DPO as a service costs

April 25th, 2024 Posted in Data Protection

You may be wondering how much an external Data Protection Officer (DPO) costs or how much it costs for GDPR compliance in 2024. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the basics, as well as top tips on ensuring you get the most out of your engagements with your chosen data protection service providers.

Whether you want to understand your organisation’s data protection compliance obligations, simply get a GDPR Gap Analysis, learn about the new AI regulations or fully outsource your DPO duties, we can talk you through what to look for when choosing an organisation to support you with your GDPR obligations and learn how to identify the most cost-effective solutions on the market.

If you are looking at obtaining quotes for DPO services, then you have taken the first step in making sure you are on the right path to ensuring confidence in your compliance and your chosen provider.

The risks of non-compliance

There is no doubt GDPR, and data protection can feel like a daunting topic, filled with legal jargon (you may find our glossary on common data protection terms useful!) and complex rules. Whether you are a start-up looking for tips on data protection, a fast-growing business, or an international group of companies, not adhering to the data protection regulations not only has the potential to lead to fines, but can, more importantly in some circumstances, also cause your organisation significant reputational damage.

In 2021, Amazon was issued the biggest fine in the history of the GDPR, totalling a whopping 746 million euros, and you may have read headlines on TikTok’s fine by the DPC regarding the mishandling of Children’s Data (you can learn more about The Children’s Code here). Granted these organisations made the news due to their global scale, yet a start-up receiving a small fine in comparison, can mean the difference in getting a business off the ground, or failing before it is begun.

The cost of non-compliance does not just end in a fine from supervisory authorities though, it can drastically affect your bottom line, cause longer term operational disruption, potentially result in a data breach, and affect relationships with clients and stakeholders. So it is important to do your homework and understand the data protection laws.

Deciding whether to outsource or hire an in-house DPO

Many organisations must decide whether to go down the route of outsourcing data protection duties by hiring an external dpo, or hiring a DPO in-house. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but this decision can come down to one main aspect, which is of course, cost.

Hiring in-house means the cost does not stop at their salary. You also need to factor in recruitment costs, NI, benefits, training, hardware/software, and coverage in times of absence. In contrast, you can secure an external consultant for a fraction of that cost which makes it an appealing and business-savvy option for many.

Ultimately, the decision requires a risk-based approach and balancing against internal expertise, business objectives and budget, before committing to either option. View our DPO checklist here for more help on the subject.

What a good Data Protection Package should cover

You may be wondering what you should expect to be included in the data protection service you pay for.

Hiring an outsourced DPO should mean you get expert advice that helps to demystify your data protection compliance, and one that is up to date on PECR and overseas privacy laws, as well as updates to regulations and new rules coming into force such as the AI Act.

You should expect a level of on-demand advice, particularly when it comes to data breach support and a good data protection services company should provide you with a gap analysis if needed, breach support, DSAR advice, international transfers guidance, data protection impact assessments, data sharing guidance and support with writing documents such as policies and procedures or privacy notices.

How much should an outsourced DPO service and GDPR Consultancy cost?

In truth, it really depends on whether you are a large scale organisation, the complexity of your data processing operations and the level of support you need. However, most providers will charge a monthly cost subscription or a day rate for outsourced DPO. Smaller start-ups looking for gap analysis will pay less naturally, whilst large global organisations will inevitably need to spend more.

It is also worth noting that by doing your research, you can get an idea of the level of expertise and experience of the prospective providers’ DPO consultants, by looking into their credentials and backgrounds.

In general, you can expect to pay from a few hundred, up to several thousand pounds a month for your DPO engagement, depending on the above criteria.

To put this into context, our Evalian consultants are, in the main, ex ICO staffers, data protection lawyers or well established DPO’s with backgrounds in large financial organisations for example. This means that although we are not the cheapest option, you can rest assured that the advice and guidance you get is of the highest quality and is the reason we are said to have one of the best data protection service offerings on the UK market.

The benefits of an all-inclusive Data Protection package

Beware of hidden costs or additional services that may get added on top of a cheaper base package. Some GDPR services organisations offer cheap rates, however costs rack up in the long term. It’s a good idea to look for a comprehensive package that is transparent and offers you everything you require where possible, in one fixed price rate.

Evalian offer comprehensive DPO rates that include all of the above as well as DPIA preparation, on-demand advice, and not only that, but it can also include access to our online GDPR Training Awareness course, with refresher training each year.

View our DPO Packages

“Our engagement with Evalian has helped guide our cyber security strategy, and this has been a vital aspect of having a rock-solid DPO capability. The knowledge, clear guidance and direction from our consultants have helped us adjust our approach to how we do things and have given us the confidence that what we are doing is right.

Cundall CIO, Lou Lwin

Other things to consider

Albeit a small fee in the grand scheme of things, you must pay a data protection fee to the ICO if you are a business, organisation or sole trader processing personal data, unless you are exempt. You can use this link to check:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-fee/self-assessment/

How much does the data protection fee cost?

This yearly cost depends on your size and turnover. It is £40 or £60 for most organisations, including charities and small to medium-sized businesses.

However, the fee can be up to £2,900 for organisations that have a large workforce and turnover.

Ready to get a quote for data protection and GDPR Consultancy?

If you are legally required to have a DPO and plan to outsource or you would like to broaden internal discussions to include some independent and transparent advice, then contact us; we guarantee a friendly and informal chat about the best option for your organisation with no ‘hard sell’ and transparent and comprehensive data protection packages to suit your organisation.

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Written by Evalian®