Digitally Aware Police Certification PDSC...

Demonstrate your commitment to cyber security with the PDSC Digitally aware Police Certification.

Update: 09/08/22

The Government has retired the Digitally Aware Police Certification. However, we have solutions that can cover this gap. If you are looking for a certification to reassure your customers that you practice good cyber security or you want to achieve compliance or complete tenders, we can offer Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus or ISO27001. Read our page on Cyber Essentials Certifications

If you are interested in educating your staff to improve their cyber security awareness, our service tracks progress with simulated phishing attacks and learning statistics demonstrating awareness progression through tangible results. Read our page on Cybersecurity Awareness Training and Phishing Email Simulator. Or contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business with cyber security.


Now more than ever, it is crucial for SMEs to think about cybersecurity and ensure they have the best controls in place to reduce vulnerability to attack. The Digitally Aware Police Certification helps you review your current measures, gives you a better understanding of your cyber risk. Furthermore, it also provides helpful recommendations and resources that you can implement to ensure business continuity, improvements in response time and reduction of loss or damage. As a result, it will demonstrate to your customers, staff, stakeholders and suppliers that you take information security seriously.

Who are the PDSC?

The Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) is part of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), a not-for-profit organisation owned by the police. They work across the UK in partnership with industry, government, academia and law enforcement. The PDSC helps small and medium-sized businesses reduce their vulnerability to cybercrime by supporting them to develop and innovate their digital defences.

What is the Digitally Aware Police Certification?

The PDSC developed this certification in collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI), which aims to help SMEs reduce their vulnerability to the more common types of cybercrime and promote their commitment to digital security and cybersecurity.

For example, the most common types of cyberattacks for SMEs are phishing and whaling email attacks, malware and ransomware. 

The Digitally Aware certificate is an entry-level certificate. According to the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) small business guide, Digitally Aware recognises businesses who take the first steps towards better cybersecurity.

What is the assessment?

The Digitally Aware Police Certification requires you to take a short online self-assessment that assesses the resilience of your business against common crime threats. It only takes 15 minutes, and you can do it online. Furthermore, we can do it for you if you wish. This certification lasts for 12 months.

The questions relate to the NCSC’s Small Business Guide and regard policy actions, technical actions and training and awareness actions around the current cybersecurity measures you have in place. For example, this could include using password managers, two-factor authentication, a USB inventory list, installing anti-virus software or creating a cybersecurity training plan for employees. 

What are the benefits?

  • You will receive a certificate immediately upon passing.
  • You will get the police approval stamp.
  • The certification demonstrates to your customers and employees that you are committed to cybersecurity.
  • 46% of all UK businesses have suffered at least one cyberattack within the last 12 months. Furthermore, 65,000 UK SME’s suffer cybersecurity attacks each day, of which 4,500 are successful. Lastly, SME hacking is successfully every 19 seconds.* So, this certification helps minimise the risk of cyber-attacks if you pass.
  • You will also receive logos for website and marketing collateral.
  • You will get a full report recommending security actions consistent with the latest government and police guidance.

Is Digitally Aware different to Cyber Essentials Certifications?

Yes. Digitally Aware is about ensuring organisations build a strong cybersecurity foundation, which encourages good cyber practices. For SMEs, this certificate is the first stepping stone to better cybersecurity. It nicely leads to achieving higher-level certifications like Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. Furthermore, the police recognise Digitally Aware, but the government recognise Cyber Essentials.

How do I sign up?

Let us know you would like to do the assessment in the form below or contact us here.

What if I do not meet the requirements?

Don’t worry, you have six months to pass, and you can take the test as many times as you like. As a result, this gives you the best chance of implementing the cybersecurity changes to protect your business and, therefore, passing.

Cyber Essentials Certifications

If you are interested in the Cyber Essentials Certifications, click here.

*According to DCMS’s 2020 Cyber Security Breached Survey.

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What Is Included In The Digitally Aware Police Certification?

Speedy 15-minute Process

Pass the test in just 15 minutes and get certified.

Police Stamp of Approval

The PDSC provide this certification is provided, or the Police Digital Security Centre, so you know that this will help your cybersecurity.

Online Remote Assessment

Complete at your leisure, or let Northstar do it for you.

Minimise Cyber Risk

This assessment helps minimise the risk of cyber-attacks and assess how resilient your business is against them.

Logos for Collateral

Tell people about it! Once you have passed, you can let your staff and customers know that you are committed to keeping their data safe.