French Ministry of Labour- Study on the profession of DPO

Jun 1, 2022

The profession of Data Protection Officer (DPO) is relatively new in many private or public organizations.

The conditions of practice, the forms of employment, the career paths or skills held or expected for the exercise of the profession of DPO need to be well identified and understood in order to provide the right answers in terms of employment and professional training. The AFCDP has worked alongside the General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP) and the National Agency for Vocational Training (AFPA) to identify the dynamics and challenges in terms of employment and training related to the GDPR. The DGEFP entrusted the AFPA with the realization of a large-scale research on the function of DPO.

This research, which took place for the first time in 2019, one year after the GDPR came into force, was based on an online survey designed with the active participation of the AFCDP. A second edition took place in 2020, and a third in 2021-2022.  Discover the complete results of this research.

 The 2022 edition of the research on the DPO profession is based on a survey of 1,811 DPOs designated by the CNIL, interviewed between September and October 2021. Thanks to the mobilization and testimonials of DPOs, this research reveals the great dynamics and changes in the profession between 2019 and 2021.

Increase in the number of DPOs, from 21,000 in 2018 to 28,810 in 2021.

  • Diversification of profiles: 47% come from fields of expertise other than legal and IT (+12 points since 2019). In particular, they come from other areas such as administrative and financial functions, quality, and compliance-audit.
  • Positive professional experience: 58% are satisfied with their job and 87% are convinced of the usefulness of their position. They also wish to continue their missions with a strong motivation (67%).
  • A decrease in training, a lack of means: 42% perform this function in an isolated way compared to other DPOs (+14 points). 1/3 have not received any GDPR training since 2016 (+7 points), while they are increasingly coming from environments outside of IT and legal.

The profile of a DPO in 2021:

  • 72% perform their function as internal DPO
  • 29% work in the Paris region
  • Equal representation of men and women
  • 62% have higher education, level 7 or 8
  • 63% are aged 40 and over
  • 55% have been DPO for 2 years or less


You can read the full report, only available in French, on the AFCDP website here.