NTUC’s e2i and Straits Interactive to launch Singapore’s first practical-based Data Protection Officer Training Programme

Funding grant available to encourage SMEs to develop in-house manpower capability to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)

The National Trades Union Congress’ e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) today launched a pilot initiative with the Straits Interactive, a specialist in personal data protection and Do Not Call (DNC) Registry solutions, to provide Singapore’s first hands-on and practical-skills training programme for the Data Protection Officer (DPO). This deep skilling pilot programme intends to equip companies, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with the necessary competencies to approach and manage data and privacy protection, and policies.

As part of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which will be enforced on July 2 2014, all organisations are required to designate one or more individuals to be responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with this Act. Singapore is among a few countries in the world where the appointment of the Data Protection Officer (also known as the Data Privacy Officer) is a legal requirement.

Mr. Gilbert Tan, CEO of e2i said, “The introduction of the Personal Data Protection Act has implications on the way companies do business and how they market to customers. Companies, especially SMEs, will need skilled PMEs to take on the role of DPO so as to implement and comply with the PDPA. To meet this industry need, we partnered Straits Interactive to deliver a hands-on training program that allows prospective DPOs to quickly acquire new competencies by using a practical approach and borrowing from best practices.”

Building Competencies for Data Protection Officers

The 4-module Data Protection Officer Training Programme is open to SMEs to send their local workers who will be appointed as a DPO, or who have been designated to help their companies comply with the Act. The DPO training programme will receive 50% funding from e2i.

Trainees will be tasked to complete a project based on their own organisational context as part of the programme’s assessment. This will be useful for the attending DPOs to assess their organisation’s current level of compliance with the PDPA and take the necessary actions to address the relevant gaps and risks.

The programme lays the practical foundation and competencies necessary for a career in the new era of compliance in data protection. Local workers will gain a valuable and niche skill set to increase their mobility and value-add to their companies.

The training programme will be delivered by Straits Interactive, a corporate member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), which has been actively involved in providing end-to-end compliance services to Singaporean companies.

Tools to Enable Comprehensive Data Protection Management and Compliance

The programme will also bundle tools for managing compliance, incident and communication management as well as to assist DPOs to draft their own policies for compliance.

Mr Kevin Shepherdson, Chief Executive Officer of Straits Interactive said, “We are excited to play a role in the skills and capability development of DPOs in Singapore. This practical programme encapsulates the best practices of our PDPA consultancy and takes a lot out of the guesswork of ‘How do I get compliant and stay compliant.’ The most important take away for participants attending the programme is that they would have started compliance efforts for the company. Last but not least, participants who have successfully completed training can use our proprietary Data Protection Management System to monitor compliance within their respective companies in readiness for July 2.”

More information of the Data Protection Officer course which will commence on 19 June 2014, can be found at www.straitsinteractive.com.