Looking Back at 2021

Here at DPAS we have not been immune to the, unique shall we say, obstacles posed by the past year or so. Despite the challenges faced by what at times felt like a biblical apocalypse, we could not be prouder of the work we’ve done in 2021, nor more excited for the opportunities already presenting themselves in 2022. I’d like to take a little time now to reflect and congratulate our team on an exceptional year (well, we deserve it!).

In January 2021 we decided to expand our SAR redaction services, bringing in a new team (including 6 more members of staff!)  to deal with ongoing demand from our customers.

We secured a contract with a large Unitary Council, helping them deal with their backlog of health and social care files. To date, we’ve assisted in the redaction of 47 case files for the council and a grand total of 83,336 pages being redacted by the DPAS team.

We successfully completed a Root Cause Analysis into data incidents across another large council, reviewing all their incidents this year and implementing a remediation plan for them to address within the next 12 months. Keep your eyes peeled for our case study about this exciting project…

We secured 10 additional SAR processing customers, some providing us with their backlog to aid them in clearing. Others we’ve dealt with have been one-off cases with ex-employees.

We’ve answered countless tickets on our DPO ticketing platform, providing vital subject matter expertise, above and beyond capabilities within their organisation. We’ve completed audits, reviewed DPIAs, given legal advice, created over 200 policies, built ROPAs…the list goes on!

We gained another large airport client; we’ve signed off on another huge project for a Local Authority whereby we’ll help them with their surveillance operations.

If all that wasn’t enough, we launched our website compliance package offering, alongside CookieScan. 

Training

The training side of our business has continued to flourish, and we are proud to say that in 2021 we trained a total of 310 people over 30 different day+ courses, from over 100 different public and private sector organisations.

We also provided 11 charities with courses, free of charge, so that they can understand their data protection responsibilities. 

2021 also saw the launch of our new brand, The Privacy Pulse, for our series of webinars. To date we have held 5 webinars and 296 of you have joined us!

Here is a snapshot of some of our feedback this year from our training courses.

The DPAS Team

For all of us at DPAS, 2021 has been a year characterised by expansion! We have been fortunate enough to welcome many new additions to our team, from new staff members (Zack, Emma, Will, Abi, Jemma, Emmanuella, Louise and Gary) to our first DPAS baby, the gorgeous Sienna (good job Megan!). I would be remiss if I didn’t take this moment to mention the beautiful Beau, Nigel’s new rescue spaniel, who can often be found wandering our office (Beau not Nigel!).

We have also promoted 3 team members, continuing to support their development within the business.

We also welcomed the expansion of our DPAS North sales team led by Andy Ledger. The team now includes Lottie and Ella and together they continue to help DPAS to grow.

Consecutively the team have achieved the following certifications enabling them to progress their careers within the world of data privacy:

  • 1 x Master of Law in Information Rights
  • 4 x BCS Practitioner Certificates in Data Protection
  • 2 x BCS Practitioner Certificates in FOI
  • 3 x BCS Foundation Certificates in Data Protection
  • 3 x BCS Foundation Certificate in Information Management Security Principles

In June, we moved into our new offices at Dunchideock Barton, providing us with more vitally needed  desk space for our expanding team (personally I found the process of considering new wall decals, desks and prints for the office immensely gratifying!).

We also had a great team day out this summer, getting dirty on the Holden assault course…What a bonding experience!

Looking ahead

What challenges and opportunities will 2022 bring for DPAS?

Pandemic permitting, we have a very busy first quarter lined up. Several councils have booked bespoke training packages with us! We’re kicking off a huge surveillance project: a root cause analysis of data breaches project, whilst we work through another backlog of SARs and help one of our MATs with their record of processing activities… and that’s just January!

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