner.”

George Ryan
Compliance Manager
Investec Bank


“The PDP Practitioner’s Certificate in Data Protection is a challenging course and provided me with the essential knowledge to work in the area of data protection.”

Christine Weldon
Executive Officer
Office of the Revenue Commissioners


“At Microsoft, we believe that for organizations to succeed, they must be able to deploy technology that their employees and customers trust. We chose PDP for our training because having a thorough understanding of data protection laws and ensuring compliance is a key part of that trust.”

Angela Wing


“I really enjoyed the PDP Programme and I feel I benefited a lot from it. I found the content was interesting and enjoyable and the lecturers were very knowledgeable, I also liked that it was interactive so I had the chance to hear the thoughts of others on DP issues. I am delighted that I have passed my exam and I look forward to using everything I have learned in my current job.”

Stephanie Forrester
Data Protection & Governance Manager
Aviva Ireland


“The programme was very well presented. Gaining this qualification has given me more confidence in my role and also has allowed me to work more independently which benefits my current employer and my colleagues!”

Dean Jones
Data Protection Assistant