Course Description

Certificate in Data Protection Practice

Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • A comprehensive understanding of  current data protection legislation and the principles of data protection;
  • A thorough knowledge of Regulation 2016/679 (the GDPR);
  • An excellent grasp of data protection practice, data governance and compliance;
  • Up to date knowledge of the changing landscape relating to international transfers of data (Schrems/EU-US privacy shield);
  • Confidence to deal with practical data protection issues, such as data access requests, data security and preventing data breaches; and
  • The skills to protect their own personal data.

Programme structure and approach to learning

Data is now a valuable commodity. Modern technologies allow for huge volumes of data to be collected by companies on a daily basis. There are many legal responsibilities associated with collecting, retaining and processing such data. Data protection laws act to balance an individual’s right to privacy with a company’s ability to use that data. It is essential that the use of data is regulated to prevent against abuses whilst at the same time ensuring that companies can use data efficiently and effectively.

This Certificate in Data Protection will offer an in-depth analysis of the current data protection framework. The current data protection laws will be examined, together with the changes proposed by Regulation 2016/679 (the General Data Protection Regulation). The law in this area is straightforward, however its application is less so, and especially as the data protection landscape is rapidly changing. Participants will be brought through the application of the law by experienced data protection practitioners and privacy consultants from private practice, the public sector and from large multinationals. This course will ensure that participants are equipped to deal with the new compliance issues that are ahead.

Online and interactivity

Course materials, including webcasts of lectures, will be released each week online. In addition, participation in online interactivity will be required. There will be three online interactive workshops to enable students to connect with expert contributors and to consolidate their knowledge. Students are also afforded the opportunity to interact with the expert contributors online each week. Participants are invited to have an open-minded approach to learning and are encouraged to interact and share knowledge with colleagues. Engaging online is a central element of online courses.


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Introduction to data protection law

  • Origins of data protection law
  • Data protection concepts and principles
  • Overview of data protection landscape

Module 2: Data processing and sharing

  • Legitimate processing
  • Data retention
  • Data access requests
  • Government data, public sector
  • Data Protection v Freedom of Information
  • Litigation –legal professional privilege/discovery

Module 3: Data processing and personal rights

  • Removal, amendments, rectification
  • The right to be forgotten
  • Direct marketing
  • Automated decision making
  • State surveillance

Module 4: General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation 2016/679)

  • Overview of key proposed changes
  • Impact of proposed changes on processing, consent, outsourcing
  • Compliance and enforcement
  • Requirement to have a DPO
  • How to prepare now for the changes ahead
  • Changes referenced in each Module throughout the Certificate

Module 5: Data governance

  • Role of the Data Protection Officer
  • Data breaches
  • Powers of Commissioner for Data Protection
  • Privacy Impact Assessments

Module 6: International data transfers

  • Data transfer risks
  • Schrems case
  • Privacy Shield
  • Supervision, enforcement, offences

Module 7: Data protection compliance

  • CCTV
  • Direct marketing
  • Cookies, the Cloud
  • Outsourcing
  • Drones, biometrics, wearable technology

Module 8: Data governance framework

  • Best practice models
  • Information Asset Life Cycle
  • Aligning DP and data governance
  • Standard frameworks and ISOs
  • Measuring date protection compliance

Module 9: Change management

  • Context and rationale
  • Principles of change management
  • Data Protection training

Module 10: Data security and technology

  • Physical security of data
  • Virtual security of data
  • Technical considerations

Module 11: Ethics in data protection/Global data protection

  • Ethical first principles
  • A framework for ethics in information management
  • Practical application
  • Global view and EU v US approach
  • Overview of recent data protection issues


Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case study problems and analysis with an emphasis on the application of data protection law to common scenarios encountered in practice.

  • Workshop 1: Saturday 10 November 2018
  • Workshop 2: Saturday 8 December 2018
  • Workshop 3: Saturday 19 January 2019


2,500 word assignment including case-study scenarios and multiple choice questions.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for:

  • Solicitors, barristers, and trainees who currently advise or aspire to advise on data protection issues;
  • Data Protection Officers;
  • Compliance Officers;
  • IT professionals;
  • Professionals who are data controllers/processors and need to understand their legal obligations/duties;
  • All professionals advising on/working in the area of data protection who need to update their knowledge on the GDPR;;
  • Suitably qualified professionals wishing to move into the area of data protection;
  • Individuals who have an interest in protecting their personal data.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €100.

Hear from our graduates

Laura Ni Dhruachain

“I have gained a strong foundational knowledge of data protection practice, and insight as to how data protection practice will change under the General Data Protection Regulation. The practical-orientated focus of the course enabled me to fully understand complex legislation in its day-to-day application. As a solicitor working in the area of data protection, this is something that I found most beneficial. The online delivery of the course was great, as it enabled me to learn at my own pace and in my own time without interfering with my work responsibilities.”

Laura Ní Dhruacháin (technology and commercial contracts solicitor, William Fry)
Certificate in Data Protection Practice, Autumn 2016


The teaching faculty for this certificate comprises a fantastic array of data protection experts.

Previous lecturers have included:

  • Chris Bollard, Partner, Matheson
  • Fergal Crehan BL, Privacy Consultant
  • Dr. Denis Kelleher, BCL, Ll.D, BL
  • Jeanne Kelly, Partner, LK Shields
  • Fred Logue, Partner, Fp Logue Solicitors
  • Phil Lee, Partner, Fieldfisher, Palo Alto
  • Ian Long, Groupon International
  • Simon McGarr, McGarr Solicitors
  • Patricia McGovern, Chairman, DFMG Solicitors
  • Dr. TJ McIntyre, Lecturer, UCD, and Digital Rights Ireland
  • Anna Morgan, Head Of Legal (Deputy Commissioner) Office Of The Data Protection Commissioner
  • Emerald De Leeuw, Ceo, Eurocomply
  • Linda Ni Chullaidh, Regulatory Counsel, An Post
  • Daragh O’Brien, Ceo, Castlebridge
  • Dr. Katherine O’Keefe, Castlebridge
  • Richard O’Sullivan, General Counsel, Global Shares Plc
  • Ruth O’Toole, Senior Legal Counsel, Daon
  • Emma Redmond, Senior Director Of Privacy, Ancestry.Com
  • Kenneth Ruane, Head Of Legal Affairs, An Garda Siochana
  • Aoife Sexton, Director, Frontier Privacy
  • Kate Colleary, Director, Frontier Privacy
  • Olga Gaffney, Solicitor, AMOSS Solicitors
  • Julie Shackleton, Solicitor, HBX, Harvard Business School
  • Oisin Tobin, Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Dr. Ian Walden, Professor Of Information And Communications Law, Queen Mary University Of London


The number of hours of CPD that solicitors may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For latest details and the booklet, see CPD scheme.

College Name Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre
Course Category Law
Course Type Online Learning
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 7
Course Start Date 27th February 2019
Course Fee 1550
Course Times Blended learning: introductory lecture onsite and online; thereafter online Wednesdays with online workshops on Saturdays.
Awarding Body Law Society of Ireland
Title of Awarding Certificate in Data Protection Practice
For information about Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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