How Freevacy Delivers Engaging Privacy and Data Protection Training

Published on Oct 20, 2022

We're often asked questions about how we teach and what techniques or strategies we use to make our accredited BCS and IAPP professional certifications engaging. In other words, are our training courses monotonous and hard to follow?

We understand. A key ingredient in successfully advancing your career or overseeing the continuous professional development of the governance, risk and compliance professionals in your team is selecting the right certification programme and training provider combination. We've already covered how to choose a GDPR certification in the second part of our GDPR training paths resource. This article sets out how we deliver engaging accredited BCS and IAPP training courses, providing you with the information you need to decide on the best data protection training provider for your organisation.

Before we begin, it is important to note these two examination bodies have different methodologies for developing their qualification programmes. As a BCS Accredited Training Provider (ATP) and IAPP Official Training Partner (OTP), Freevacy has to work within the guidelines set by each exam body.

What established teacher training techniques do we use?

There has been an enormous amount of research into how people learn. The two theories we closely follow are:

  • Honey and Mumford (1986)

  • VARK (1987)

Honey and Mumford

The Honey and Mumford theory sets out four distinct learning styles. People naturally prefer to learn using one or two of these different approaches.

The four different learning styles are:

  • Activists: take a hands-on approach to dealing with problems. These individuals enjoy interactive discussions, brainstorming sessions, debates about sample case studies, and quizzes. These learners are proactive; they enjoy working with others and trying new things. Activists are often happy to lead sessions themselves. Conversely, activists are not keen on reading or solving a problem independently or listening to lectures.

  • Pragmatists: learn best when they can see how to put into practice the subject material under discussion. They benefit from case studies, problem-solving, and discussing how to turn theory into practical applications. Pragmatists also enjoy break-out sessions and practice exams.

  • Theorists: are people who learn by understanding the premise behind the issue or topic being taught. They benefit from having models, concepts, facts, and figures to learn effectively. Theorists enjoy studying, reading notes, and listening to course materials. They also like asking questions to form their own opinions. Theorists like learning situations to have clear rather than ambiguous conclusions and prefer to learn in environments where feelings and emotions are not involved.

  • Reflectors: are typically quieter learners. They like to observe, consider, and investigate before acting. Reflectors need time to prepare and dislike being forced to take the lead in group discussions or learning situations. They enjoy paired discussions, coaching and receiving feedback.


The VARK theory proposes that everyone prefers one or two of the following learning styles:

  • Visual learning: pictures, movies, diagrams

  • Auditory learning: music, discussion, lectures

  • Reading and writing: making lists, reading textbooks, taking notes

  • Kinaesthetic learning: movement, experiments, hands-on activities

How do we incorporate these training methods into our BCS and IAPP courses?

As enthusiastic as we are about privacy and data protection, all our trainers understand the topics can sometimes, and this is putting it charitably, be a little dry. Therefore, we put a lot of effort into incorporating several different training methods into our courses to reflect and support the preferences and needs of different types of learners.

As discussed above, BCS and IAPP operate different training methodologies. The following describes how we work with each examination body to deliver their professional certifications.

BCS professional certifications

Because we develop training materials for BCS certifications in-house, we can design and structure training that enhances the learning experience, ensuring high engagement for maximum content retention. And hopefully, have some fun along the way too.

We fundamentally understand there will be a mixture of delegates with different backgrounds and preferences about how they like to learn on every training course. So, we use techniques like the Honey and Mumford learning styles and the VARK model of learning to encourage how delegates process and understand new information.

We incorporate several different training methods in our courses to reflect and support the preferences and needs of different types of learners. These include:

  • Interactive brainstorming sessions, discussions and debates to develop insights into a topic using examples of situations, case studies and exercises within the entire class and through group break-out sessions.

  • Quizzes and end-of-module tests, open discussions and analysis.

  • Independent research, and homework assignments.

It's important to note that while our trainers encourage conversation, participation and engagement, we aim to strike the right balance where learners don't feel under pressure.

IAPP certified training

The IAPP follows a different process than BCS. IAPP certifications are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ISO/IEC 17024:2012, the international standard for bodies operating certification of persons. IAPP maintains its certifications through consultation with its global community of information privacy practitioners and lawyers. This includes the development of all course materials and workbooks.

While we cannot change the content, materials or structure of the course, as an official training partner, Freevacy adapts IAPP training to include the methodologies mentioned above to make our IAPP training more interactive and engaging.

Don't take our word for it

As the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, which is why we're so proud of our 4.76 out of 5 average customer review rating on We make a conscious effort to make the time delegates spend with us valuable and enjoyable. Our trainers are not simply lecturing attendees reading from a script. It matters to us that those who attend our accredited BCS and IAPP training courses feel that their investment in time and money has been well spent.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, Freevacy is the only specialist BCS or IAPP training provider to be shortlisted in the Best Educator category for the 2022 PICCASO Privacy Awards.

Click your chosen course below to see our next available courses dates

Freevacy has been shortlisted in the Best Educator category.
The PICCASO Privacy Awards recognise the people making an outstanding contribution to this dynamic and fast-growing sector.