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  • Writer's pictureLawtons Africa

POPIA Compliance tip #3: The importance of POPIA training and awareness

Authors: Natasha Jansen – Consultant

When it comes to POPIA compliance, the importance of training and awareness cannot be over-emphasised. Training and awareness are the backbone of an organisation’s data privacy culture and its compliance journey as a whole. To ensure accountability for data privacy within an organisation, data privacy training and awareness should be done at every level of the organisation from top to bottom.

Training and awareness are among the most important risk areas when it comes to data privacy readiness within an organisation. Human error is one of the highest areas of risk for data breaches globally and is very often overlooked or overshadowed by the emphasis and effort that organisations place on securing IT infrastructure.

Before an organisation starts setting its POPIA compliance objectives, it is essential that key stakeholders within the organisation are trained on POPIA. This includes employees, managers and heads of functional departments who have been identified to work on the organisation’s POPIA implementation project and form part of the compliance project framework.

Training and awareness are essential to ensure that these key stakeholders have sufficient knowledge on the requirements of POPIA to enable them to work on the compliance project effectively. As it is anticipated that these key stakeholders will be involved in the full POPIA implementation process, right through to compliance management and maintenance at the end of the project, proper and comprehensive training and awareness is crucial for a successful implementation project.

Once POPIA implementation is underway, all employees within the organisation should also be trained and made aware of the provisions of POPIA on an ongoing basis. Training and awareness of all employees is equally as fundamental as the training of key stakeholders within the organisation because, in performing their day-to-day work, employees receive, access and process personal information in various forms.

Contact our Data Privacy & POPIA team for assistance with POPIA training and awareness campaigns. We offer POPIA training courses for management and employees, and can assist you with developing bespoke training content that aligns to your organisation’s compliance implementation objectives.

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Lawtons Africa is a South African law firm. With roots that grew out of seeds sown in down-town Johannesburg in 1892, our history features various changes and different names. Our team of lawyers, including directors, consultants, associates and candidate attorneys is highly qualified, market-recognised and skilled. For further information, visit

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