What services does PTAC offer?

PTAC provides timely information and updated guidance on privacy, confidentiality, and security practices through a variety of resources, including training materials and activities. A set of resources is presented as best practices for ensuring the confidentiality and security of personally identifiable information and to help promote compliance with FERPA. These resources include a Privacy Toolkit , which is a centralized depository of materials with the most up-to-date information to guide stakeholders looking to improve the security, confidentiality, and privacy of education data. Toolkit resources include Technical Briefs, Issue Briefs, Checklists, Webinar presentations, and many other materials. The resources are organized around five topics: data sharing/dissemination, disclosure avoidance, data security, data governance, and legal references (FERPA and cross-agency).

PTAC Training Topics / Technical Assistance Services


Training or Service



FERPA 101 Training

(webinar / on-site)

Review and discussion of real-life scenarios on FERPA and its applicability to your institution. Participants have an opportunity for interactive Questions and Answers.

- Improved understanding of FERPA and the context for the law

- Reduced misconceptions / misunderstandings about FERPA

Data Sharing Under FERPA for State Longitudinal Data Systems

(webinar / on-site)

Overview of the 2012 FERPA regulation changes as they relate to sharing of FERPA-protected data. Review of the data sharing best practices and requirements for complying with FERPA.

- Enhanced clarity about what data can and cannot be shared under FERPA

- Improved knowledge of resources available to help ensure compliance with the new FERPA regulations

Data Security Best Practices / Training

(on-site / on-line)

On-site training on current data security best practices for education data systems, including user privacy and security awareness, privacy and security program development / implementation, threat modeling, and attacker methodology.

- Increased awareness of privacy and data security threats

- Reduced risk of security incidents

- Improved ability to respond to incidents

Data Security Policy  Review

(on-site / on-line)

Review of your organization’s information security program policy and governance to help ensure that the policy reflects current best practices, is well integrated, and establishes key roles and responsibilities for managing the privacy and security of your data and measuring program effectiveness.

- More cohesive vision for organizational security

- Clearer definitions of security roles, responsibilities, and metrics

- Improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the security program

Data Security: Technical Security / Architecture Review

(on-site / on-line)

Technical assistance to help evaluate existing security architecture to ensure that your security controls are working to their greatest effect.  PTAC experts provide on-site and remote assistance to help implement technology securely and deliver the peace of mind of having a third-party review.

- Better understanding and control of organizational risk

- Third-party validation of security controls

- Improved integrated information security picture, including better understanding of the organization’s security posture

- Enhanced security of the information systems and data

Data Sharing Agreement Assistance

(on-site / on-line)

Review of and informal feedback on your proposed data sharing agreement.

- Third-party informal review of current or conceptual data sharing agreements with regard to  their compliance with FERPA, including best practice suggestions

Disclosure Avoidance Training / Assistance

(on-site / on-line)

Overview of best practices and staff training in the area of disclosure avoidance methodology and public reporting. 

- Improved understanding of disclosure avoidance techniques and public reporting best practices applicable to your institution

For more information on PTAC training and services, and to view a wide variety of specific privacy and security guidance visit http://ptac.ed.gov/