Completing the DSPT: Top Tips

Completing the DSPT: Top Tips

The deadline to complete the Data Security & Protection Toolkit (DSPT) for 2022/23 is almost here! We hosted a webinar yesterday to help you get one step closer to submitting the toolkit. If you missed it, you can view the slides and catch up on the recording.

Tips for registering on the DSPT
  • You will need an ODS code and an email address to register for the toolkit.
  • Single siteย organisations can register with a V code.
  • Multi siteย organisations sharing the same policies and procedures can submit one assessment, but register with an A code.
  • We recommend setting up multiple users. One person can have administrator access but you can also grant member and viewer access to other relevant staff members.

Tips for completing questions on the DSPT
  • Your answers are not public, just the status you achieve based on your assessment.
  • The DSPT is a self-assessment, but not a tick box exercise. Use it to check and improve your policies and processes.
  • Questions have links to helpful guidance and resources.
  • We recommend using the comments section in each answer to leave notes to yourself or colleagues regarding your answers to help as a reminder in the future, or if someone else takes over next year’s submission.
  • One question that can be tricky to complete asks if your staff have received training on data and cyber security. Use our free manager’s discussion tool and competency assessment to satisfy this question.
  • Youย  must register with the Information Commissioners Office.
  • Access our free template policies and resources to help you with your submission.


Tips for confirming and publishing your DSPT
  • If completing to Approaching Standards, you will need to have answered all 26 mandatory questions. You will see the word “completed” next to each question. At the bottom of the page, you will see a button that says “Publish Approaching Standards Assessment”.
  • You can only submit to Approaching Standards once.
  • If publishing at multi-site level, don’t forget to click “view branches” to check that all the sites you are publishing for are listed. If they are not, contact the exeter helpdesk.
  • See our detailed guidance on publishing for the first time.


Tips for after publishing
  • Export your submission to excel if you’d like to format it into an action plan or if you need to share progress with leadership teams.
  • Save it as a pdf if you’d like to print your submission to share with others.
  • Download your DSPT certificate to display across your sites or on your website to demonstrate to others that you take data protection seriously.
  • Share your DSPT status with others. If you’re a multi site organisation, it’s very important to tell your sites and registered managers. They will not automatically be notified, it is up to you to inform them.


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