FOI Practical Training - Level 1 (Essential Knowledge)


This course is available by: Classroom, Virtual-LIVE and eLearning


This course can be attended on an in-person basis at dedicated training venues (the yellow box below lists the upcoming dates and cities). There are ample opportunities to network with other delegates during coffee breaks and at the sit-down lunch.
Classroom Training Courses

Virtual-LIVE (WEBEX)

For those who prefer undertaking LIVE training remotely, PDP’s virtual courses allow delegates to interact directly with the trainer and to participate in group activities, mirroring the typical structure of Classroom sessions.
Virtual Training Courses


PDP’s eLearning courses are facilitated via a dedicated learning platform using videos, supplementary documentation and multiple choice self-assessment questions. The content can be viewed at any time allowing delegates to train around other commitments. Find out more information on PDP’s eLearning courses.

















FOI Practical Training - Level 1 (Essential Knowledge)


Course Overview:

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

Vicki Bowles

Vicki Bowles
Barrister & Partner

Trainer's biography
and other courses
by this Trainer

Upcoming Training Dates
Manchester (Classroom)Tuesday, 19 March 2024
Virtual LIVE (Webex)Tuesday, 16 April 2024
London (Classroom)Tuesday, 14 May 2024
Virtual LIVE (Webex)Tuesday, 10 September 2024
London (Classroom)Tuesday, 15 October 2024
Manchester (Classroom)Tuesday, 29 October 2024


- Classroom - £595.00 plus VAT
- Virtual-LIVE (WEBEX) - £495.00 plus VAT
- eLearning - £395.00 plus VAT

Additional Information:

- Classroom/Virtual-LIVE - 10.00am to 4.00pm
- eLearning - on-demand training available immediately

Discounts available:

Classroom / Virtual-LIVE:
- 10% discount for additional delegates booking Level 1
- Book Level 1 & 2 together (Classroom) - £1,095 +VAT
- Book Level 1 & 2 together (Virtual-LIVE) - £895 + VAT

20% discount for additional delegates

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 (PC.dp.)


Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information (PC.foi.)




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Course Testimonials


“This is a really informative and well-structured course.”
Julfa Islam
Ministry of Justice


“An informative and concise eLearning course. Well presented.”
Debbie Frame
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust


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


“I actually really enjoyed the course and the eLearning from home worked really well for me. I like the fact that it can be worked through at your own speed and it had a good selection of information which was great.”
Freya Austin
The Open University


“I thought this eLearning course was very helpful as someone who works in local government. I found it particularly good that although it is online training, there are multiple videos with a very qualified speaker in addition to written notes and self-assessments. I will definitely be considering level 2 of this course.”
Lauren Pote
City of Wolverhampton Council


“I liked the mix of video and written – I thought it worked well, and I’ve now booked three further courses.”
Dawn Crooks
Vehicle Certification Agency


“I have just completed the eLearning FOI level 1 course and found it really useful.”
Sarah Jenkins
Welsh Revenue Authority


Kelly Chicken
Department for Transport


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


Claire Buller
Oxfordshire County Council


“I found the eLearning course very informative and useful. The trainer cascaded the information very well and provided good examples.”
Gill Keel
Bristol City 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


“Found the Material appropriate level. Enjoyed it.”
Craig Adshead
Independent Office for Police Conduct