How long is the course?
40 hours over 5 days including some home study. The final day is a mock exam and feedback.
How much is the course?
£1,750 plus VAT. This includes the exam fee.
How do I pay?
We invoice you (to pay within 30 days by cheque or BACS).
Who chooses the exam date?
BCS sets the dates. Our courses are timed to prepare the candidates in line with these dates. Exams are usually 1pm to 4pm on the final Friday of January, April, July and October.
Where are the courses held?
London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast
Why take an examination?
It helps your job prospects. Many organisations are asking for these qualifications in job specs. It also brings confidence to DP/FOI practitioners.
I am an absolute beginner, Is this course suitable for me?
Whilst the course is designed to take you through the legislation from begining to end, if you are an absolute beginner who has never dealt with the DP or FOI legislation then please contact us to discuss your knowledge base and suitability to attend this course. We recommend you have undertaken a basic A-Z course or have worked with the legislation for at least 6 months.
What happens if I miss part of a course?
Attendance is a compulsory requirement of BCS for all exam candidates, so you must attend all days. However, if you miss a day because of exceptional circumstances, we may be able to provide alternative training for a single day at another venue if a course is running at the same time. Travel expenses and accommodation for this, if required, must be borne by the candidate.
Where can I find full details of the examination and syllabus?
The examination is a closed book, three hour, written exam.
Is the exam difficult and will I pass?
Yes and maybe. It is a closed book exam so you have to memorise many concepts. The pass mark is 50% so anyone who does the course work, passes the mock exam and revises thoroughly should pass. There are many factors including experience, exam technique and exam nerves that come into play.
Do I have to sit the exam?
No. If you are not confident you can undertake further study before doing so at a later date (or not take it all). Please talk to us about these issues. Cancellation at short notice may attract a cancellation fee from BCS. Read the BCS Cancellation and Resheduling Policy.
How many delegates per course?
BCS allow a maximum of 16 on each course. If there are too few candidates we will cancel and move candidates forward to the next course. If there are too many we may ask candidates to move to the next course as well.
Are course tutors experienced?
Yes. All our tutors have worked in the sector for many years and have been delivering training for Act Now Training for many years. They hold the certificates in which they train. Some also have teaching qualifications. All have attended a train the trainer course or an effective speaking course.
Who will see my exam mark?
BCS will pass your grades to us unless a candidate requests this not to happen. You will be individually informed by BCS of your result.
What is the method of teaching?
Face-to-face with a trainer, presentations, lectures, flipchart work, question-and-answer sessions, case studies, group work, quizzes, online revision sessions, tutor marked mock exam followed by feedback plus research and homework.
Why have a mock exam?
If you haven't taken an exam for decades it is vital to put yourself through a mock exam to see whether you can a) write legibly and b) answer the questions under pressure. The feedback from the mock exam is crucial to preparation for the real thing.
What about those with educational special needs or disabilities?
BCS will make reasonable adjustments to the examination process where necessary. Our venues will also make reasonable adjustments.
Can you accommodate my special dietary needs?
Yes, just let us know before you attend a course.
Am I disadvantaged if English is my second language?
The working language of our training is English because the law is written and interpreted in English. Talk to us in confidence and we can assess whether we consider you to be too disadvantaged to participate. If your business language and mother tongue is not English then you are entitled to an additional 45 minutes. Please contact us to request the additional time. You are also allowed the use of a dictionary.
I want to do the BCS certificates in both DP and FOI.
Take your time. Don't do both at the same time - leave 3 to six months between them. Do the Data Protection course first as it is considered more difficult and it has a major input into the Freedom of Information course with the exemption for personal data.
I want to ask a specific question not on in the FAQs
Contact us to send your query, and we will get back to you.