Are HR teams ready for POPIA? The CDH HR POPIA e-learning tool can assist

Come 1 July 2021, businesses will be required to have reached full compliance with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA).

26 Mar 2021 3 min read POPIA e-learning tool Newsletter Article

At a glance

  • By 1 July 2021, businesses in South Africa must achieve full compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).
  • POPIA applies to the personal and special personal information of employees, which is often processed by HR functions and third-party service providers.
  • Non-compliance with POPIA can result in criminal offenses, fines up to R10 million, and potential imprisonment, making it essential for employers to ensure compliance. CDH offers an e-learning module, the CDH HR POPIA e-learning tool, to assist HR professionals in understanding and implementing POPIA requirements in HR practices.

From an employment perspective, a significant amount of personal information of a business’ employees is processed by the HR function. This includes sensitive information. Often, HR functions rely on third parties to assist them in carrying out certain HR functions. These third parties include outsourced HR payroll functions, third parties assisting with carrying out background checks, undertaking psychometric assessments, assisting with forensic investigations involving employees, assisting with the recruitment process and the like.

POPIA covers all personal and special personal information that all employers might collect, retain or archive on previous, prospective and current employees. Generally, extensive special personal information (including health information, trade union membership, race and ethnic origination information and in some cases, biometric information and certain types of criminal information) as well as children’s information, is also processed by a business in relation to its employees.

Traversing the requirements of POPIA can be challenging and it is important to note that POPIA creates various criminal offences for non-compliance and fines may be imposed of up to R10 million. Some offences also attract imprisonment. All employers should ensure compliance having regard to the harsh penalties imposed.

POPIA also places an obligation on the information officer of each business (as a responsible party under POPIA) to ensure that data processing activities are properly documented, and impact assessments and staff awareness and training are regularly undertaken.

To address these requirements under POPIA, CDH has developed an e-learning module, the CDH HR POPIA e-learning tool, created by subject matter legal experts in conjunction with teaching specialists. It is aimed at educating and assisting HR professionals in a business’ HR unit to ensure POPIA compliance is implemented in its HR practices, and to assist them with managing and monitoring ongoing POPIA compliance.

The CDH HR POPIA e-learning tool is an online module, which is easy to navigate and will equip HR professionals with comprehensive knowledge on implementing POPIA for HR purposes.

The CDH HR POPIA e-learning tool will assist the learner to:

  • recognise the role played by the learner in POPIA compliance;
  • familiarise him / herself with important POPIA provisions and the risks relating to data processing;
  • identify the types of information which constitutes personal and special information;
  • understand how POPIA applies to employee information from the recruitment stage through the duration of an employee’s employment with the business until retirement, resignation or death of an employee;
  • understanding how such information should be safeguarded in compliance with POPIA; and
  • understanding how to deal with a data breach.

The CDH HR POPIA e-learning tool includes an assessment to test the learner’s understanding of the training material.


  • Simple, understandable training material offered via an online e-learning platform;
  • Training and awareness objectives are effectively met;
  • Reduce the time employees spend in training;
  • More effective learning through involvement of eLearning experts;
  • Learner comprehension of the material is evaluated;
  • Greater efficiency as it allows the employee to complete the module in their own time;
  • Improves employers’ POPIA compliance levels; and
  • Assists in reducing any POPIA risks that the HR unit may have.

For more details, contact

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