Foundation Certificate in Freedom of Information

This 1-day online course will give those attending the knowledge how to understand the process within FOI requests.

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The DPAS Foundation Certificate in FOI will give those working within Information Requests team the basic knowledge of the Act and how to respond to requests. It will give those with no prior training or experience the required knowledge to go on and complete the BCS Practitioner Level Certificate in FOI.

The 1-day course will give those attending the knowledge how to understand the process within FOI requests.


Course Content

The aim of the syllabus is to give those with no FOI training, or little understanding of the Act, an understanding of how to respond to FOI requests. The course covers ‘deep dives’ into some exemptions and into Section 40, Personal Data.

Unit 1 - Background

  • The historical context of FOI

  • Basic obligations

  • Definitions

Unit 2 - Requests

  • What makes a request valid?

  • Are all information requests FOIs?

  • Publication schemes

  • Clarification

  • Advice and assistance

  • Cost limits

  • Vexatious requests

Unit 3 – Other Legislation

  • FOI vs EIR vs SAR

  • What a FOI handling process might look like

Unit 4 – Exceptions 

  • Exemptions and public interest tests

  • All the exemptions - with a reference to rare ones, a closer look at exception’s 22, 30, 31, 36, 38, 41, 42 & 43

Unit 5 – Personal Data

  • Section 40 - Personal Data

  • Reviews, ICO, Tribunals

  • Further reading and learning

Contact us for the full syllabus.


What's Included:

  • 1 day interactive course with experienced trainer

  • All course materials online, printed and posted if required

  • Exam 

  • Lunch and refreshments (if classroom based) 

  • Template documents to take away

Course Format

The course takes 1 day to complete and will be held virtually.  

You will need access to Microsoft Teams and OneDrive throughout the course. All documents will be shared via OneDrive and sessions will be held via Teams.

The course will start at 9:00 am and finish at 4:30 pm


Our course is great for

This qualification is primarily aimed at those who are managing or responding to requests for information from the public or working in this subject area, for instance Information Managers, or those that would like to understand more about the Freedom of Information Act, EIR and SARs.

This qualification is likely to be of particular benefit to those working in the following areas:

  • Solicitors advising on Information Law issues

  • Data Protection Officers

  • FOI Teams

  • Information Governance Team Members

  • Data Protection and Privacy professionals

  • Information Governance, risk and compliance professionals

  • Data Management teams

  • Project Management teams

  • Directors/Senior Managers with Data Protection responsibilities

  • Legal and procurement teams