CIPP/E exam updates, September 1st 2020

CIPP/E exam updates, September 1st 2020

***2022 Update*** The next CIPP/E exam update takes place on October 3rd 2022. We have summarised the changes here. We have also compiled advice from certified professionals, our own detailed research and experiences of our community members to create the Ultimate CIPP/E Study Guide. Read this and best of luck with your CIPP/E studies!***

From September 1st, the IAPP will update the CIPP/C, CIPP/US, CIPM and CIPP/E exams so they can stay current with changes in the privacy landscape. We have outlined some of these key CIPP/E exam updates in this article.

Number of questions on CIPP/E exam

The total number of questions in the CIPP/E exam will not change, however, the allocation of the questions between the three parts will be different. Here are the minimum and maximum questions from each part before and after September 1st 2020

The total number of questions coming from Part I will stay the same but within that part, there will be fewer questions from sections A and B (Historical context and EU institutions) and more questions from section C (Legislative Framework)

Most importantly, the biggest change is in part II, where the minimum number of questions from this area increase from 40 up to 42 and the maximum, from 66 to 69. Within this section, there has been a shift in importance for some topics. For example, the biggest change in question numbers is in these sections:

  • In Section F – Data Subject Rights, increases from 3-5 questions, to 8-11
  • Section G – Security of Personal Data reduces from 8-12 questions, to 5-9
  • In Section I – International Data transfers reduces from 7-11 questions, to 4-6

As a result of the increased number of questions in part II, the maximum number of questions on Compliance with European Data Protection law (Part III) will be reduced from 25 to 18

Here’s a comparison table showing the maximum and minimum number of questions on the current exam vs. after the update so you can see very easily at a glance if you need to change the focus of your studies. We have listed the newly added topics in orange

Suggested order for studying chapters of textbook

Here’s a suggested order for studying the chapters in the IAPP textbook, European Data Protection, Second Edition. This was derived by looking at the maximum number of questions from the major areas in the Exam Blueprint and equating them with chapters in the book so you know where to focus your efforts.

Please note, this is not an official guide on how to use the book to prepare for your exam. One other point to note, there is an 18th chapter in the book not included on the guide. This is because there was no obvious correlation between this chapter and the body of knowledge. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t study it!

New CIPP/E exam topics

The IAPP has added three new subject areas to the CIPP/E body of knowledge and exam blueprint 

  • Part II – European Data Protection Law and Regulation
    • Section H – Accountability requirements.
      • Item 6 – Auditing of Privacy Programs
  • Part III – Compliance with European Data Protection Law and Regulation
    • Section B – Surveillance Activities.
      • Item 5 – Biometrics/Facial Recognition
    • Section D – Internet Technology and Communications.
      • Item 5 – Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In addition, be prepared for updated content in the below areas, but we don’t have any detail from the IAPP on the extent of this:

  • The third countries concept
  • Convention 108
  • EDPB Guidelines on the territorial scope of the GDPR
  • Processing of personal data through video devices
  • Roles of the lead supervisory authority
  • The Right to be forgotten in search engine cases
  • Data security issues and Article 32

We have prepared a resource guide of suggested readings so you can deepen your knowledge on the three new areas and the updated content.

Note: This resource guide is not part of the IAPP official list of resources so is not a definitive document. It is simply a list of useful links to supplement your studies

Test your knowledge and get CIPP/E exam tips from our community

Join the conversation about these CIPP/E exam updates, get study tips, trial exam discounts and more in our private Facebook group, CIPP/E Study Group.

Group members have access to a generous discount on the trial exam from This is a great opportunity to test your knowledge and go into your certification exam feeling completely prepared and above all, ready to pass with confidence.

The trial exam is fully up to date with 90 challenging questions and specially written case studies so you can really test your understanding of the materials. Find out more here and read the pinned announcement post in our Facebook group for access to the code. Best of luck!