Research confirms many organisations still have yet to appoint their key GDPR role, while marketers are calling for more training ahead of the May 2018 deadline

 With massive changes to data laws set to come into force in May, it may come as a surprise to find that only half of organisations surveyed by the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) have appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Even more concerning is that many marketers (59%) have yet to receive any GDPR-related training at all. Findings by the IDM are backed up by DMA’s recent GDPR & You Chapter 4 report which found over half (57%) of marketers feel their team is under-trained when it comes to GDPR, despite the fact many agree this type of training is integral to their organisations’ being ready for the May 2018 deadline.

The findings come as the IDM is launching its new professional certificate for DPOs, which accompanies its suite of other training available for marketers of all levels. The new course, developed with the DMA, will help those who aspire to the role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) as well as those who need to understand why and how they should recruit a DPO for their organisation. For a limited time the IDM is also offering an additional ‘Day with an Expert’ free of charge to delegates studying the new online certificate.

According to Jane Cave, MD at the IDM, the need for professionals with data protection knowledge has never been greater: “When the GDPR comes into force on 25 May 2018 it will change the marketing landscape in a way not seen before. Beyond the threat of financial sanctions, the new laws offer businesses a unique opportunity to change the relationship with customers around their data. As such, it’s of the utmost importance that organisations are prepared for these changes, either through upskilling their own employees or ensuring a fully qualified DPO is able to guide them through it.” 

According to the research, nearly 60% of respondents answered ‘no’ when asked if they had any training relating to GDPR. However, when asked, people were more likely to rate their own awareness of the laws (77%) and sense of preparedness (74%) as higher than that of their organisations (58 percent).

Cave continues: “We have seen that as time goes on, and the GDPR creeps closer, more people are feeling affected than ever before. What is also interesting, is that we are seeing this widening gap between an individual’s own sense of preparedness, compared to how prepared they perceive their business to be. It’s in all our best interests to help business prepare for this shift, and employees who are directly accountable for data protection are key to this.” 

This certification programme is designed for Data Protection Officers (DPOs) for marketing companies and senior marketing managers across private, public, not-for-profit, charity and Government sectors. All employees who are directly accountable for Data Protection within their organisations.” 

“Following completion of the course, attendees can expect to leave with a solid working knowledge of the practical implications of the GDPR and ePrivacy Regulation. It’s an iron-clad way to ensure companies are fully prepared to deal with a wide range of Data Protection and Privacy challenges and have the confidence to operate in this new compliance landscape,” says Cave.

The IDM Professional Certificate in GDPR and ePrivacy (Cert GDPR) has been designed in conjunction with DMA Legal Team, DMA Responsible Marketing Committee and the GDPR External Working Party. In addition to two face-to-face study sessions, attendees are able devise their own online training schedule via a stream of online content run over 12-months.

For more information on this course, and others run through the IDM please see https://www.theidm.com/.

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