An essential qualification for the modern FOI Officer

FOI Practitioner Certificate

An essential qualification for the modern FOI Officer

A qualification designed for those wishing to acquire detailed knowledge of the FOIA and related legislation. The course will provide delegates with the knowledge and practical skills to enable them to become a more effective FOI Officer.

Whether delivered online or in the classroom, delegates receive all the fantastic features of the course specifically tailored for each learning environment.

The content of the course has been developed after analysing all the competencies required for the FOI Officer role. Our teaching style is based on practical and engaging workshops covering theory alongside hands-on application using case studies that equip delegates with knowledge and skills that can be used immediately

Personal tutor support throughout the course and a comprehensive online resource lab, ensure the best opportunity for success.

The course takes place over four days (one day per week) either online or in classroom, and involves lectures, discussion and practical exercises followed by a practical assessment.


Day 1


  • Scope of FOI
  • Associated legislation
  • Publication Schemes
  • Transparency Agenda
  • Datasets and ROPSI
  • Right of Access
  • New S.45 Code
  • RM Code
  • The ICO, Enforcement and Appeals
  • Techniques for conducting FOI and legal research

Day 2


  • Exemptions in detail
  • Absolute exemptions
  • Qualified exemptions
  • Factors to consider
  • Latest ICO decisions
  • Tribunal cases
  • The Prejudice test
  • The Public Interest test
  • Case studies
  • Internal reviews
  • Drafting Refusal Notices
  • Common issues

Day 3


  • Popular exemptions
  • Section 36, Section 38, Section 40, Section 41 and Section 43
  • Contracts and Commercial information
  • Access to personal data
  • Deceased records
  • GDPR overlaps
  • Latest ICO decisions
  • Tribunal cases
  • Drafting Refusal Notices
  • Common requests

Day 4


  • What is environmental information
  • Proactive publication
  • Right of Access
  • The exceptions
  • The Public Interest test
  • Latest caselaw
  • Drafting Refusal Notices
  • Being an FOI Officer
  • Preparing for Tribunal
  • ICO Powers

Upcoming dates

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4  
Online 03 Aug 2022 10 Aug 2022 16 Aug 2022 23 Aug 2022
Online 06 Sep 2022 12 Sep 2022 20 Sep 2022 27 Sep 2022
Online 28 Sep 2022 04 Oct 2022 10 Oct 2022 17 Oct 2022 Book
London 05 Oct 2022 12 Oct 2022 19 Oct 2022 26 Oct 2022 Book
Online 06 Oct 2022 12 Oct 2022 18 Oct 2022 25 Oct 2022
Online 25 Nov 2022 30 Nov 2022 06 Dec 2022 13 Dec 2022 Book

Dates & Cost


£2,150 plus VAT


£2,350 plus VAT

The fee includes:

  • 4 days of live training
  • Access to an online resource lab
  • Hard copies of all materials

Timings: 10am to 4pm

Location: Online
Day 1: 06 Sep 2022
Day 2: 12 Sep 2022
Day 3: 20 Sep 2022
Day 4: 27 Sep 2022
Location: Online
Day 1: 28 Sep 2022
Day 2: 04 Oct 2022
Day 3: 10 Oct 2022
Day 4: 17 Oct 2022
Location: London
Day 1: 05 Oct 2022
Day 2: 12 Oct 2022
Day 3: 19 Oct 2022
Day 4: 26 Oct 2022
Resource Lab

Target Audience

Anyone in the public or private sector who needs in depth knowledge of FOI and how it applies to their role including:
FOI Officers
Data Protection Officers
Compliance Officers
Legal Advisers




£2,150 plus VAT


£2,350 plus VAT


4 Day Course

  • Teaches essential FOI skills
  • Emphasis on practical application
  • 4 days of live training with an FOI expert
  • One to one tutor support
  • Comprehensive learning materials
  • Resource lab incl. 20 hours of videos
  • Open book assessment

Course tutors

All our associates are experienced information governance professionals who have been training and advising in this field for many years.

  • Philip Jones

    Course Tutor

    Philip has 40 years of information management experience in the public and private sectors both as a practitioner and at a senior management level. He was Head of Information Governance at Staffordshire Council. Philip holds a masters degree in information management and an MBA. He is a senior associate for Act Now and Chair of the Exam Panel.

  • Scott Sammons

    Course Tutor

    Scott is an information governance specialist with over 15 years of experience. He has delivered a number international projects for Act Now Training and is a senior tutor on the Advanced Certificate in GDPR Practice. His previous roles include European Data Protection Lead for a bank and GDPR Implementation lead for a council. Scott is a former Chair of the IRMS.

  • Susan Wolf

    Course Tutor

    Susan holds a judicial position as a Fee Paid Member of the Upper Tribunal (Information Rights). She spent ten years teaching the LLM in Information Rights Law at Northumbria University and developed their Postgraduate Certificate in Data Protection Law and Information Governance. Susan is one of the senior curriculum developers for Act Now Training.

  • Lynn Wyeth

    Course Tutor

    Lynn is the Head of Information Governance for a large local authority and has over 20 years of experience as a practitioner. She holds a post graduate diploma in Information Rights, the CISMP certificate and is an accredited HSCIPP privacy practitioner. She is the author of two books and is currently undertaking a PhD. Her experience is across GDPR, FOI and RIPA.

  • Iain Harrison

    Course Tutor

    Iain is currently an Information Governance Risk Manager for large local authority and has over 20 years of experience. He has been delivering training for Act Now for over seven years in GDPR and FOI for public, private and charitiable organisations. His extensive experience in planning and implementation of Information Rights legislation allows him to bring training sessions to life.

  • Craig Geddes

    Course Tutor

    Craig is a certified archivist and records manager with 28 years of experience in information governance. He has served as an Archivist, Records Manager, and Senior Information Officer for numerous Scottish local administrations. Craig has spent many years developing and delivering training on records management, freedom of information and data protection.

  • Kirsty Squires

    Course Tutor

    Kirsty is currently a DPO for a number of local authorities and has over 15 years of experience in Data Governance. She has led the IG Project Team on transformation projects to deliver local government restructure in Northamptonshire, dealing with issues including information sharing, data protection by design and leading on training and policy development.

  • Naomi Matthews

    Course Tutor

    Naomi is a local authority lawyer and holds a judicial position as a Fee Paid Member of the Upper Tribunal (Information Rights). She has extensive experience in all areas of information compliance and RIPA. Her training has been commended by RIPA inspectors and her advice has helped many local authorities understand the law and practicalities of covert surveillance.

What our clients say about us

    I attended the FOI Practitioner Course. I found the course literature very user friendly and appreciated receiving hard copies of these alongside the online Resource Lab. The course delivery was at a pace that didn’t overly dwell where it was unnecessary but, time was given for delegates to check their understanding and for questions. Both tutors were clearly FOI
    professionals of excellent standing and were able to provide helpful real life context to the theory, but while keeping the depth of learning at an appropriate level for learners of different levels of experience. I would recommend this course to FOI professionals and those wishing to better understand FOI as part of their Info Governance / DP obligations. MG, Surrey County Council

    The course was informative and the vast and detailed knowledge of the Tutor was highly evident.
    SW, Lancashire Constabulary

    Very informative course presented in an engaging manner. The course
    material is excellent and very useful to have to hand when dealing with FOI and EIR. I would recommend this course for all FOI officers. RS, Flintshire County Council

    An excellent course taught by someone with all the relevant knowledge and experience to impart to the delegates. Also very useful course materials which have proved to be helpful to me on a day to day basis in my job. I would really recommend this course to anyone who is dealing with FOI in their job. JC, DEFRA

    FOI Practitioner Certificate is a new and thoroughly
    enjoyable course. The tutor is extremely
    experienced and encourages full participation. If like
    me you struggle with examinations, this is the course
    for you! It is very practical based and is useful to
    those new to FOIA and those with some experience. MP, Dudley CCG