New FOI Intermediate Certificate

Act Now Training is delighted to launch the FOI Intermediate Certificate . This new course empowers delegates to further enhance their skills as FOI practitioners, by building upon the foundations established by the FOI Practitioner Certificate, delving deep into the intricacies of FOI and gaining the confidence to navigate its complexities effectively.


Over the past three years, Act Now Training has worked diligently alongside industry experts and education professionals to develop a comprehensive skills and competency framework for FOI Officers. The Intermediate Certificate emerged from the need to further develop FOI Officers who have already completed our FOI Practitioner Certificate and wish to enhance their expertise. The course emphasises skills as well as knowledge, covering challenging topics to provide a deeper understanding of the FOI fundamentals.

Course Content

The Intermediate Certificate strengthens the foundations established by the FOI Practitioner Certificate. Topics include interpreting information requests, navigating data repositories for relevant information, handling vexatious requests and applying the exemptions. Time will also be spent discussing the historical development and transformative impact of FOI on transparency, accountability and citizen empowerment. International comparisons with the FOI Act will broaden delegates’ perspectives, while critically evaluating its impact and effectiveness will assist them to appreciate the importance of transparency and accountability. By the end of the course, delegates will gain skills in, amongst other things, effectively interpreting information requests, assessing their scope, retrieving relevant information, overcoming challenges in organisational compliance, applying exemptions and crafting clear Refusal Notices.


The course is structured over three days, one day per fortnight, and can be undertaken online or in the classroom. Each day includes engaging discussions, exercises and case studies. Upon completion, delegates must submit a practical assessment within 30 days. Personal tutor support is provided, throughout the course, alongside access to a comprehensive online resource lab to maximise success.

Our Commitment

Act Now Training is committed to promoting the recognition of Information Governance as a profession. We believe that anyone in the profession can gain a solid foundation in interpreting and applying the law as part of their skillset. We are committed to not only teaching with a non complex jargon free philosophy, but also ensuring our delegates are supported in building these skills for themselves and their organisations.

Our involvement with NADPO and the IRMS over the past two decades demonstrates our dedication to nurturing new entrants into the IG profession through quality training. Our partnership with Damar, on the DP and IG Apprenticeship, has led to the recruitment of over 100 apprentices and laid the foundations for prosperous IG careers.  Course Director, Ibrahim Hasan, commented:  

“After carefully considering feedback from our delegates and consulting with FOI experts, we are thrilled to introduce the FOI Intermediate Certificate. This newly designed course offers an excellent opportunity for individuals with a strong foundation and practical experience in FOI to further elevate their expertise and refine their skills.”

Special Discount

The first course starts in November and is currently eligible for a special introductory discount. In addition, if you have completed our FOI Practitioner Certificate in the last 24 months, we are offering a further £150 discount off the Introductory price. Limited places are available, book now so book now to avoid disappointment.  

Act Now Launches New Intermediate Certificate in GDPR Practice 

Act Now Training is pleased to announce the launch of the Intermediate Certificate in GDPR Practice.  

For the past three years, we have been working on a skills and competency framework for DPOs. Alongside industry experts and education professionals, we have undertaken a thorough analysis of all the core skills and competencies required for the DPO role and how they map against our wider GDPR course curriculum. The latter has been designed to allow delegates to easily map their personal learning journey and ensure they have the requisite level of knowledge and skill for their role. 

Through this work, we have identified a need to further develop DPOs who have undertaken our GDPR Practitioner Certificate but who now wish to hone their DPO skills. Hence the emphasis in the intermediate certificate is on skills, as well as advanced knowledge, with delegates covering more challenging topics to gain a deeper awareness of the fundamental data protection principles.  

This new course is part of our ongoing commitment to encouraging the development of Information Governance as a recognised profession. Through our involvement in NADPO and the IRMS over the past 20 years, Act Now has been actively encouraging new entrants to the IG profession and providing quality training to assist in their learning and development. When the DP and IG Apprenticeship was launched last year, we became one of the first training companies to partner up with a leading apprenticeship provider to deliver specialist IG training and materials to apprentices.
These have led to our partner, Damar, recruiting over 100 apprentices and helping them lay the foundations for a successful career in IG. 

Ibrahim Hasan, Course Director, said: 

“Having listened to the demand from our delegates and taken soundings from IG experts, we are excited to launch the Intermediate Certificate in GDPR Practice. This new course is a great option for those with an established knowledge base and experience in data protection who wish to level up their knowledge and sharpen their skills. It is also an ideal stepping stone for those contemplating our Advanced Certificate in GDPR Practice.” 


This new course will challenge delegates, who have completed our GDPR Practitioner Certificate, by looking at previously covered subjects in more depth and complexity. These include getting to grips with Principle 1 and interpreting lawfulness, fairness and transparency in the light of ICO and EU enforcement action. We also work through more complex subject access requests applying exemptions and considering the practical aspects.  

The course also covers new and topical data protection subjects such as the processing of  children’s data, use of AI and consideration of data ethics.
We also take time to compare data protection laws around the world and consider the changes to the UK data protection regime proposed by the recently announced revised Data Protection and Digital Information Bill


This course is set over three days (one day per week) and can be attended online or in the classroom. Each day is designed to develop delegates’ ability to understand and apply the UK DP law in a practical context using case studies and exercises. On completion of the course, delegates are required to complete a practical assessment within 30 days. 

Our teaching style is based on practical and engaging workshops covering theory alongside hands-on application. Delegates will have personal tutor support throughout the course and access to a comprehensive online resource lab ensuring they have the best opportunity for success. 

Who will this course benefit? 

This course is ideal for those who have completed our GDPR Practitioner Certificate who wish to sharpen their skills and knowledge before undertaking the Advanced Certificate in GDPR Practice. 

The first course is scheduled for April. We have a special introductory price for a limited period. If you would like a chat with Ibrahim to discuss your suitability for the course, please get in touch.  

First Online FOI Practitioner Certificate Fully Booked! New Dates Added


Act Now is pleased to announce that the recently launched online FOI Practitioner Certificate course is fully booked. Delegates from a wide rage of organisations, including the NHS and local government, have booked on the first course which starts in August.

The course has been designed to mirror our classroom based course that was running successfully throughout the country before the Coronavirus lockdown.
Delegates will benefit from the same fantastic features in a live online learning environment.

Susan Wolf, who has designed this new course says:

“This is a very exciting opportunity. Despite the current difficult times and uncertainties, this online course gives FOI practitioners access to high quality training, that is cost effective and safe.”

The next course starts on 11th September 2020. Please book early to avoid disappointment. We can also deliver this course on an in-house basis customised to the needs of your staff. Please get in touch for a quote.

Act Now Launches Online FOI Practitioner Certificate


Act Now is pleased to announce the launch of its new online FOI Practitioner Certificate.

This new course has been designed to mirror our classroom based course that was running successfully throughout the country before the Coronavirus lockdown.
Delegates will benefit from the same fantastic features in a live online learning environment.

Class sizes are 50% smaller to ensure that delegates receives all the attention and support they need to get the best out of the course. They will also have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, test their skills and engage with FOI practitioners from the comfort of their home office.

The four days of training are split up into three online sessions per day. Using our online training platform, delegates will be able to see and hear the course tutors as well as the slides, exercises and case studies. We have also built in 1 to 1 tutor time at the end of each day to provide individual support.

A very comprehensive set of materials, including all legislation, will be posted to delegates in advance of the online sessions. In addition they will have access to our online Resource Lab, which now includes updated videos on key aspects of the syllabus.

This new course builds upon our wealth of experience of designing and delivering online training as well as the delegate feedback from our online GDPR Practitioner Certificate.

Susan Wolf, who has designed this new course says:

“This is a very exciting opportunity. Despite the current difficult times and uncertainties, this online course gives FOI practitioners access to high quality training, that is cost effective and safe.”

The first course starts on 20th August with a special introductory price of  £1,995  plus VAT. Places are filling up so book early to avoid disappointment. We can also deliver this course on an in-house basis customised to the needs of your staff. Please get in touch for a quote.


The @BCS FOI Certificate Gives You Wings!

Are you a Freedom of Information (FOI) practitioner wanting to give your career a boost? Or perhaps you are new to FOI wanting to quickly get up to speed with FOI law and practice?

_DSC6317 (1)The British Computer Society’s (BCS) Certificate in Freedom of Information (formerly ISEB) is now firmly established as one of the premier qualifications in FOI. Backed by the BCS, it is internationally recognised and increasingly mentioned as a desirable qualification in FOI Officer job vacancies. Sometimes it is even stated as a requirement.

Act Now has been running the BCS FOI course for many years. I am the main FOI trainer although, the increasing popularity of our course means that, Tim Turner and Paul Gibbons also deliver this course from time to time.

Our course is aimed at anyone working in the FOI area, such as information managers, FOI practitioners, information governance officers, data protection officers, press officers and lawyers advising on information law issues. No prior knowledge is assumed although it always helps to have some experience of dealing with FOI requests. Our course runs over several weeks (one day per week) rather than being crammed into a few days. This allows delegates to get to know each other and benefit from their respective experience and knowledge. Often friendships are forged which continue to be of mutual assistance well after the course has ended.

Online Resource Lab

What makes the Act Now BCS FOI course unique is that we have a full online Resource Lab, which compliments the face-to-face teaching and course materials. Delegates can watch over 5 hours of videos on various aspects of the syllabus. Most videos are linked to an online quiz allowing delegates to test their knowledge at the end. There are also many standalone quizzes as well as links to ICO guides and other useful reference documents in the Resource Lab. This means that candidates have a full resource library which they can access at anytime to back up what they learnt on the course or to catch up if they fell asleep in the afternoon after a good lunch! Our courses are at five star (city centre) hotels so the latter is always a possibility.

The Exam!

The course is assessed through a three hour scenario based, closed book written exam which consists of:

– Part A: 10 multiple choice questions (1 mark each)
– Part B: 8 compulsory short narrative questions (5 marks each)
– Part C: 6 questions – a compulsory case study (20 marks each) plus two other essay questions (15 marks each)

The pass mark is 50% (50/100) and the distinction mark is 80% (80/100).

Passing the exam is as much about exam technique as it about knowing the law and how to apply it. Our course (and homework) contains lots of scenario-based exercises which are designed to teach delegates how to answer the key points of a question within the time available in the exam. Each exercise/homework is further discussed in a group setting before a suggested answer is agreed upon.

We also hold a live online revision session, which allows delegates to ask the trainer to go over key areas of the syllabus and/or more sample questions. There is also a test at the end.

How To Pass

Don’t be too worried about the exam. You will be taught by a very experienced trainer who himself has passed the exam with a distinction. But in the end your success will depend on the hard work you are willing to put in. Timely attendance is essential as well as the doing the homework and taking an active part in discussions. We also find that candidates who pass the mock exam pass the real thing. Therefore revision for the mock is essential. Those who learn key facts as they go along rather than cram at the end inevitably tend to do well. (Read our other top tips here.)

A successful FOI candidate and a successful DP candidate have also shared their views on how to get the best out of the course on our blog.

90% Pass Rate

2014 is on course to be our most successful year delivering the BCS FOI course. So far 52 of our delegates have sat the exam. Out of these 47 passed (of which one achieved a distinction). This gives us a pass rate thus far of just over 90%!

Now is the time to think about doing a BCS FOI course. Not only will it give you an in depth knowledge of FOI law and practice, it will allow you to prove your expertise to your colleagues through gaining an internationally recognised qualification. At Act Now we are dedicated to ensuring you get the best training and resources to help you achieve your potential. Don’t just take our word for it though. Read what our: previous delegates have said. If you are feeling brave, have a go at our online BCS FOI test.

Ibrahim Hasan is a solicitor and director of Act Now Training. For Scottish colleagues we run the Act Now FOISA Practitioner Certificate which is endorsed by the Centre for Information Rights based at the University of Dundee.

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