Data Protection: Discussion Tool and Competency Assessment

In order to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT), care providers need to demonstrate that 95% of their staff have been trained in the 12 months prior to their DSPT assessment, and that they are competent in data security and protection.

The Better Security, Better Care programme has developed resources to enable care providers to meet this requirement.

Manager’s Discussion Tool

This discussion tool is designed to help managers to have discussions with frontline staff to check their knowledge and provide evidence of their competence in data security and protection to meet requirement 3.2.1 of the DSPT.

The tool is broken down into four sections covering the data security and protection learning outcomes for frontline social care staff:

  1. Understand the importance of data security and protection in the care system and your personal responsibility to handle data safely
  2. Be able to apply relevant data security and protection legislation and principles
  3. Be aware of physical and digital threats to data security and know how to avoid them, including:

i. being alert to social engineering

ii. safe use of digital devices

iii. safe keeping of physical records

  1. Be able to identify data breaches and incidents and know what to do if one happens.

Each section includes guidance notes to help managers to understand the topic, links to further resources (where they exist), questions for you to ask to prompt discussion with staff, and a multiple choice quiz that can be given to staff to test their knowledge or assess their learning needs.

Download the Managers’ Discussion Tool

Assessment Tool for Frontline Staff

This is a multiple-choice quiz for frontline staff. It can provide evidence that staff are competent in data security and protection and meet requirement 3.2.1 of the Data Security and Protection Toolkit by undertaking an assessment and gaining an 80% pass mark. Staff can complete and return the quiz to their manager who can then use it as evidence for the DSPT.

Download the Assessment Tool for Frontline Staff

Please note: Using these resources can support meeting the DSPT training requirements, but it does not guarantee it.

Data Security and Protection eLearning Course

The Data Security and Protection eLearning Course is specifically designed around the DSPT requirements and is relevant to all staff with access to personal data in all adult social care settings.

It’s free, short, and packed with relevant scenarios to help all staff in adult social care services to understand how to keep information safe.

It includes four modules, which take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. And there is one online assessment. If staff answer 80% of the questions correctly, they will receive a dated certificate which they can send to their manager or trainer as evidence of their achievement. Managers can record this and, over time, calculate if 95% of their staff have successfully completed the training.

The course is completely open access with no need to register or sign in. If care providers have their own Learning Management System, then can request a SCORM compliant version of the course.

We have also produced a guide for managers and trainers on how to use the course with their staff, plus a guide for staff completing it.

Find out more at


The Institute of Public Care (IPC) at Oxford Brookes University in collaboration with the Better Security, Better Care programme researched the data security and protection training needs of small and medium sized care providers, including how well current training provision meets those needs, and how the training market could be developed. They explored what DSPT compliant training looks like, reviewed existing free training resources, developed a skills assessment for frontline staff, and explored how the Caldicott Guardian role is represented in the sector.

Their report – Training and Skills Development for the Care Sector is published here.

This research also informed the development of the elearning course.

Support with the DSPT

The Better Security, Better Care programme provides free, expert support to care providers to enable them to complete the DSPT. Access national guidance and helpline, and local support from 28 partners across England. Find out more about the programme.

Sources of training

Digital Social Care also provides guidance on training, including sources of free online data and cyber security training.