Review and update your DSPT

You must review, update and republish your Data Security and Protection Toolkit assessment at least once every year, otherwise it goes out of date and it is invalid.

We recommend that you keep it up to date throughout the year, especially if you have introduced new systems or services.

What to consider 

When you are reviewing and republishing you need to consider what has changed since you completed the DSPT and what impact this will have on the answers you give in your next DSPT. For example: 

  • Have you bought or sold services? 
  • Has the type of service you run changed, and has this impacted on your CQC registration? 
  • Have you introduced new IT systems, policies or procedures? Are these standard across all services? If not, you may need to complete more than one DSPT. 
  • Are you moving from Approaching Standards to Standards Met? If yes, you need to have additional policies in place. 

Additional policies for Standards Met

If you previously published at Approaching Standards, you must reach Standards Met in order to republish.

You will also need to have some additional policies in place. We have provided template policies which you can adapt to suit your own organisation.

There is no set number of how many policies your organisation has to have on these topics as the different sizes and complexity of organisations means that some will have one all-encompassing policy, whilst others may have multiple policies. The important thing is that you have them – and that you follow them. You may call your policies different things to what we have called them.

You must have these additional policies in place in order to reach Standards Met on the DSPT.

In addition, we recommend that you consider having the following in place.

Mandatory questions

When you log back into the toolkit after a first publication, you will see 77 questions. These include those for Standards Met and additional non-mandatory ones.

It is only expected that social care organisations complete to the level ‘Standards Met’.

To publish at Standards Met, you will need to complete the 42 questions marked MANDATORY.

Check, amend and save

You must review all of the answers you gave and update them if anything has changed and save your responses.

If you were previously published at Approaching Standards level, you will have additional mandatory questions to answer to get to Standards Met.

See our tips on answering all 42 mandatory questions.



Once you are confident that the information is accurate, you can republish your DSPT and share the level you reach with others.  See our guidance on republishing.

Remember – you can republish your DSPT several times throughout the year. It is good practice to keep it up to date especially if things change.


Access free support

Better Security, Better Care provides free support to help you complete the DSPT. Use our online guides and information, book to attend a webinar, contact our national helpdesk or get direct support from one of our 28 local support organisations across the country.

Find out more.