This course is now available at £1,800 + vat per person. Discounts are available for multiple bookings from the same organisation.

Location: Online tutor led course

1st, 2nd & 3rd December 2020

8th & 9th December 2020



This BCS Practitioner Course and Exam will help employees understand how to instill robust information practices, based on the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the implications for your organisation.
This qualification demonstrates a level of practical competence and knowledge obtained by those responsible for dealing with freedom of information within an organisation.

In addition to the 5 days of interactive or onsite training & exam, we also give you access to added-value products and services that allow you to start or continue your work within Data Protection:

  • Lunch and refreshments every day (classroom courses only)
  • 12 month BCS associate membership
  • DPAS branded folder (sent prior to the course)
  • Trainer with over 20 years of experience in the industry
  • All course materials via GSuite
  • Our latest GDPR Assurance Audit which you can use when you are back in the workplace to assess compliance and develop remediation plans. Within this tool is a great one-page reporting template for your board.
  • An innovative risk model which is designed for you to assess data protection risks in your organisation.
  • Access to all the latest legislation, regulations and Data Protection case studies from the UK and EU.
  • Information security audit tool based upon ISO27001 which you can use to measure 92 security controls you have in your organisation.
  • Access to our full suite of GDPR and Data Protection policies which include Data Breach, Data Protection Impact Assessments, Privacy Notices, Legitimate Interest Assessments.
  • Access to our full template suite of Individual rights policies, decision trees and template letters, everything you need to deliver Articles 12 – 22 of GDPR.
  • A detailed list of the UK Data Protection Act exemptions in a format for you to apply and associated policies in which you can use when thinking about applying for exemptions.

There is a need to provide adequate training on the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and its implications for public and private sector organisations, as well as to individuals. The Act contains requirements for the publication of information held by, or held on behalf of, public authorities. These requirements include the publication and maintenance of publication schemes, the need to respond to requests for information and disclose information requested subject to the appropriate application of legal exemptions.

Those experienced in freedom of information issues, as well as those new to the subject, require adequate training in order that their organisations are confident legal compliance is continually addressed. It is necessary to identify issues requiring expert freedom of information advice in good time in order that organisational reputation and credibility is enhanced through relevant information management policies and procedures.

The BCS Certificate in Freedom of Information provides a qualification that demonstrates a level of practical competence and knowledge obtained by those responsible for dealing with freedom of information within an organisation.

The course takes 5 days to complete. The course will be held virtually or in a classroom.

There will be 3 hour exam on day 5 of the training course. Candidates will be entitled to an additional 45 minutes if they are sitting the examination in a language that is not their native language. The exam format is 20% multiple choice; 40% short bullet point answers; 50% discursive essays.

Exams will either be online or paper based, depending on which option is chosen. The cost of the exam is included within the course.

All candidates will be required to have access to their own laptop.


The aim of the syllabus is to promote an understanding of how freedom of information works in practice and to enable the practitioner to gain the skills necessary for analysing and managing freedom of information requests in accordance with the law. The syllabus places compliance with the Act in the context of good information practices within the organisation. On attaining the Certificate, award holders will possess:

  • an appreciation of Freedom of Information in its widest context
  • an ability to identify information likely to be requested and an understanding of the information likely to be required for publication in a Publication Scheme
  • an understanding of the interface between the FOIA with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • an ability to develop procedures for the processing and monitoring of a request for information, from receipt of the request through to the disclosure of information and/or the application of appropriate legal exemptions/exceptions, including the calculation of fees when applicable
  • an understanding of the legal exemptions/exceptions from disclosure and the public interest test
  • an understanding of the enforcement/legal action procedures enshrined in the legislation

The Certificate in Freedom of Information is targeted at Information Managers, FOI practitioners, information governance leads, Data Protection Officers, Solicitors advising on information law issues, Press Officers and all those who have responsibility for managing and responding to requests for information from the public. It is also targeted at those private sector organisations that are either affected directly by freedom of information and environmental information legislation or indirectly by their contractual relationship with a public authority.

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

  • FOI
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Information Governance, risk and compliance
  • Data Management
  • Project Management
  • Directors/Senior Managers with Data Protection responsibilities
  • Legal and procurement
  • Marketing and Sales professionals
  • Information Security and IT
  • Human Resources