GDPR compliance

ISO 27701

ISO 27701:2019 Security Techniques is the Extension to ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27002 for Privacy Information Management.

ISO 27701: Data Compliance Management System Supporting GDPR Compliance

What is ISO 27701?

ISO/IEC 27701:2019 is a data privacy extension to ISO 27001. This newly published information security standard provides guidance for organizations looking to put in place systems to support compliance with GDPR and other data privacy requirements. ISO 27701, also abbreviated as PIMS (Privacy Information Management System) outlines a framework for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Controllers and PII Processors to manage data privacy. Privacy information management systems are sometimes referred to as personal information management systems.

This reduces risk to the privacy rights of individuals and to the organisation by enhancing an existing Information Security Management System.

This standard is a great way of demonstrating to customers, external stakeholders and internal stakeholders that effective systems are in place to support compliance to GDPR and other related privacy legislation. In Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, around 30 percent of businesses have made changes to cyber security because of GDPR and this number will rise in the upcoming years.

Organizations looking to get certified to ISO 27701 in order to comply with GDPR will either need to have an existing ISO 27001 certification or implement ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 together as a single implementation audit. ISO 27701 is a natural expansion to the requirements and guidance set out in ISO 27001.

The ISO 27001 standard provides a framework for an Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) that enables the continued confidentiality, integrity and availability of information as well as legal compliance. More than 60,000 organizations worldwide have certified to date to ISO 27001, proving certification to be an essential part of protecting your most vital assets. 

NQA is a leader in the roll-out of ISO 27701, becoming ANAB accredited in early 2020 and having more than a dozen trained and mentored PIMS auditors conducting some of the first ISO 27701 audits in the US. NQA can offer overview training to ISO 27701, ISO 27701 Gap Assessments and UKAS accreditation and ANAB-Accredited ISO 27701 Certifications. Our third-party auditing services can provide a gap analysis for additional insights on steps you can take to adhere to regulations for these three certifications.

We offer a comprehensive third party audit service, assessing your current compliance and identifying potential areas for continued improvement. NQA provides expertise and experience in ISO 27701 audits to ensure our clients receive thorough, rigorous, supportive and consistent audits.

Looking to implement an ISO 27701 management system? Not sure where to start? Take a look at our ISO 27701 Implementation Guide here.

How to Get Certified to ISO 27701

Getting certified to ISO 27701 requires you to follow specific steps, working to meet these stringent requirements will ensure compliance with the relevant standards. NQA can provide a gap analysis service, if required, to help you recognize key gaps in your management system in order to facilitate actionable steps toward compliance with the ISO 27701 standard.

As the video below details, you will need to obtain ISO 27001 certification simultaneously with ISO 27701 or have prior ISO 27001 certification with an ANAB/UKAS accredited certification body. ISO 27701 certification is an extension of ISO 27001.

Obtaining ISO 27701 certification will involve:

Completing a request form for a formal quote.

  • Receiving a signed NQA quotation.
  • Preparing for our audit.

The video below offers visuals and a more detailed explanation of the certification process.



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How To Get Certified To ISO 27701


Helps you with

  • GDPR compliance
  • Privacy rights of individuals
  • Continued confidentiality
  • IT governance
  • Data breaches
  • Securing personal information
  • Building customers trust
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Protecting the organization’s reputation

Other risk management standards:

NOTE: We are currently offering certification to this scheme.

Benefits of ISO 27701 Certification

Supporting GDPR and data privacy compliance  icon

Supporting GDPR and data privacy compliance

Aligning to GDPR but also allowing organizations to use the standard to encompass other privacy laws, regulations and requirements.

Maintain integrity  icon

Maintain integrity

Maintain the integrity of customers’ and other interested parties’ information. Conduct your activities with assurance that your systems can help manage data privacy risks.

Save time and win bids icon

Save time and win bids

Certification to ISO 27701 will make it easier to respond to security questionnaires, demonstrate compliance and assure individuals their data is protected. This standard can provide extra assurance to potential customers which may enable you to win more bids.

Preparedness  icon


Helps prepare an organization with a framework in the event that the UK exits Europe and further develops the Data Protection Act. Helps prepare an organization with a framework in the event that the UK becomes a third country after BREXIT.

Commitment to security  icon

Commitment to security

Demonstrate commitment to information security to customers, suppliers and other interested parties.

Global recognition as a reputable supplier icon

Global recognition as a reputable supplier

Certification is recognised internationally and accepted throughout industry supply chains, setting industry benchmarks for sourcing suppliers.

Is ISO 27701 certification right for me?

ISO 27701 certification offers several key advantages for a broad range of industries:

  • Global standard: ISO 27701 certification is a respected standard for privacy information management systems worldwide. Having these credentials demonstrates your business's position as a leader in the field.
  • Rigorous assessment: This certification holds your operations up to a rigorous standard that demonstrates the level of thoroughness and detail of your operations as you meet the highest requirements.
  • Jurisdictional flexibility: The provisions of ISO 27701 hold up your organization to a worldwide standard. At the same time, this certification allows you to adhere to regional jurisdiction requirements. You can remain fully compliant on local and worldwide levels.
This standard is essential for organizations worldwide that are responsible for Personally Identifiable Information (PII). It provides a framework on how to manage and process data and safeguard privacy. ISO 22701 enhances an already implemented information security management system to address privacy requirements and put in place the systems and infrastructure to support compliance to legislation including GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is in full swing. Since its implementation in May 2018, the EU's landmark legislation has brought sweeping change to data privacy rights, particularly who "owns" data, who controls it and who gets the final say in its uses and transactions in today's digital-first world.

Under the GDPR the upper limit could reach €20 Million or 4% of the annual global turnover of an organization - whichever is higher. Organizations also face significant reputational damage risk from non-compliance and data breaches. For some business this could posed a threat of bankruptcy or even closure.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has indicated that organizations adopting certification or having a robust system in place to manage their data protection may be seen more favourably from a regulatory perspective in the event of a data breach.

Implementing a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS) in compliance with the requirements of ISO 27701 will enable organizations to assess, react and reduce risks associated with the collection, maintenance and processing of personal information. Certification to ISO 27701 does not confirm legal compliance to GDPR however it provides a valuable framework for any company to support their efforts in compliance to legislation.

Organizations can also consider implementing BS 10012:2017 with Annex A1:2018 as an alternative approach. This is for organizations seeking to implement a standalone Privacy Information Management System without ISO 27001. 

Differences between ISO 27001 and ISO 27701

ISO 27701 is set to be the go-to standard for compliance with GDPR regulations, in the same way that ISO 27001 is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ for information security management. ISO 27701 specifically focuses on addressing GDPR requirements to ensure industry-specific standards that match relevant operational needs.

It aligns to GDPR but also allows organizations to use the standard to incorporate other privacy laws, regulations and requirements. This makes it an excellent choice for organizations of all industries and sizes looking to demonstrate their compliance with the ‘accountability’ principle of GDPR. It demonstrates responsibility and expertise in the requirements and helps increase operational cost-effectiveness and value in the industry.

Get certified to ISO 27701

If you already have accredited certification to ISO 27001 you will find applying the information risk management principles to personal information fairly straightforward.

The standards require that organizations with certification to ISO 27001 must include privacy management, this means reviewing the organization’s contextual analysis, risk assessment and control environment to ensure that privacy management is incorporated.

The privacy information management system then needs to be documented. Organizations that are less confident in their GDPR compliance will find ISO 27701 particularly helpful as it provides specific recommendations for actions to comply with the regulation.

We can assess your compliance to ISO 27701 as an addition to your ISO 27001 assessment. We will ensure our approach follows the same method as the standard – looking at one system supporting information security and personal information management.

FAQs About ISO 27701

Many industries have questions about how the ISO 27701 standard certification works, so we've compiled some key FAQs and answers. We also have a more extensive list under our Information Security Toolkit section if you need additional information.

Q: Who does the ISO 27701 standard apply to?

A: The ISO 27701 certification has a design specifically customized for data controllers and data processors. It is highly relevant for this field and is most valuable when used by professionals in these specific areas.

Q: How much does it cost to become ISO 27701 certified?

A: Costs will vary depending on your organization, its level of complexity, number of employees and sites. We can offer a quick quote if you provide some company details and information about your goals.

Q: How long does it take to get an ISO 27701 certification?

A: Gaining ISO 27701 certification can take as little as two to three months with experienced, strategic management. It can take more than six months if personnel doesn't have the best resources for training. Several factors can influence the overall duration of certification, including the organization size, the number of employees and the number of business locations.

We can work with you and help you determine the best approach for your company. We recommend that you treat certification as a project you can complete through an ISO 27701 consultant or in-house depending on your skills and experience.


  1. Step 1

    Complete a Quote Request Form so we can understand you and your business. We will then use this to personally prepare a proposal for your certification and define what is known as your 'scope of assessment'.

  2. Step 2

    We will then contact you to book your assessment with an NQA assessor. This consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate that your management system has been operational for a minimum of three months, has been subject to a management review and a full cycle of internal audits.

  3. Step 3

    Following a successful two stage audit, a decision is made and if positive, your certification is issued by NQA. You will receive both a hard and soft copy of the certificate. Certification is valid for three years and maintained through surveillance audits (years one and two,) and a recertification audit in year three.

See more details

Information Security Toolkit 2013

ISO 27001 FAQs

ISO 27701 Implementation Guide

ISO 27001 Information Security Checklist

ISO 27001 27017 27018 27701 Mapping

Risk Assurance Brochure

Integrated Quote Request Form

Information Security Management Training

Measuring Operational Resilience Method

Annex SL Comparison Tool

Gap Analysis

CityFibre Case Study

Is Your Management System Integrated?

Need a Consultant?

Download Certification Logos

Combining ISO 27001 with ISO 9001 Gap Guide

Ready to start your journey?

We'll give you a clear indication of the costs of gaining and maintaining certification.
Not ready yet? Call us on 0800 052 2424 or request a callback to discuss your certification requirements.