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GDPR: How important is the role of data processors and compliance officers in education and training?

schedule 8th November 2017 by Jaison Cresswell in Virtual College

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With the introduction of the new GDPR in May 2018, education and training providers operating in Europe will have to appoint additional data processors and compliance officers to cope with the changes. But what does this mean for their future?

The education sector deals with some of the most personal and sensitive data in the whole of the UK. As of May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will significantly increase the importance and accountability of data processors and compliance officers, meaning that their role will become more crucial than ever before. Whilst most education organisations already have their own existing data controllers, the GDPR will enforce much stricter control over the experience of that individual.

For the first time in data processing history, professionals in these roles will have a direct obligation to comply with certain data protection requirements – which previously only applied to data controllers. Recruiting and training individuals who will become data processors or controllers is the most immediate concern for many organisations. In turn, this tends to prompt further queries around resource implications and budgets across the establishment.

How will this impact the education sector?

With the majority of data being held relating to children, this also raises various issues and concerns around data processing – as in most cases the consent of the parent or guardian is required. Consent will therefore have to be clearly documented, along with justification and reasons for its usage being logged. The consent for usage will be critical moving forward, which is why steps should be taken now to address this raising concern.

What should I start working on?

The ICO have complied some useful resources including their 12 step guide Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) six of which we have summarised below:

  • Awareness – You should ensure that your businesses’ key leadership team understand the impact of the new legislation and the effect that it will most likely have.
  • Information gathering – You should begin to gather and prepare documents needed for the audit, so that you can see which information you currently have and what may be missing.
  • Communicating privacy information – You should review your current policies and put a plan together to seamlessly incorporate any future changes.
  • Individuals’ rights – You should check that your current procedures cover all the rights of an individual, including how you store or delete personal data.
  • Data breaches – You should ensure you have procedures in place that ensure you would detect, report and investigate any breach.
  • Consent – You should review how you seek, record and manage consent.

Training your employees is an invaluable aspect which should also be considered. By ensuring that your employees are fully aware of the impact and importance of GDPR across the entire business, as well as exactly how it will affect them in their job roles; training them to a high standard will ensure that you avoid hefty penalties and fines.

Ensure your business is prepared for the upcoming GDPR changes by signing up to our free overview course. Learn more here.


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Jaison Cresswell Author

Author: Jaison Cresswell

Jaison is a Learning Technology Manager who has a wealth of experience in creating digital learning solutions to meet both client and learner requirements. He also leads on Commercial Partnerships and International Sales. He has a degree in Business Management and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest technology and trends.

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