What are IAPP Certificates? — Are they necessary?

Yagmur Sahin
Published in
5 min readJan 27, 2022


In this article, I talked about the IAPP — International Association of Privacy Professionals, an organisation that most people in the Data Privacy sector have heard of at least once and I talked about the place of those certificates in the sector.

The article’s content has been organized to address the following questions in the following order:

1) Are you familiar with IAPP certificates?
2) What are these certificates?
3) What are these certificates going to do for you?
4) Which Certificate Should You Get?
5) Should you Prepare for Certification Exams Alone?

1) Are you familiar with IAPP certificates?

You’ve likely heard of the IAPP at least once if you work in “Data Privacy.”

IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) is an international organization accrediting your understanding of risks and global information management practices required to protect data.

IAPP provides information privacy certification programs specifically designed for professionals who manage, process, and access data and are recognized and respected by employers around the world.

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation formed to raise awareness and develop the privacy profession globally.

In addition to several educational studies and resources on data privacy, IAPP conducts training and examination studies for certificates with a high international reputation in the data privacy sector.

2) What are these certificates?

There are mainly 3 types of these certificates, which many people working in the sector are familiar with:

CIPP (Certified Information Privacy Professionals) — Practicing Privacy-

CIPM (Certified Information Privacy Manager) — Operationalizing Privacy-

CIPT(Certified Information Privacy Technologist) — Engineering Privacy -

3) What are these certificates going to do for you?

Currently, we see that these certificates provided by IAPP are in any job position requirements regarding “Data Privacy.”

I believe this is because IAPP resources and exam topics are quite comprehensive and provide companies with a strong notion of whether a person’s theoretical knowledge is sufficient.

These certifications, which are highly respected in the “data privacy” industry, often show that you have proven your theoretical competence in Information security in the eyes of employers. In this way, you can gain an advantage in the job market.

4) Which Certificate Should You Get?


CIPP certification demonstrates that you have a fundamental understanding of the broad global concepts of privacy and data protection law and practice, jurisdictional laws, regulations, and models of practice, basic privacy concepts, and principles. It shows that you are familiar with the legal requirements for processing and transferring data and more.


CIPM certification demonstrates that you are equipped to create, maintain and manage a privacy program in privacy program management and at all stages of its lifecycle.

It shows that you can demonstrate your competency in day-to-day operations to establish a company vision, structure a data protection team, develop and implement system frameworks, communicate with stakeholders, measure performance, and more so that data privacy regulations work for your organization.


Being CIPT certified demonstrates that you have dual literacy in key privacy and technology to ensure operations meet privacy goals and mitigate risks.

Having this certificate means that you can create privacy-friendly products, services, and processes by embedding data protection at every stage of development. You have the competency to design software and systems to ensure better privacy applications. It shows you have the competence to create privacy practices for data security and control such as minimization, limited access, and encryption, in theory.

5) Should I Prepare for Certification Exams Alone?

Even though I have been working on “Privacy” for two years, not taken the exam for the certificate, however, last week, I became a member of IAPP by participating in the Privacy Pros Academy training program.

Since I am currently working abroad, I decided to take the CIPP/E exam in March, which I thought would be both a necessity and an enjoyable experience for me to demonstrate my competence in the field.

Kazient is IAPP’s “official training partner” and provides a 16-hour intensive certificate training program for the abovementioned exams. With the training package, you get all the IAPP resources needed to prepare for the exam, online training, IAPP membership, exam voucher, and special training materials exclusive for Privacy Pros Academy members.

How you prepare for the exams is entirely up to you, but I don’t think any of the study materials you will receive are sufficient to teach you how to apply what you have learned to the situational questions in the exam.

At the same time, while moving towards a goal, I think a mentor who will guide and support you will make a huge difference.

It is a fact that being in a community that has come together for a common purpose on the road to success makes people reach their goals much faster. That’s why I don’t hesitate to invest in myself when these opportunities come my way.

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Yagmur Sahin

Co-Founder of @DataBulls | Privacy and Data Protection Expert | Lawyer | London 📍