The ACOI appeared in the Sunday Business Post’s special 2 page report on GDPR.  Please see below for the full article.

With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force across the EU next May, Irish companies must take steps to ensure compliance or else face hefty fines.

The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI) is focusing on education and training to upskill its members to meet the challenges of implementing GDPR in their organisations.

“Data protection and privacy concerns are high on the agenda of our members,” said ACOI president, Clive Kelly.

“We have a programme to raise awareness among members and the public to ensure they are ready to meet their obligations under GDPR by May 25, 2018,” said ACOI chief executive, Evelyn Cregan.

“We provide professional training to equip our members with the specialist skills and competence needed to manage and mitigate data protection-related reputational, compliance and financial risks,” she said. “We offer the certified data protection officer (CPDO) accreditation which qualifies participants to manage data protection issues. The professional certificate in data protection is the only university qualification in data protection in Ireland, and is accredited by UCD. It is offered twice a year, starting in October and February and can be completed in 14 weeks.”

Mary Colhoun, Eir’s director of data protection, said that the professional certificate in data protection course had proved very useful.

“The course covers both theoretical aspects of data protection and its implementation on a day-to-day basis. It covered current challenges and complexities such as outsourcing and international transfers in a practical and instructive way,” she said.

ACOI offers a range of information events on GDPR, open to members and non-members. “People can book places at our events through our website,” said Cregan.

“The theme of our annual conference, which takes place on November 10, is Compliance and Your Reputation, and delegates will hear from a range of expert speakers at the event,” she said.

“We offer a series of morning workshops, lunchtime seminars and master classes on preparing for GDPR, key impacts and practical planning tips.

“We also host events on the latest reports from the Office of the Data Protection Commission (ODPC); discussions on responses to data breaches; and the latest thinking on IT and cyber security risks.”

Cregan said that all businesses, including those outside the EU, would have to comply with GDPR where they provided goods or services to individuals within the EU. “GDPR is set to establish a single uniform law that is fit for purpose to meet the demands of the digital era,” said Cregan.

“There will be significant increases in fines for non-compliance of up to €20 million or 4 per cent of worldwide turnover. A mandatory data protection officer (DPO) will be required in specified organisations such as public authorities and where core activities involve regular and systematic monitoring of personal data on a large scale.”

ACOI is a not-for-profit organisation with 3,000 individual members. It aims to provide leadership on the development of standards in compliance as well as equipping compliance professionals with the skills required for their roles

“The ACOI data protection and technology working group, chaired by ACOI director Aisling Clarke, comprises members who specialise in the legal, operational and technological aspects of data protection and privacy,” said Cregan.

“Our members all work in industry and their voluntary contribution to ACOI is hugely appreciated and important in reflecting the members’ needs. Members have access to a repository of information including articles, presentations, legislation, regulator reports and guidance on the ACOI website.”

For more information, contact Evelyn Cregan, on Tel: 01 7790200 or E-mail: or see

ACOI Article - SBP 08
ACOI Article - SBP 08
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