FOI Practical Training - Level 2 (Applying the Exemptions)


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 2 (Applying the Exemptions)


Course Overview:

Public sector bodies must make daily decisions on how to respond to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, and how to apply the exemptions in the Act. Those decisions are increasingly reviewed and, in many cases, overturned by the Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal and the Courts. As case law develops, public authorities need to ensure that they understand when the exemptions can be applied, and what they have to demonstrate in order to apply them correctly.

This training session considers in detail the practical application of the main FOI exemptions. Topics covered include:

  • a detailed analysis of the key exemptions with reference to ICO, Tribunal and Court decisions including confidentiality, commercially sensitive information, effective conduct of public affairs, investigations, law enforcement, health and safety and legal privilege
  • the personal data exemption, and  its inter-relationship with the Data Protection Act
  • other access regimes and application of Section 21 (Information Accessible by other Means) and Section 44 (Prohibitions)
  • the duty to ‘confirm or deny’
  • confidentiality, procurement and contracts including latest guidance and ICO and Tribunal decisions
  • drafting robust Refusal Notices
  • the appeals process and dealing with the Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal

The day consists of instruction on the legal provisions with reference to latest guidance and the key ICO and Tribunal decisions. 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.

It is not necessary to attend FOI Level 1 in order to attend FOI Level 2, but FOI Level 2 delegates are expected to already have the basic knowledge of how FOI works in practice.

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

Liz Fitzsimons, Eversheds

Liz Fitzsimons,

Trainer's biography
and other courses
by this Trainer

Upcoming Training Dates
Manchester (Classroom)Wednesday, 20 March 2024
Virtual LIVE (Webex)Wednesday, 17 April 2024
London (Classroom)Wednesday, 15 May 2024
Virtual LIVE (Webex)Wednesday, 11 September 2024
London (Classroom)Wednesday, 16 October 2024
Manchester (Classroom)Wednesday, 30 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 2
- 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

“Excellent course!”
Sue Connell

“Excellent materials and knowledge of tutor.”
Colette Gill
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

“Excellent tutor – very knowledgeable, and pitched at the right level.”
Theresa Pollard
University of Nottingham

“Very useful.”
Lance Holden
HM Courts Service

“I found the eLearning course very easy to use and very informative! I liked how the videos are manageable length and the course notes were/are very useful. The Questions were also helpful as a test of knowledge/learning.”
Martin Clarke
East Suffolk Council

“The materials are particularly useful.”
Fay Wiltshire
HM Treasury

“A very good and informative day.”
Craig Russell
Big Lottery Fund

Lynda Fay
Croydon Council