Understanding the Environmental Information Regulations

This Course is available in the Classroom or via eLearning


Throughout the year, this course runs in-person at dedicated training venues throughout the UK (list of upcoming cities outlined in yellow box below). There are ample opportunities to network with other delegates during coffee breaks and at the sit-down lunch. To place a booking, select your chosen course date using the 'Book Now' Button


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 using the 'Book Now' Button


Course Overview

Training course carries 5 hours CPD pointsThe Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (‘EIR’) cover a very wide range of information requests, many of which are wrongly assumed to fall under the Freedom of Information Act.

While the scope of the EIR includes information about the most directly “green” environmental functions of the public sector, it is not restricted to them, and embraces information about a much wider range of their activities. The EIR cover land use planning, transport, waste, energy, and agriculture; but they also extend (for example) to information about housing development, nuisance, buildings maintenance, the care of cultural sites, and aspects of public health and food safety.

This course explains the meaning and scope of the EIR. It examines in detail the boundary with FOI, based on guidance and decisions, including the leading case of Henney in the Court of Appeal.

The course looks at the main differences between the EIR and the FOI Act, and why this matters. It explains which organisations are subject to the EIR, the handling of EIR requests (including mixed FOI/EIR requests), and specific issues such as the:

  • express presumption in favour of disclosure
  • extent to which the EIR override other legislation
  • ‘aggregation’ of public interests factors in favour of non-disclosure
  • duty to disseminate environmental information; and
  • power to charge.

The course looks in detail at the exemptions (“exceptions”) from the EIR, many of which differ markedly from those under the FOIA. Particular issues include:

  • how likely harm needs to be before certain exceptions apply; and
  • the meaning of ‘emissions’, where some EIR exceptions do not apply

At the same time, the course questions the frequent assumption that requests under the EIR will necessarily lead to greater levels of disclosure than under the FOI Act.

EIR requests involving personal data are handled briefly on this course, since the topic is covered in detail in the course on FOI and Data Protection - How They Work Together.

Public authorities and their advisors, and those in the private sector to whom the EIR apply, need to understand the Regulations in order to handle information requests correctly. The course equips practitioners to recognise and handle practical issues arising under the EIR with confidence.
Understanding the EIR is also an important aspect of understanding the scope of the FOI Act.

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

Course Trainer

Damien Welfare

Damien Welfare
Cornerstone Barristers

Trainer's biography
and other courses
by this Trainer

Course Information
LondonThursday, 18 November 2021
BelfastThursday, 02 December 2021
LondonFriday, 28 January 2022
ManchesterFriday, 25 February 2022
BristolFriday, 18 March 2022
BelfastFriday, 01 April 2022
LondonFriday, 20 May 2022
LondonFriday, 16 September 2022
ManchesterFriday, 30 September 2022
BelfastFriday, 04 November 2022
LondonFriday, 02 December 2022

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:
Information Officers, Environmental Information Officers, Information Managers, Freedom of Information Officers, Data Protection Officers, Information Lawyers, Environmental Lawyers, Legal Advisors, Consultants and Legal advisors to private sector companies providing public services or exercising public functions, and others.


Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection




View training courses by:

Free Sample Article

Course Testimonials

“I found the eLearning course useful and learnt about some recent EIR case law which I know I will be able to use.”
Jane Ivey
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

“Very well run course, very informative.”
Alan Haycock
Solihull Care Trust

“Very useful!”
Jenny Brook Smith
South Bucks District Council

“As an FOI practitioner this course was very enlightening and increased my knowledge of EIR. I would recommend this course to colleagues.”
Julia Okpa
Department for Transport

Frances Pond
UCE Birmingham


“Excellent, very helpful. Thanks once again PDP for an excellent course.”
Grace McCalla

“Very good explanation.”
Olu Adedeji

“A very informative course.”
Bournemouth Water

Richard Barton

“The tutor’s knowledge was excellent and insightful.”
Louise Smith
Financial Ombudsman Service

“Trainer was very good and knowledgeable.”
Jane Ivey
HS2 Ltd