Become an ODI certified Data Ethics Professional
Our Data Ethics Professionals programme is open to anyone who works with data or has a keen interest in it. Learn the knowledge, skills, and ability to apply tools to help others make better use of data, while minimising harmful impacts. At the end of the course you’ll be a certified Data Ethics Professional.
When you’ve completed the course, you’ll 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.
The course also offers an optional supplementary Data Ethics Facilitator certification. Facilitators are Data Ethics Professionals recognised as having the skills required to help diverse groups of people address data ethics challenges, via facilitated workshop sessions.
So you can do one – or both.
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 access to exclusive content and tools via the ODI Learning Experience Platform (coming in Q4 2021)
Data Ethics Facilitators are Data Ethics Professionals recognised as having the skills required to help diverse groups of people address data ethics challenges via facilitated workshop sessions.
In addition to the benefits available to Data Ethics Professionals you’ll also be:
- Provided priority access to opportunities to collaborate with ODI, its members and clients on commercial work in the area of data ethics.
- Certified to deliver the ODI Data Ethics Canvas workshop on behalf of the ODI.
The course will feature:
- Up to four instructor led training sessions, designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need 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.
- An optional additional assessment for those wishing to add the Data Ethics Facilitator specialism to their Data Ethics Professional certification.
By the end of the programme we expect you to be able to demonstrate:
- A broad understanding of data ethics as a domain.
- Practical expertise in data and techniques to evaluate ethical and legal risks.
- The ability to use a number of tools to help evaluate ethical impacts and suggest actions to minimise harmful impacts from data.
- The ability to help facilitate others through complex data ethics challenges, in workshops. (For those pursuing the additional Data Ethics Facilitators certification).
The first thing to say is that this certification 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. The Data Ethics Professional certification 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 their exploration and analysis of this case study we are looking to participants to demonstrate their 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 a 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 does it take to be a Data Ethics Facilitator?
A Data Ethics Facilitator uses their skills as a Data Ethics Professional to help others think critically. They ask thought provoking questions and prompt others to explore the different ethical viewpoints in a data ethics dilemma. Prior to facilitating a data ethics session, a Data Ethics Facilitator will seek to gain a certain amount of knowledge themselves of the area, ensuring that they can ask effective and probing questions.
The Data Ethics Facilitator course is suited to someone who is happy to challenge and be challenged by others. As a facilitator you may end up having to listen to ethical viewpoints you disagree with, whilst still handling yourself and your reactions professionally.
Being a facilitator is not a role everyone is comfortable with, which is why we created the two certificates. We are then able to recognise critical thinkers as Data Ethics Professionals and those wanting to apply their knowledge to actively facilitate ethical debates as Data Ethics Facilitators.
What are the characteristics of a Data Ethics Professional and Facilitator?
- Open minded.
- Happy to dive into the details of how things work in order to suggest different approaches to address ethical challenges.
- Continually learning.
The assessment framework forms the fundamental basis for how we assess if people have passed the courses. The four outcomes are mapped to criteria which are marked against using the individual assessments on the course.
Data Ethics Professionals have to achieve a minimum of a pass mark in the first three areas.
Data Ethics Facilitators have to achieve a minimum of a pass mark in all four areas.
|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 examples 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 evaluate a number of abstract data ethics case studies and suggest solutions to abstract and existing problems.
|A basic grasp on a number of existing data ethics principles, processes and general concepts and examples. |
Able to suggest potential solutions to problems, but with limited ability to evaluate the application.
|No grasp on 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. |
Able to synthesize 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 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 existing practical techniques that affect the ethical collection, use and sharing of data. |
Some basic grasps of a number of exploratory data analysis techniques and the implication on aspects such as bias.
|No practical data skills related to data ethics.|
|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 synthesize specific solutions to data ethics challenges in a number of different domains.
|A comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge of practical tools and techniques can help minimise potential harmful impacts from data.|
Able to suggest a wide range of tools and techniques to address specific data ethics challenges.
|A basic grasp on a number of existing 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.
|No use of tools or existing techniques to address data ethics challenges.|
|Ability to help facilitate others through complex data ethics challenges.||Advanced knowledge of a range of facilitation tools and techniques|
Able to resolve complex and unpredictable group challenges and dynamics
Able to synthesise specific solutions to emerging challenges during a session.
|Comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge of facilitation tools and techniques including appropriate situations for their use.|
Able to manage a balanced data ethics discussion; ensuring both positive and negative impacts are voiced and considered. All members of the group are given the opportunity to contribute.
Comfortable switching tools or techniques at short notice if required, choosing from a range of appropriate options, while keeping the session on track.
|Able to demonstrate and apply basic facilitation techniques to lead a session on data ethics.|
Basic ability to manage group contributions, support discussion and approach resolution using a range of techniques.
|Poor or unacceptable facilitation skills.|
To keep your certification you must maintain your ODI membership and 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 or article focussing on data ethics||120||1|
|Completed a distinct piece of data ethics consulting using the ODI Data Ethics canvas||60||2|
|Teaching, lecturing or presenting data ethics in higher education or other professional 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|
To become a Data Ethics Professional, you must:
- Attend “programme kick-off”
- Attend “Introduction to Data Ethics and the Data Ethics Canvas” course [2.5 hours]
- Complete mandatory eLearning [Approx 1 hour]
- Attend “Exploratory data analysis and data ethics in practice” course [5.5 hours]
Total commitment: approx 30 hours
In addition to the above, to become a Data Ethics Facilitator you must:
- Attend “programme kick-off”
- Attend “Using the data ethics canvas workshop” [2 hours]
- Attend “Essential facilitation skills for Data Ethics Facilitators” course [4 hours]
- Lead a 30 minute facilitated discussion on a data ethics case study and partake in others sessions [1 day]
- Submit of a reflective evaluation of your session [2 hours]
Total commitment: approx 45 hours
The criteria against which the assessments are marked is available in the Assessment criteria section below.
Starting in November, the course schedule is as follows:
|November 29th 2021 - February 2022||Cohort 1||Cohort 2|
|Course kickoff and intro||29th Nov 2021 |
14:00 - 15:00 (1 hour)
|29th Nov 2021
14:00 - 15:00 (1 hour)
|Introduction to Data Ethics and the Data Ethics Canvas||6th Dec 2021 |
14:30 - 17:30 (3 hours)
|8th Dec 2021
09:00 - 12:00 (3 hours)
|Exploratory data analysis and data ethics in practice||13th Dec 2021 |
12:00 - 18:00 (6 hours)
|16th Dec 2021
09:00 - 15:00 (6 hours)
|Webinar: Utilising the ODI Data Ethics toolkit||13th Jan 2022 |
13:00 - 14:00 (1 hour)
|13th Jan 2022
13:00 - 14:00 (1 hour)
|Case study submission||23rd Jan 2022||23rd Jan 2022|
|Essential facilitation skills for Data Ethics Facilitators||27th Jan 2022 |
13:00 - 17:00 (4 hours)
|24th Jan 2022
9:00 - 13:00 (4 hours)
|Deadline to submit your topic for the facilitated assessment||8th Feb 2022||8th Feb 2022|
|Facilitation assessments||10th Feb 2022|
|9th Feb 2022
|Professionals awards||11th Feb 2022||11th Feb 2022|
|Facilitators awards||21st Feb 2022||21st Feb 2022|
– – –
Note: all times are (GMT). Dates and times may be subject to change.
- Data Ethics Professionals: £995 + VAT.
- Data Ethics Professionals + Data Ethics Facilitators certification: £1,290 + VAT (first edition exclusive).
1-year individual membership of the ODI is included in the course cost for both.
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.
The course is priced competitively. We cannot guarantee this introductory price in the future.
If you’re already an ODI member don’t worry – you’ll receive your next year of membership free.
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.
This 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 protected].
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 and Facilitators 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 or Facilitator 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. To maintain certification, individuals must remain members of the ODI (either as an individual or via organisational membership) and submit evidence that demonstrates enough credit bearing activities have been completed.
- 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 three course start dates across 2021, this exclusive course offers you a chance to stand out from the crowd. 2021 start dates are:
- ***SOLD OUT*** 21st June 2021 for 6 – 14 weeks
- ***SOLD OUT*** 13th Sept 2021 for 6 – 14 weeks
- ***SOLD OUT*** 29th Nov 2021 for 6 – 14 weeks
This course is only available for registered applicants and there are a limited number of places for each date.
Apply for a place on the course – applications close on 22.11.2021 at 17:00 (GMT).
Complete the form below to take the next step towards becoming an ODI certified Data Ethics Professional