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The ISACA CDPSE Certification Overview and Benefits

CDPSE Certification l eBook

What exactly is CDPSE certification?

ISACA Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer l CDPSE certification credential focuses on the technical and governance aspects of implementing privacy solutions. ISACA provides it with a nonprofit professional association focused on IT governance that offers several certifications, including the CISM. CDPSE certification is one of the most recent certifications available: it was introduced in May 2020 and initially had no test requirement for early adopters, though, by late 2021, this was no longer the case. 

The organization created the new accreditation to fill a gap in the industry landscape. “Modern privacy laws and regulations compel enterprises to embed privacy by design and by default into IT systems, networks, and applications,” says Kim Cohen, ISACA Senior Director of Credentialing. “To accomplish so, privacy specialists must collaborate with software developers, system and network engineers, application and database administrators, and project managers to include data protection and information security measures into new and existing data processing environments.

Who should obtain the CDPSE certification?

Anyone who has worked in the security and privacy fields knows that the actions required to secure information span various organizational operations. This ISACA privacy certification is specifically for professionals who want to learn more about working cross-functionally. Across all stakeholders, teams, and departments, such as legal, human resources, software engineers and developers, IT administrators, database administrators, and others, to plan, develop, and deliver the necessary data privacy solutions.

Professionals will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities to:

  1. Create and implement privacy solutions.
  2. Securely manage the data lifecycle.
  3. Inform technologists about privacy rules and compliance standards.
  4. Implement privacy by design to ensure that technologies foster end-user confidence and promote enterprise data privacy standards.
  5. Ensure that an organization’s privacy solutions meet their risk acceptance standards and can identify proper risk mitigation techniques.
  6. Confirm that any system or technology features or functionalities adhere to privacy and security standards.
  7. Analyse and interpret data to ensure that customer security and privacy requirements are met.

What are the CDPSE requirements, and how can I get CDPSE certified?

The CDPSE certification standards are similar to those of other ISACA programs in that candidates must achieve numerous criteria:

  • Meeting and signing the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics.
  • Having the appropriate years of expertise in the following areas:
  •  privacy governance
  • The architecture of privacy.
  • Data lifecycle.
  • Preparing for and passing the CDPSE certification exam in person or remotely.
  • Submitting your CDPSE certification application after passing the exam, including the application process fee, and having it approved by ISACA.

When a professional wants to pursue the CDPSE certification, they file for eligibility to sit for the exam with ISACA, which certifies the applicant’s years of experience and then provides up to 12 months to pay for and take the exam, either remotely or in an established testing centre. Suppose a professional already has an ISACA certification, such as the CISA, CISM, or CRISC. In that case, they only need to demonstrate three years of related experience. Still, those who still need such qualifications must show five years of expertise in the mentioned domains.

Candidates have 3.5 hours to complete 120 questions. After completing the exam, you must submit your CDPSE certification application, including the application processing fee, to become CDPSE certified. CDPSE credential holders must achieve continuing professional education (CPE) standards and pay the associated renewal fees after all requirements have been met.

How much does CDPSE cost?

ISACA has a rather detailed summary of the fees connected with CDPSE certification. However, the basics are as follows:

  • The examination fee is $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members. (ISACA membership dues are $135, so if you plan to take one of their certification examinations this year, you’ll be ahead immediately.) 
  • You have a year after registering to take the exam to take it, but you will only be refunded if you do.
  • After passing the exam, you must formally apply to become CDPSE certified; the application fee is $50.
  • As a result, you must pay an annual maintenance charge to keep your certification current. Members pay $45, and non-members pay $85 for this cost.

Is it worthwhile to take the CDPSE?

As the cybersecurity skills gap widens and worries about data privacy and security grow, more emphasis is being placed on a professional’s experience and certifications rather than formal degrees. While this does not diminish the rigour and benefits of degree programs in security and risk management, a CDPSE credential, like any ISACA privacy certification, is a straightforward way to validate your expertise and training in implementing privacy and security standards into an organization’s technology systems and applications.

ISACA highlights the following benefits of certification:

  1. Strong understanding of data lifecycle management, storage, rescue, and destruction laws and guidelines.
  2. They are ensuring compliance cost-effectively and efficiently.
  3. A holistic view of data privacy.
  4. Capability to bridge the gap between the legal and IT components of data protection and create a shared understanding of best practices for privacy.
  5. Expertise in discovering and mitigating privacy threats, assaults, vulnerabilities, risk mitigation and end-user experience optimization.
  6. Ability to identify and manage all PII/PHI following legal standards, regulatory policies, and data subject rights.

What are the possible CDPSE job paths?

After earning the CDPSE credential, an IT professional can pursue a variety of security and private employment opportunities. 

These include pursuing further ISACA privacy certifications or jobs such as:

  • Chief Privacy Officer
  • Chief information officer
  • Chief Risk Officer
  • Data privacy advisor/consultant
  • Chief Compliance Officer

In each case, as they gain more expertise in the core task and help others through privacy-related efforts, they may manage progressively larger security and privacy programs, including those with complicated regulatory, legal, and compliance requirements. Protection and privacy specialists might also specialize in a particular field in the public or private sectors, such as healthcare, finance, defence, national security, or social assistance programs.


As more firms realize and invest in adequate security programs, particularly those supported by qualified and experienced people, the cybersecurity and data privacy areas undergo significant upheaval. As a result, considering the CDPSE certification is one of the most excellent methods for you as an IT professional to prepare for today’s security and privacy concerns while also assisting enterprises in implementing the programs required to be ready for tomorrow’s dangers.

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