FOI Practical Training - Level 1 (Essential Knowledge)

Training course carries 5 hours CPD points 

Courses take place in:

London, Manchester, Belfast & Bristol


This course can be taken on an eLearning basis

The eLearning version of this course is facilitated via a dedicated online learning platform utilising videos, supplementary documentation and self-assessment questions. To place a booking, select the 'eLearning' option from the 'Make a Booking' Button


Since the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came fully into force in 2005 there has been a fundamental change in the relationship between government and its citizens as government information has become more publicly accessible. This has led to the publication of a wide range of public sector datasets and dramatic expansion of available information. Information Officers are central to these developments and need to be fully aware of the Act and the impact of future changes to it.

This training session is designed to help those who are on the receiving end of requests for information and those who advise and assist them. The topics covered in this introductory level session include:

  • an overview of the Freedom of Information Act, its structure and core provisions
  • publication schemes
  • handling requests including administrative exemptions and refusal notices
  • an overview of the Exemptions and the public interest test
  • key decisions from the Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal
  • understanding the Fees regime
  • how to handle complaints
  • inter-relationship with the Data Protection Act, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005

The morning consists of instruction on the legal provisions, with the afternoon featuring practical exercises and further instruction.

There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and delegates are encouraged to bring queries and questions to the session, which will be fully interactive.

A discount is available for delegates booking both FOI Level 1 and FOI Level 2 – see below.

Attendance on this course can be used as credit towards gaining the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information.

Course Trainer

Matt Lewin, Cornerstone Barristers

Matt Lewin
Cornerstone Barristers

Trainer's biography
and other courses
by this Trainer

Course Information
LondonMonday, 22 February 2021
ManchesterMonday, 15 March 2021
BristolMonday, 12 April 2021
LondonMonday, 24 May 2021
LondonMonday, 13 September 2021
ManchesterMonday, 18 October 2021
LondonMonday, 15 November 2021
BelfastMonday, 29 November 2021

Classroom - 10.00am to 4.00pm (lunch included)


eLearning - delivered via dedicated online platform

£485* + VAT (Classroom) OR £395 + VAT (eLearning)

- 10% discount for additional delegates for this course when booked together
- *Book Levels 1 & 2 together for £895 + VAT


- 20% discount for additional delegates booked together (up to 5)
- Group Licences available

Who should attend:
Freedom of Information Officers, Records Management Officers, Archivists, Data Protection Officers, Information Security Managers, Compliance Officers, Public and Private Sector Lawyers, Public Authorities‚ Legal Representatives, and others.


Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection


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Course Testimonials

“The course was very informative and delivered extremely well.”
Mark Buckley
Companies House


Kelly Chicken
Department for Transport


“Very informative and engaging. The organisation as very good.”
Elizabeth Marriott
University of Westminster


Claire Buller
Oxfordshire County Council


“Very interesting course delivered by a knowledgeable and professional trainer.”
Jacob Apenyo
Office of the Official Solicitor


“Excellent trainer.”
Hirelle Moore
Isle of Man Government


Antonia Russell
Partnerships for Schools


“Very practical approach.”
Donna Birthwright
Office of Fair Trading


“Well-lead and very practical.”
Victoria Morgan
Waltham Forest PCT