Designed to satisfy the compliance obligations of the wider workforce, the BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection qualification is suitable for anyone involved in the acquisition, use and protection of personal information. Since its introduction in 2014, the BCS has issued over 2400 data protection certifications across IT, HR, marketing, customer support and other service delivery departments, alongside those new to traditional compliance and information security roles. This latest version of the BCS syllabus (v3.3) covers the EU GDPR, UK Data Protection Act 2018, and PECR while taking into account recent legislative changes and the period of transition, which will last until the end of 2020.


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Code Course Start Duration Location Booking
FC-DP BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection 20 JUN 22 5 X 3.5hr Sessions Online Sold out
12 SEPT 22 5 X 3.5hr Sessions Online Book now

BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection (FC-DP)

Starts: 20 JUN 22

Duration: 5 X 3.5hr Sessions

Location: Online

Sold out

BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection (FC-DP)

Starts: 12 SEPT 22

Duration: 5 X 3.5hr Sessions

Location: Online

Book now

Course Overview

The BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection qualification will benefit all members of staff who are processing the personal information of customers and service users, company employees, or any other partners and stakeholders as part of their daily role. Alongside these key personnel (privacy champions), the BCS Foundation is suitable for management roles and executives who are in some way responsible for business areas which routinely handle personal information. The Foundation Certificate is also the recognised entry point for compliance team members before advancing to the BCS Practitioner Certificate, and IAPP certified training.

Participants attending this BCS accredited GDPR training course will develop a practical understanding of EU and UK data protection laws and how to apply them in everyday workplace situations. The focus is on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the UK Data Protection Act 2018, along with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

The course, which is traditionally taught in a classroom setting over 3-days, is now available online. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delegates can gain a recognised workplace data protection qualification whether they're working at their desk or from home by attending five x 3.5 hour live online sessions across one week. The course follows the latest BCS Syllabus (v3.3) and prepares participants for the 1-hour multiple-choice BCS Foundation Exam, which is administered separately via Questionmark through online remote proctoring.

Course Rationale

Choosing the BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection qualification to develop the skills of select personnel within departments that process high volumes of personal information will be viewed as a positive step. One that outwardly demonstrates a strong commitment to building deeper, more trusting relationships with customers, service users, stakeholders and employees alike.

Investing in the BCS Foundation to train operational employees will also help to reduce unnecessary human errors that can lead to a devastating and costly data breach, potentially resulting in a cut to cyber-insurance premiums. Ultimately, however, it means maintaining a constant state of compliance with the GDPR will become a more realistic objective.


The BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection qualification is a GDPR training course. It is currently only available online. The course is delivered over 5-days, with one 3.5 hours live module each day.

The following schedule is intended as a guide:

Module 1 Introductions, Learning outcomes
Exam details & techniques
Introduction to the History of Data Protection in the UK
Principles of Data Protection and Applicable Terminology
Module 2 The 6 Lawful bases for processing
Processing special categories of personal data
Governance and Accountability: Accountability Obligations, Purpose & process of Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)
Module 3 Governance and Accountability cont.
Records of processing activity
Interlay with privacy notices
Data protection by design & default approach
Designation, position and tasks of the DPO
Interaction between Controller and Processor
Module 4 Transfers of Personal Data to Third Countries or International organisations
Data Subject Rights
Restrictions to Data Subjects Rights (Exemptions)
Module 5 Independent Supervisory Authority (ICO)
Breaches, Enforcement and Liabilities
Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (2003)

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for key individual and other privacy champions with the following responsibilities:

  • Data protection and privacy
  • Information Governance, risk and compliance
  • Information Security, IT Security and IT
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Customer support and service delivery
  • Project Managers
  • Procurement
  • Heads of departments, managers, and directors of small and medium-sized businesses

By obtaining the Foundation Certificate, individuals will:

  • Hold a recognised foundation level qualification in GDPR
  • Understand the significant changes that the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 introduce to data protection
  • Appreciate both the individual and organisational responsibilities faced by data controllers and data processors
  • Recognise the importance of keeping accurate internal records of personal data being processed
  • Be familiar with the 6 lawful bases for processing and know which to apply to specific purposes
  • Understand the reasons for and implications of the new rights made available to data subjects
  • Contribute towards the ongoing commitment to maintain compliance with the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018

BCS Syllabus

Foundation Certificate in Data Protection (FC-DP)
Syllabus version 3.3
July 2020

Download the new syllabus (PDF)


Duration and Format of the Examination

The BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection exam format is a one-hour multiple-choice examination. The exam is closed book, i.e. no materials can be taken into the examination room.

The BCS Examination for the Foundation Certificate in Data Protection is now available in paper and online formats.

Pass Mark

The pass mark is 26/40.

This equates to 65%

Format of the Examination
Type Multiple-choice, 40 Questions (1 mark each)
Duration 1 Hour. An additional 15 minutes will be allowed for candidates sitting the examination in a language that is not their native language
Supervised Yes
Open Book No
Pass Mark 26/40 (65%)
Distinction Mark None
Calculators No, calculators cannot be used during this examination
Delivery Digital or paper-based
Additional time for candidates reasonable adjustments due to a disability

Candidates may request additional time if they require reasonable adjustments. Please refer to the reasonable adjustments policy (see syllabus) for detailed information on how and when to apply.

Additional time for candidates whose language is not the language of the exam

An additional 25% (15 minutes) will be allowed for candidates sitting the examination in a language that is not their native or official language. In these circumstances, candidate's are entitled to use their own paper language dictionary (for translation between the examination language and another national language) during the examination. Electronic versions of dictionaries are not allowed.

Course Cost

Get this BCS Foundation Certificate in Data Protection for:

  • Receive a 15% online discount for multiple bookings onto public courses
  • Onsite courses can be delivered for teams of 4 or more (when permitted)
BCS Accredited GDPR training package includes:
  • 5 x 3.5 hour live online sessions across 1-week, or
  • 3-days for a traditional classroom setting (when permitted)
  • Entrance to the 1-hour, multiple-choice online BCS Examination
  • One to one support up until exam
Courseware: a complete foundation level GDPR manual
  • Detailed 88-page training manual comes in an A4 bound folder + an editable electronic version
  • Includes free lifetime updates (electronic version), which means it will never go out of date
  • Copy of the General Data Protection Regulation & Data Protection Act 2018
  • Electronic copy of the full course PowerPoint
  • Exercises & Revision materials
  • Sample exam questions
  • 1st year BCS Associate membership

You will also receive access to our free professional advisory service, potentially reducing the need for legal advice or consultation fees by supplying the right advice when you need it most.

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