Become an ODI certified Data Ethics Professional
Our Data Ethics Professionals programme aims to certify those who can demonstrate the knowledge, skills and ability to apply tools and help others make better use of data, while minimising harmful impacts.
Successful participants will be:
- Recognised as competent in the area of data ethics and the practical steps required to help organisations minimise potential harms that come from data collection, use and sharing.
- Able to think critically about data ethics.
- Ready to apply tools and techniques to analyse the current situation within organisations.
- Equipped to suggest potential actions to minimise risk, be it through process adoption as guided by tools such as the data ethics canvas, or changes to the way the data itself is collected, used or shared.
More about the course
Click on each section to learn more about the course costs, modules, certification and time commitment:
- Be recognised by the ODI as competent in the area of data ethics, and the practical steps required to help organisations minimise potential harms that come from data collection, use, and sharing.
- Be part of a network of professionals, and invited to regular peer learning events.
- Use your certification to create, market and sell services that are aimed at improving data ethics practices in projects and organisations.
- Get priority access to opportunities to collaborate with ODI, its members and clients on commercial work in the area of data ethics.
By the end of the programme we expect Data Ethics Professionals to be able to demonstrate the following:
- A deep understanding of data ethics as a domain
- Practical expertise in data and techniques to evaluate ethical and legal risks
- Ability to perform a professional piece of research, drawing on historical and peer-reviewed literature.
- Ability to identify and use a number of tools to help evaluate ethical impacts, and suggest actions to minimise harmful impacts from data.
The course will feature:
- Up to three instructor led training sessions, designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills you require to pass the assessments.
- eLearning that addresses personal data and data licensing.
- An assessment to recognise those who can actively demonstrate the key data ethics skills in a professional context.
The first thing to say is that this accreditation requires commitment.
At the ODI, we challenge people to demonstrate both detailed thinking around data as well as the consideration of the bigger picture that data plays in your organisation and the wider community you serve. This involves similar thinking and considerations.
With our support you will need to develop your understanding of the nuances, limitations and biases in data and the systems that process it. This involves analysing potential issues and presenting back written evidence. In addition to understanding data and the systems that process it you will need to be prepared to investigate and discuss the different impacts that data has, both positive and negative, on society.
Thinking about data ethics is hard in most education systems – discussions involving ethics typically emerge as a subject at a further education level. This course is no exception. So, it is suited to those who are happy to think critically and apply academic style techniques of research, evaluation and presentation in their work.
A big part of the course is the data ethics case study. Through your exploration and analysis of this case study we are looking to you, as a participant, to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate a particular data ethics dilemma.
Case studies might include:
How data is collected and used to assess risk and/or assign scores/costs? For example in insurance, automated exam marking, criminal profiling and object/person recognition.
- The critical evaluation could include: Why is the approach needed? What is the ethical dilemma? How does it work? What are the limitations/biases in the data? What impact do targets/KPIs have on the outcomes? What can be/has been done to minimise harmful impacts on people in this case study?
Can automated systems based upon data deliver ethical services? For example in benefits systems, with job seekers or even in the mobility sector?
- The critical evaluation could include: Why is the approach needed? What is the ethical dilemma? How does it work? What are the limitations/biases in the data? What impact do targets/KPIs have on the outcomes? What can be/has been done to minimise harmful impacts on people in this case study.
What is the trade-off between data sharing and ethics in large multi-functional, multi-national organisations such as governments? For example, should data collected in health be shared with law enforcement services? Is lack of internal data sharing leading to unfair opportunities for employees/public?
- The critical evaluation could include: What are the ethical dilemmas? Where do these surface? What different approaches to data sharing lead to what sort of outcomes? What is the relationship between regulation and ethics in this dilemma? What can be done or has been done to minimise harmful impacts on people in this case study.
As is hopefully evident, we are looking for participants to look into the detail of a particular area, with particular focus on all aspects of the ODI’s Data Ethics Canvas, including that which people find most challenging: the data itself.
In the “know your data” section of the Data Ethics Canvas, it is important to establish what is known about the data and in some cases the technologies that enable its collection, use and sharing.
In some case studies people might be able to access data related to their case study directly and explore biases and limitations in that data. Part of critical thinking for data ethics is to build upon the work of others, so, in some cases, others might have already done this for you and existing sources used as references.
In other cases, it might not be the data that is of interest but the approaches to collecting and sharing it. You might look at different technical approaches and systems architectures that enable data collection and sharing, assessing whether these were built with ethics in mind. The details will be important to consider, so, for example, your critique can’t be limited to sating that “data sharing practices need to improve”.
What are the characteristics of a Data Ethics Professional?
- Open minded.
- Happy to dive into the details of how things work in order to suggest different approaches to address ethical challenges.
- Continually learning.
To become a Data Ethics Professional, you must:
- Attend the “Introduction to Data Ethics and the Data Ethics Canvas” course [2.5 hours]
- Complete the mandatory eLearning [Approx 1 hour]
- Attend the “Ethics and personal data workshop” [Approx 1.5 hours]
- Attend the “Exploratory data analysis and data ethics in practice” course [5.5 hours]
- Attend the “Operationalising data ethics workshop” [2 hours]
- Present a data ethics case study for discussion with your peers
- Submit a written case study in data ethics [up to 20 hours]
- Attended two compulsory 1:1 sessions with tutors.
Total commitment = approximately 36 hours
The criteria against which the assessments are marked is available below.
The assessment framework forms the fundamental basis for how we assess if people have passed the course. To become a Data Ethics Professional, a minimum of a pass mark must be achieved in all four areas.
The Data Ethics Professionals certificate recognises those who can actively demonstrate these skills in a professional environment. People who are not only aware of data ethics challenges, but also the practical steps needed to address them, using tools such as the ODI Data Ethics Canvas, combined with a deep understanding of how to identify and mitigate challenges related to data collection, use, and sharing.
There are two components to the assessment which form part of the programme.
1 – Written case study
The written case study is the main piece of assessment and requires participants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills as a data ethics professional. The case study must be a piece of original research, written by the participant. Case studies should be no longer than 2500 words (excluding references and appendices).
Case studies can be written in two ways:
- A research paper examining an existing or third party case study. In such studies we would expect to see extensive use of references to professional peer-reviewed works and an evaluation of the case study against the principles taught in the course in order to create a number of recommendations.
- An original piece of work applying the teachings of the course to the participants’ own area. This type of case study may require fewer references as the participant is directly investigating the practical data ethics questions on data/processes/technologies to which they have access.
Time requirement: 30 hours
2 – Case study discussion
In order to help develop case studies, participants are required to engage in a discussion around their case study with others on the course.
Time requirement: 5 hours (1-2 hour preparation, 3.5 hours group session)
|EQF Level 6 - Mastery|
Advanced knowledge of a field of work or study, involving a critical understanding of theories and principles.
Able to solve complex and unpredictable problems in a specialised field of work or study.
|EQF Level 5 - Application|
Comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge within a field of work or study.
Able to develop creative solutions to abstract and existing problems.
|EQF Level 3/4 - Recall|
Knowledge of facts, principles, processes and general concepts, in a field of work or study.
Able to solve problems by selecting and applying basic and existing methods, tools, materials and information.
|1) Demonstrate clear understanding of data ethics as a domain.||Advanced knowledge of the whole field of data ethics. Demonstrates high levels of cognitive ability to not only evaluate existing research, but also move the field of data ethics forward with new techniques and creative solutions.||A comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge of data ethics principles, processes, concepts and examples. |
Able to build upon research from a number of sources in order to evaluate a specific data ethics challenge.
Able to suggest practical solutions to a specific data ethics challenge.
|A basic grasp on a number of existing well known data ethics principles, processes and general concepts and examples. |
Able to demonstrate a number of basic research techniques.
Able to suggest potential ways forward, but with limited ability to evaluate the application against the data ethics challenges.
|No grasp on data ethics.
(e.g. confusion between data protection and data ethics)
|2) Practical expertise in data and techniques to evaluate ethical and legal risks.||Advanced knowledge and demonstration of practical techniques that affect the ethical collection, use, and sharing of data. |
Not only draws upon a wide body of research, but also presents a novel piece of research that helps move the area of data ethics forward in relation to the specific case study.
Able to synthesise specialised data analysis techniques to evaluate ethics challenges in data in specific domains.
|A comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge of practical techniques that affect the ethical collection, use, and sharing of data. |
Able to draw upon a wide body of research in order to demonstrate practical expertise in specific aspects of data collection, use and sharing that impact the ethical outcomes.
Able to apply a wide range of exploratory data analysis techniques to evaluate potential ethical challenges in data in abstract domains.
|A basic grasp on a number of high level concepts and their practical impact on the ethical collection, use, and sharing of data. |
Able to draw upon existing research in order to discuss a number of high level aspects relating to the ethical impacts of data collection, use and sharing.
Some basic grasps of a number of exploratory data analysis techniques and their potential impact on the case study.
|No practical data skills related to data ethics.
(e.g. is only able to discuss high level concepts but not the practical application of these)
|3) Use a number of tools to help evaluate ethical impacts and suggest actions to minimise harmful impacts from data.||Advanced knowledge of a number of existing and emerging tools and techniques to address data ethics challenges. |
Able to synthesise specific solutions and evaluate the impact of each upon the data ethics challenge.
|A comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge of practical tools and techniques can help minimise potential harmful impacts from data.|
Able to evaluate the application of a wide range of tools and techniques to address specific data ethics challenges.
Able to make a number of specific practical recommendations related directly to the data ethics challenge.
|A basic grasp on a number of existing and well known tools and techniques that can help minimise potential harmful impacts from data.|
Basic ability to suggest how each tool and technique can be applied to specific data ethics challenges.
Able to make a number of high level recommendations relevant to the case study.
|No use of tools or existing techniques to address data ethics challenges.
(e.g. approach is very ad-hoc and does not clearly draw on relevant frameworks and tools to guide discussion)
|4. Ability to lead a discussion session on data ethics.||n/a||n/a||Able to lead a discussion session on data ethics. |
Able to seek contributions from the group.
Makes use of data ethics tools to structure the discussion.
Able to create a number of actions and recommendations to take forward.
|Unable to lead a discussion session on data ethics.|
To keep your certification you must
- maintain your ODI membership
- earn 120 or more approved credits over a 2-year period.
How to earn credits:
|Activity||Credits||Limit per 2-year period|
|Publication of a peer reviewed book, article or other publication focussing on data ethics||120||2|
|Completed a distinct piece of data ethics consulting using the ODI Data Ethics canvas||60||2|
|Teaching, lecturing or presenting data ethics in a higher education setting||60||2|
|Hold an executive or leadership role embedding data ethics practices in an organisation||60||2|
|Published a blog/case study focuses on data ethics issues and solutions||30||2|
Please note: the activities list is subject to change. Additional activities may also be added. Any changes will be communicated to you by your course tutor.
The course cost is £1,290 + VAT, with 1-year individual membership of the ODI is included. If you’re already an ODI member don’t worry – you’ll receive your next year of membership free.
Get a discount
If you have previously paid and attended the following courses:
- Introduction to data ethics and the Data Ethics Canvas: £100 discounted from the course price.
- Applying Machine Learning and AI Techniques to Data: £200 discounted from the course price.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone who wants to help use data ethics within organisations. It’s suitable for anyone who enjoys being a critical thinker, and doesn’t mind exploring diverse topics including:
- Data rights and data protection legislation
- Evaluating the limitations in data and how it is processed
- Exploring second and third order ethical impacts
- Facilitating balanced discussions in data ethics
How many places/people are on each course?
This instance of the course consists of two cohorts, made up of 12 participants per cohort.
IS there a limit to the number of people from my company that can attend?
Yes, there is a maximum of 3 places per organisation. If you are interested in booking more than 3 places for your organisation, please contact email@example.com.
Are there any course prerequisites?
Yes, please view the course prerequisites here.
What are the practical course requirements?
Just an internet-enabled laptop or PC, that can access Zoom calls for the teacher lead aspects of the course. That’s all.
Can you tell me more about ODI Courses?
Co-founded by the inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI offers courses that are friendly, supportive and fun. No question is a silly question in our classrooms, and our expert teachers will arm you with all the practical skills you need for applying what you’ve learnt to the real world.
The majority of the course content is made available to reuse under an open licence.
About this course
This course was created by and is © The Open Data Institute.
Interested in working with the ODI to run a Data Ethics Professional programme in-house?
If you have 50 or more people in your organisation who would benefit from this programme you can submit your interest here.
- Individuals certified as ODI Data Ethics Professionals can use their certification to help promote their expertise in support of creating, marketing and selling services aimed at improving data ethics practices in projects and organisations.
- ODI certification of an individual as a Data Ethics Professional must not be used to suggest the ODI recognises or endorses an organisation, product or services ethical practices. The course equips you to adopt practices that embed ethical thinking around collection, use and sharing of data, not to meet a particular ethical standard.
- Certified individuals must agree to be listed on our network pages along with a picture that clearly identifies them. This enables those engaging an ODI Data Ethics Professional to check their identity and certification status.
- Certified individuals will receive one year of free individual membership to the ODI. Good practices change over time, so to maintain certification, individuals must remain members of the ODI (either as an individual or via organisational membership) and earn 120 or more approved credits over a 2-year period.
- The ODI reserves the right to revoke certification of any individual at any time if individuals or associated organisations are found to be in breach of these conditions.
With only four start dates across 2022, and places limited to 12 attendees per cohort, this exclusive course offers you a chance to stand out from the crowd.
Starting on 15th September 2022, the course schedule is as follows:
|Cohort 1||Cohort 2|
|Course kickoff and intro||15th Sep 2022|
14:00 - 15:30 BST
|15th Sep 2022
14:00 - 15:30 BST
|Introduction to Data Ethics and the Data Ethics Canvas||20th Sep 2022|
14:00 - 16:30 BST
|21st Sep 2022
09:00 - 11:30 BST
|Ethics and personal data||27th Sep 2022|
14:00 - 16:00 BST
|28th Sep 2022
09:00 - 11:00 BST
|Exploratory data analysis and data ethics in practice||4th Oct 2022|
12:00 - 18:00 BST
|5th Oct 2022
09:30 - 15:30 BST
|Topic discussion||18th Oct 2022|
14:00 - 17:30 BST
|19th Oct 2022
09:00 - 12:30 BST
|Topic discussion||20th Oct 2022|
14:00 - 17:30 BST
|21st Oct 2022
09:00 - 12:30 BST
|Operationalising Data Ethics workshop||25th Oct 2022|
14:00 - 16:30 BST
|26th Oct 2022
09:00 - 11:30 BST
|Submission deadline||13th Nov 2022|
|13th Nov 2022
|Marking||15th - 18th Nov||15th - 18th Nov|
|Marks released (estimated)||22nd Nov 2022||22nd Nov 2022|
Note: dates and times may be subject to change.