Data Protection Case Study

Creation of a Data Protection Reference Portal for use by the British Army.

The protection of personal data is increasingly important when set against the background of unprecedented leaks and losses of information across society.  As a responsible employer, our client has robust policy and procedures for ensuring that the Army is an exemplar of data protection, an organisation that sets the standard, rather than merely following others.  We were given the task of making the policy accessible to users, helping the Army’s Chief Information Officer give clear direction to those with data protection responsibilities and providing an easy reference guide to how the policy is to be implemented, personal data protected and auditable records maintained.

As with all our work, our first step was to gain a deeper understanding of the existing knowledge of the users, their skills and computer literacy, and their attitude towards data protection and the training that was currently available.  In this instance, we called this a “Rapid Training Needs Analysis” as it was tightly focused on specific users across the UK and in a variety of roles.  It followed the principles of the Defence Systems Approach to Training and allowed us to get a clear insight into the user group in the shortest possible time. 


Once we had conducted these one-to-one interviews and tested our hypotheses with the client, we designed and built a Data Protection Reference Portal that now sits on the British military virtual learning environment, the DLE. 

It comprised a number of elements to suit all ranks and the position of responsibility they hold with regard to Data Protection.    It included:

  • Two video messages from the Army’s Chief Information Officer, the first a general message on the importance of Data Protection, and the second giving specific instructions to specific duty holders.

  • A selection of reference cards, giving critical information in a clear way that could be easily be referenced and act as an aide memoire.
  • Eleven “How to…” videos, that collectively provided an on-line tutorial for the use of the Army’s Information Asset Register.These short, engaging videos combined on screen demonstrations with audio overlain so that the users could watch, read and listen to the instructions.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • A short quiz
  • A contact and references section

Throughout, we combined visual images, audio and text to suit learning styles and create a Data Protection “brand”.

The whole system had to comply with stringent technical specifications and be SCORM compliant so that it could be hosted on the DLE.

After the first 6 months of use, there have been over 3000 users of the portal and it has been well received across the Army.  We provide ongoing support to ensure that it is kept up to date.

Since we carried out this work we have continued to ensure that our ability to provide the most targeted, effective and efficient on-line learning is at the leading of edge of computer-based training.  This includes further refinement of our rapid Training Needs Analysis capability and we employ full-time a behavioural psychologist to lead our research team to ensure that we base all our training interventions on robust science and that we can build-in our own rapid improvement processes.  In addition, our technology enhanced learning team is constantly looking for new ways to use the full range of computing options that will consign old-fashioned “click next” learning to the history books.

Our mantra is simple: we are here to bring intellectual rigour to all training and learning solutions.

If you would like to learn more about our approach to training needs analysis, learning research or technology enhanced learning please send an email to charlotte.warren@cdsds.uk or call the office on 01242 519119.

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