This course is now sold out.


Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) are an integral part of the public sector’s commitment to transparency. However, FOI requests can often be a costly and time-consuming task to complete.

FOI exemptions allow public sector organisations to protect information, reduce the burden of responding to vexatious FOI requests and prioritise valid requests for information.

Attend our Understanding and Applying FOI Exemptions course to gain a brief and comprehensive overview of the FOI landscape; apply the commercial interest test; improve how you manage vexatious requests; establish over the cost threshold; learn how to write a refusal notice and apply the public interest test.

Unlocking the Power of Virtual

Our virtual courses have been designed with you in mind. From group exercises in breakout rooms to live chat, whiteboards and interactive polls, we use a range of tools and techniques to ensure that you can connect with your trainer; network and share best practice with your peers and leave the day with the skills you need.

Our courses provide you with an interactive and engaging learning environment that can be accessed from any location, helping you to continue to connect, learn and grow. Click here to discover more!

Please note we will use Zoom to virtually deliver this course.

trainer photo
Scott Sammons

Scott is an experienced Information Governance (IG) Practitioner having worked in IG across both the public and private sectors for 10+ years and qualified in various subjects including Data Protection and Information Management.

Scott is now independent and owns Lighthouse IG working with a range of councils, government departments, charities and businesses looking to improve how they handle and make the most of their records and data.

As a volunteer Scott has also been Chair of the Information & Records Management Society (IRMS) for the last 3 years, leading the development of standards and resources for those ...

Read more

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to apply a range of exemptions
  • Gain a brief overview of the FOI regulation
  • Improve how you manage vexatious requests
  • Learn when to establish over the cost threshold
  • Take back an FOI exemptions toolkit to use within your organisation
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


Collapse all
09:25 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:45

Brief Overview of FOI

  • Gain a brief overview of FOI regulation
  • Learn how to identify different types of FOI requests
  • Benchmark your FOI procedures against other public sector organisations
10:45 - 11:00

Morning Break

11:00 - 12:00

FOI Requests and Commercial Interests

  • Prejudice to commercial interests: learn how to apply the prejudice test
  • Trade secrets
  • Third party interests
12:00 - 13:00

Managing Vexatious Requests

  • Identify vexatious requests
  • Gain strategies and techniques on handling vexatious requests
13:00 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:00

Reflection Session

  • Trainer will review the day’s learning and the next stages of the course
  • Delegates will have time to ask questions and share views with one another
14:00 - 14:30

Establishing Over the Cost Threshold

  • Calculate when the FOI exceeds the threshold
  • Assessing staff time to manage the requests
  • The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004
14:30 - 15:15

Workshop Writing a Refusal Notice

  • Learn how to write a refusal notice
  • Identify key points to include
  • Establish what to say and how to communicate it
15:15 - 16:00

Workshop Applying FOI Exemptions: The Public Interest Test

  • Review FOI requests and take part in interactive sessions to apply the public interest test
  • Develop processes and procedures to be better apply exemptions
  • Take back an FOI exemptions toolkit to use within your organisation
16:00 - 16:15

Round Up and Key Takeaways