The IAPP's certification department has released a revised European-focused certification exam to include the General Data Protection Regulation, as well as other European-focused privacy updates.
Certification Director Doug Forman said that, when final draft of the GDPR was announced in December 2015, after years of deliberations, it became clear that it represented a major change to the privacy landscape that had to be reflected in the CIPP/E exam. "As an organization, we needed to be at the forefront of educating our many European and U.S. professionals about what the GDPR is, especially with the new categories that were being introduced in the law," he said.
As the IAPP Publications team provided daily updates on the GDPR's progress, the Training team developed robust training offerings reflecting the GDPR (released last fall), and the Certification team worked to iron out an exam.
Certification Exam Manager Mark Lovely said the test was designed to include those issues and concepts that exam takers were most likely to face in their every day work. “It was important to us that the new exam questions be more than a regurgitation of GDPR articles," he said. "Rather, we wanted them to reflect what privacy pros felt were likely to be real-world issues with substantial ramifications."
Exam development included work with subject matter experts and the Certification Advisory Board and Exam Development Board, whose members ensured the questions were "relevant and fair," Lovely said. There was additional input from psyshometricians and beta testers, with an "overwhelming" beta exam participant number of more than 300.
Interest continues to be high, in part because of the timing of the exam's debut. "We thought this was a propitious time to release the exam," Forman said. "We're still a year out from when the GDPR comes into effect and it's been a year since it was ratified." The months in between the announcement of the GDPR and the new test allowed those developing the exam to truly understand the issues they would eventually craft into test questions.
Having a new CIPP/E out now also benefits privacy pros, Forman continued. By taking and passing the test a year before the GDPR's official ratification, they can "show their competence before the law comes in."
Turnout measured via the beta test wasn't just a fluke, with Forman estimating that CIPP/E exam numbers are "pushing 200 people" for this month alone. That's "triple what we’d see in a month for CIPP/E," he said. There's high demand for the test at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit, as well.
Forman added that the test's format is largely unchanged, although more content made for a longer exam. Training materials, like live and online classes and the exam's Body of Knowledge, are already available, with a revised textbook planned for release this summer.
There's more changes for the IAPP certification exams on the horizon, with the team working to develop both CIPM and CIPP/E beta exams in German and French. "An important element for reaching our European members and showing that we are an international organization is to translate our exams into languages other than English," Forman added.
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