Certified CPIOThe Value of Certification

The Protection of Personal Information Act requires every public and private body to appoint an Information Officer and, if necessary, deputy information officers who are responsible for encouraging compliance with the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information, dealing with requests made regarding personal information, and working with the Information Regulator.

The Certified Personal Information Officer certification enables information officers to demonstrate their:

  • skill and competency in interpreting and applying the Protection of Personal Information Act and related legislation;
  • knowledge of the role and responsibilities of information officers, responsible parties and the Information Regulator;
  • understanding of the rights of data subjects.


Skilled information officers are in high demand and the CPIO designation is what tells employers you are knowledgeable in data protection legislation generally, and have specific practical knowledge and expertise in  South Africa's Protection of Personal Information Act, its regulations and related legislation.


CPIO credentialWhy Choose the CPIO credential?

The Certified Personal Information Officer (CPIO) credential focuses on the knowledge and expertise needed by information officers in South Africa. While there are many similarities between South Africa's data protection legislation and that of Europe and other jurisdictions, the Protection Personal of Personal Information Act (POPIA) has many significant differences from Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Unfortunately a common mistake by privacy advisers in South Africa is to base their recommendations on international best privacy practices, not realising that they aren't always compatible with POPIA. Consequently, being knowledgeable in international data protection legislation is beneficial to, but not enough for an information officer in South Africa.  

When you earn the CPIO credential, you are recognised as part of a specialist group of knowledgeable and capable South African privacy professionals that employers can rely on for accurate advice on enabling the privacy rights of data subjects in South Africa and complying with the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information.

CPIO skillsInformation officer skills

Information officers require a broad range of skills. While a thorough understanding of data protection legislation is essential, an information officer must be able to give practical advice and therefore will also need to understand the processing operations of their employer as well as the information management and technology being used.

CPIO examThe CPIO examination

The CPIO exam is offered online and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that cover the five personal information officer job practice domains created from the job practice analysis.

Candidates have two hours to complete the exam.



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