Role of the data protection officer (DPO)

Understand the DPO's responsibilities, what experience they should have and training they may need. Plus, find out what to consider when determining how much time your DPO needs for their role.

Last reviewed on 4 April 2024
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  1. Who you can appoint to the role 
  2. Responsibilities of the DPO
  3. Qualities and experience
  4. Your obligations regarding the DPO

If you're looking for a job description and personal specification to help you recruit a DPO, take a look at our template.

Who you can appoint to the role 

All schools are required to have a data protection officer (DPO) under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

Your DPO should be someone in your school or an external data protection adviser. The person is responsible for monitoring data protection compliance and has the knowledge, support and authority to do so effectively.

Your DPO must:

  • Be independent
  • Have an expert understanding of UK data protection law
  • Report directly to the highest management level of the school, which would usually be the board of governors or trustees
  • Have adequate resources to carry out their role 

Hire a full-time or part-time DPO Take a look at our model job description and person specification to help you find the best candidate for the job.  You'll need

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