The Data Protection Excellence Network (DPEX) announced on Thursday (13 December) a new Data Protection Officer (DPO) Search service provided by JonDavidson recruiters to help meet demand for DPOs in the region.
DPEX is led by Straits Interactive and SMU Academy, the professional training arm of Singapore Management University.
Under Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA), organisations operating in the country are required to designate at least one DPO to oversee the data protection responsibilities within the company and ensure compliance with the PDPA.
DPEX’s DPO search service was developed to help companies in the region source for competent DPOs as well as to allow Singaporean companies who have not appointed a DPO to tap on salary support funding and on-the-job training assistance from SMU's Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for DPOs.
"This is an ideal time to launch the DPO search service given the strong demand for these professionals,” said Dr Lim Lai Cheng, executive director at the SMU Academy. “We now have a critical pool of graduates from our DPO courses, as well as our PCP (which trains mid-career professionals and retiring civil servants). This new service serves to enhance the ecosystem and network which match aspiring and experienced DPOs with companies looking for data protection expertise."
The DPO Executive Search service will assist companies in applying for the PCP scheme, which is supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).
“Combo” roles, which include traditional job functions such as HR, marketing or IT will also be covered under the scheme. Individuals must carry the DPO title in their designation or job description.
The PCP will provide funding to companies with salary support and course fees support.
Growing demand of data protection expertise
The set-up of the Search Service follows from the results of an annual survey by Straits Interactive of available job positions requiring data protection as part of the job description.
The survey found that the number of advertised positions for data privacy expertise in Singapore grew 23% year-on-year in September 2018 as compared to the same period last year.
"The survey reveals that demand for data protection expertise continues to grow double digits as Singapore continues to enforce and enhance the rules relating to the Personal Data Protection Act. The results suggest that more sectors are hiring staff with data protection as part of their job functions and in higher management positions," said Kevin Shepherdson, CEO of Straits Interactive.