Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information

  eLearning Programme


The UK's Leading Practical Qualification for the FOI Professional...


"I am thrilled to have passed PDP's Practitioner Certificate in FOI... My knowledge of FOI, DPA and EIRs has increased immensely and I feel so much more confident in dealing with requests..."

The Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information ("PC.foi") is the practical qualification for those that work in the field of FOI.

Successful completion of the Programme demonstrates to employers and others that the candidate possesses a solid knowledge of Freedom of Information law (and the Environmental Information Regulations), as well as an understanding of the practical implications for organisations of the legal requirements, including how to manage an FOI request from inception to completion.


The Qualificaton can be undertaken on the following basis:

  • eLearning Programme (also known as "Distance Learning")
  • Classroom / Virtual-LIVE Programme


Outlined below is further information the 'eLearning Programme'. Individuals looking to complete the in-person/Virtual-LIVE option should view Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information - Classroom / Virtual-LIVE Programme.


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The Programme is entirely "on-demand" enabling you to study at your own pace whether at home, in the office or on the move

The eLearning Programme

The eLearning Programme (also known as the 'Distance Learning Programme') provides candidates with the ability to study the material 'on-demand' in their own time and at their own pace, either at home or in the office.

The comprehensive materials consist of video presentations, written materials and self-assessment multiple choice questions (‘MCQs’). The MCQs allow candidates to test their knowledge and understanding as they progress through the materials, and to prepare for the online examination.


The Exam

When candidates are ready, they can proceed to take the online examination. The examination is ‘open book’, meaning that candidates can refer to their materials, books and notes during the examination.


The Fee

The fee for the Distance Learning Programme is £1,750 plus VAT .

A discount of 15% is available for each additional candidate from your organisation enrolling at the same time.

Group Licenses with additional discounts are also available.


Syllabus and Examination Board

The Syllabus for the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information Programme is available for download here

Information on the Members of the Examination Board is available here


Register of Qualified FOI Practitioners

The online register of those who have gained the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information can viewed here

Further Information

If you have a query about the Programme, please:

  • visit the online FAQs
  • telephone PDP on +44 (0)207 014 3399
  • contact us by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Three easy ways to enrol onto the Programme:

  • apply online
  • telephone PDP on +44 (0)207 014 3399
  • contact us by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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"I thought the on-demand element worked well. It meant I could go back easily when I was revising. The self-assessment questions were really useful. Overall I learned a lot. For me long distance was definitely the preferred option as it fit well within my work."
Rebekah Taylor
Archive Manager
Independent Office for Police Conduct


"Very positive feedback from me. I found the eLearning qualification programme to be equally challenging and equally informative. I liked the way the training was structured into chapters/bite sized chunks which allowed me to dip in and out of the training but not lose any sense/momentum. I have already revised CCEA’s FOI Customer templates based on the wording and advice I picked up in the training."
David Wilson
Business Assurance Manager
Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment


"Overall I really enjoyed the course and found it really stretching (which is the way a course should be!). I liked the video/reading/test aspect. I think that worked really well."
Carl Bird
Senior Manager


"I found the qualification programme very easy to navigate and work through, and was thankful for the advantages of the distance learning format – i.e. being able to re-visit the materials whenever wished."
Eleanor Johnson Ward
FOI Assessor
The National Archives


"The eLearning programme was intense, challenging and there was a lot to get through, but I enjoyed it. The materials were excellent and very detailed - to university standard. The speakers were extremely knowledgeable, their expertise coupled with the written material made each section of the course easy to comprehend."
Dawn Pelle
London Borough of Islington


"I am very pleased to have achieved the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information. The programme provides excellent knowledge and understanding on the practical applications of handling requests for information"
Louise Smith
Information Rights Officer
Financial Ombudsman Service


"Overall, I was greatly impressed with the training. I sought the distance learning programme as I wanted to be able to self-pace the training and work through it on my own schedule - which this very much allowed for. An unexpected benefit was also being able to go back and revisit modules or chapters that I perhaps failed test questions on, to give myself a second opportunity to cover the materials."
Clare Hillis
Senior Manager


"I was delighted to have added an important feather to my professional hat. I felt at ease with the distance eLearning as I could revisit the modules in my own time. The training materials were comprehensive and of excellent standard. I highly recommend this qualification programme."
Sarah Otto
Data Protection Officer
Oasis Community Learning


"I am thrilled to have passed PDP's Practitioner Certificate in FOI and joined the ranks of a qualified FOI Practitioner. My knowledge of FOI, DPA and EIR has increased immensely and I feel so much more confident in dealing with requests as well as running inductions. I now feel that I belong in my role."
Anabel Raszpla
Senior Information Officer
Medical Research Council


"I am extremely pleased to have achieved the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information. The four day course was extremely informative and provided me with a large amount of information on the practical application of the Act, it really helped to fill the gaps. I would highly recommend this course to those working with FOI on a day to day basis."
Daniel Howard
Access to Information Officer
Electoral Commission


"I really enjoyed FOI practitioner programme - the tutors are real experts in their field."
Michael Speight
Compliance Officer


"A very worthwhile qualification which I wholeheartedly recommend to colleagues"
Barbara Tyldesley
Data & Information Technical Specialist
The Environment Agency


“The Practitioner Certificate in FOI was an excellent opportunity to receive specialised training and gain a recognised qualification. In particular, I found the instructors to be both knowledgeable and engaging. As a regulator in an overseas territory, I was easily able to translate the learning into practice. I have and do encourage other FOI practitioners to take advantage of this training programme.”
Clara Smith
Appeals & Compliance Analyst
Information Commissioner’s Office (Grand Cayman)


"I’m delighted to have passed the exam; it was hard work preparing for an exam, having not sat one for over 10 years, but the course materials really helped structure my revision. Passing has increased my confidence in dealing with the Act which will be of benefit to myself as well as my organisation."
Heledd Thomas
Senior Corporate Governance Officer
Comisiynydd y Gymraeg


“I found this to be a comprehensive course, which was well structured to be relevant and of interest to everyone from FOI beginners to more seasoned practitioners. The course tutors were very knowledgeable and clearly very interested in their respective topic areas, and the course was similarly detailed and well-taught."
Mark Reynolds
Data Privacy Legal Counsel


"I’m thrilled to have gained this qualification. FOI can be a complicated area to understand and apply, but the tutors were excellent in bringing it to life in an interesting way."
Angela Sanderson
Corporate Advisor
Big Lottery Fund


“I’ve been managing FOI and EIR requests since 2005 and I learnt so much from this qualification programme! I enjoyed the modules, the videos were really informative and I found the way the legislation was explained was easy to understand. The test at the end of each section was really useful.”
Sue Marriott
Data Protection Officer
Basildon Council


“The Practitioner’s Certificate has equipped me with the knowledge and confidence to undertake my role. I found the courses well presented and easy to follow. The case studies are particularly useful, as they give an insight into different scenarios that one may experience. I would recommend PDP to anyone wanting to gain this qualification.”
Kim Starbuck
Information Governance Coordination
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham


"Both the thought provoking training and materials as well as passing the exam will help to ensure we provide a prompt quality service when dealing with information requests particularly as those involving planning can raise complex issues"
John Pierce
Case Officer
The Department for Communities and Local Government


"I found the training to be both informative and well-structured which helped to make a complex subject more understandable. The effectiveness of the PDP training is evidenced by my success, in what I believed to be, a challenging examination and also the fact I feel better equipped to function in my workplace."
Kevin Spedding
Data Protection Coordinator
Witherslack Group


"The course was interesting and very challenging and I must admit that I felt totally exhausted when I left the exam. The hard work and revision was all worthwhile and I now feel more confident in my role."
Teresa Evans
Information Governance Manager
Birmingham City Council


"I found this course challenging, informative and incredibly beneficial to my role. All courses were very professionally delivered and each tutor’s knowledge of the subject was excellent. It was clear all tutors were highly motivated with a willingness to share their expertise. I highly recommend this course to all FOI practitioners."
Andrea Dow
GHA Legal


“I am delighted to have achieved the Practitioner Certificate in FOI. The PDP training sessions were extremely well delivered and although challenging I found them to be an enjoyable experience. Gaining the qualification has not only given me more confidence in my role as Freedom of Information Officer but has extended my knowledge and skills in my role. I would recommend the programme to anyone working in the field of FOI ”
Christine Paciorek
Freedom of Information Officer
Durham County Council


Having attended the course and sitting the exam I have learned a wealth of information and gained knowledge, and an overall new found level of confidence, in a new subject area of which will come in very useful in the changing environment of information governance. I am thrilled to have passed the exam and gained the qualification.”
Kate Tregale
Information Governance Manager
NHS Bristol


“I’m really pleased to have passed this examination. The qualification is evidence of my professional FOI knowledge in my organisation. I would recommend this course to other individuals working in the FOI area.”
Julia Snape
Information Associate


“I am thrilled to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information. The course and exam were quite challenging but have given me much more confidence in performing my role. The accompanying materials were really helpful and are an excellent source of reference.”
Lisa Smith
Corporate Information Manager
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service


“The course was interesting and informative, and even after working in this field for some time I realised there was still much to learn. It's nice to have an actual qualification to back up the advice and guidance I give!”
Steve Wilson
Senior Policy Officer
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)


“My knowledge of access to information legislation has increased greatly since attending the Practitioners Certificate in FOI programme. All of the Tutors and PDP staff were great throughout and I’d highly recommend the course to fellow professionals working within the field.”
Garry Dando
Access to Information Officer
Marine Management Organisation


“Many thanks to the tutors and PDP staff for their support during the programme. The course was very helpful in my role and in preparation for the exam.”
Ravinder Singh
Information Manager
Technology Strategy Board


“The PDP Practitioner Certificate in FOI is a comprehensive qualification that gives FOI practitioners up-to-date knowledge and confidence in dealing with information requests.”
Judy Gough
Interim Information Access Manager
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority


“There’s a lot more to dealing with information requests than most people think! Proper training is essential, but it’s great that there is now also the opportunity to become qualified. The FOI Practitioner course and exam was very challenging, but well worth the effort and I’m very glad I did it.”
Jane Hay
Performance Officer
Purbeck District Council