Data Protection Officer (DPO) Training Program


Accountability is a recurring theme in the new EU data protection and privacy legislation (most notably the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR) and will require organizations to raise the maturity level of their internal governance regarding personal data. It is no longer sufficient to just ‘do the right thing’.

Data controllers and data processors must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures in order to ensure accountability and to demonstrate compliance with their data protection obligations.

The appointment of a qualified Data Protection Officer (DPO) is an essential step in order to comply with EU data protection and privacy legislation, as it demonstrates a commitment to sustainable compliance with the new legal framework. Furthermore, a sustainable compliance program can cause a reduction in an organization’s liability risks.

What skills does a DPO need?

The GDPR lays down detailed, high-level requirements for the DPO. According to Article 35 paragraph 5 of the GDPR, “the data protection officer shall be designated on the basis of professional qualities and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law and practices”.

This means that first and foremost, the DPO must have a professional level of expertise in EU data protection legislation, including the GDPR. The DPO must furthermore commit to keeping their knowledge up to date through ongoing professional development and membership of a professional association. Furthermore, DPOs must be able to rely on a network of other DPOs, so that they can effectively share professional experience and get a second opinion when needed.

Ensuring compliance with EU data protection legislation means balancing the legitimate interests of the organization against risks to the rights of the individual. To achieve this balance, a DPO should possess the skills and ability to understand the organization’s data processing operations and data protection needs, and be competent to work in cooperation with others at all levels and in different organizational cultures. The DPO is a senior-level role and as such a DPO must have access to all relevant personnel and a direct reporting line to the highest management level or the Board of Directors.

DPO Training Program

Duthler Academy’s two-year post-bachelor Data Protection Officer Training Program provides professionals with solid foundation for their role as a DPO, as described in the GDPR. Based on the knowledge and expertise of a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, accountants and IT professionals, the program provides in-depth knowledge of data protection and privacy laws and regulations, and a solid understanding of governance and compliance, internal control, administrative management, accounting and auditing.

The program offers theoretical and practical tools enabling DPOs to establish and maintain an appropriate level of data protection and privacy in their organization. Furthermore, Duthler Academy provides ongoing support and education to successful participants in order to ensure their knowledge stays up to date and relevant.


The program is divided into 30 modules, grouped into four clusters. The program can be largely taken in your own time, because the modules are offered in an e-learning environment. Once a month you attend in-class workshops at one of our locations. Each module is concluded by an exam.

If you are specifically interested in one or more components of this course, you are very welcome to follow one or more separate modules.

DPO Register

After successfully completing the first three modules of the DPO program, you are eligible to be entered as a prospective DPO in Duthler Academy’s unique DPO Register. After completing the course, you will be entered as a certified DPO.

Conditions and study load

Following the DPO program requires certain level of commitment. This means that attendance and dedication are mandatory. We also think that curiosity and enthusiasm are essential. A specific prior qualification is not required, although many of our students have a Bachelor degree in law, public administration, business administration, IT or accountancy/audit.
The study load for the whole program is around 600 hours. This includes the monthly in-class workshops.


The examination committee of Duthler Academy can grant exemptions of exams in individual cases. An application for an exemption must contain supporting documents, for example relevant diplomas. A request for an exemption can be submitted to the examination committee via e-mail:

Wat zijn de kosten?

The total fee for the DPO Training Program is € 15,000 plus VAT. Each module costs € 500 plus VAT.

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