• 0800 0862018
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mon - Fri 8:00 - 17:00

Best Practice Update

Checklists in navy text by Data Protection Education. Data Protection Services badge.  The DPE Knowledge Bank on a laptop screen

Why we recommend using checklists

Our customers all have access to the checklists in our Knowledge Bank user portal.  We have checklists for all areas of compliance around data protection and cyber security, as well as some practical ones for schools and trusts.  But why are checklists a good tool?
A checklist can be an incredibly effective tool for professionals and experts. Using a good checklists for specific areas and complex situations, ensures that risks can be assessed and any dangerous oversights can be caught.  The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande explains how checklists can help:

  1. Checklists help prevent serious but easily avoidable mistakes.
  2. Checklists should be as short as possible, include all essential steps and leave no room for misunderstandings - an essential aspect of a checklist is that it contains the 'killer items' of the procedure. These are the steps that are easily disregarded but, if not completed, could be disastrous.
  3. Checklists should be user friendly, with clear instruction on how to complete the checklist item.
  4. Checklists can be used by teams.  It is often the actions and skills of many, that make a complext procedure successful.  
A checklist is much more than a to-do list!

There is a science behind the checklist as they don't just help you pay attention to  the detail, they are also psychological in giving you the satisfaction of being able to tick off completed/standards met items.

With the increase in cyber attacks we would say they also help you prepare for cyber emergiencies by giving a structured guide for individuals to follow in high stress environments.

One thing is certain, the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act (2018) didn't just happen in 2018, they requires continuous monitoring and improvment - the checklists help you achieve that by measuring where you are. If you are a collection of organisations like a Federation or Trust then it can help with standardisation and consistency.  When you ask us for a Trust/Board report, if the checklists have been completed on the Knowledge Bank then we have more data to provide!

Please take a look at our checklists by following our series of articles about them: