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Greetings from Brussels!

I’m filling in for Paul today to give a slightly different perspective from the IAPP European Office.

To introduce myself, I’m Scott Colati, IAPP European operations and business development specialist. I am nearly one year into working here at the IAPP European office, after several years at our global headquarters in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA.

Here in Brussels, I mainly oversee the operations of our Official Training Partners in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. Who and what are Official Training Partners? A great question.

First off, let’s take a look at Europe.

As you can imagine, there has been rapid and explosive growth in the region in the last year. In September 2017, we had nearly 6,000 IAPP members in Europe, and just under 2,000 were certified. As of today, we have more than 12,600 members with over 4,000 certified. A little known statistic: Around a third of the Euorpean membership came to the IAPP through our Official Training Partners. Furthermore, more than a third of those members coming through the OTPs went on to certify after training.

IAPP OTPs are training organizations the IAPP has licensed to bring IAPP training and certification programs to more areas around the world. They have also helped the IAPP expand its geographical reach, in bringing training programs to markets we would have had difficulty serving without them. As new regulations are passed — such as the GDPR — satisfying the demand for data protection education has been a core objective here at the IAPP. And it all began with just one partner.

Back in 2014, we were approached by a training organization who had heard of our programs and wanted to add the CIPP/E program to their training portfolio: They trained around 50 professionals in the first year.

Today, our network has grown, and we have more than 40 training partners delivering the IAPP training programs globally. In Europe, more than 3,400 professionals have trained through an IAPP partner and more than 1,300 of them hold one or more of our certifications. In fact, more than 300 of those certified folks are what we’ve started to call “GDPR Ready” (certified on both CIPP/E and CIPM).

While the CIPP/E certification is the most widely held certification, the CIPM program is quickly catching up, largely due to the importance of having well-trained people in organizations who not only understand legal compliance, but who also know how to implement and manage robust data protection policies.

I don’t have to tell you: Even though the implementation date for the GDPR has come and gone, there is still much work to be done. If anything, 25 May was just the beginning. The need for properly trained privacy professionals will only increase as the regulation becomes more strategic to organizations. Without these partners, there’s simply no way we could respond to all the demand for training we’re seeing from our members and our not-yet members. So, if you’re looking for IAPP training, it may be you find it from one of our OTPs.

Let me know if you have any questions — I’m here to help.

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