The Centre for Investigative Journalism
The Centre for Investigative Journalism

Using Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

This two-part practical online course will guide you through the basics of the freedom of information legislation and equip you with the skills necessary to make successful information requests and appeals.

10-11 July. 10:00 – 11:20 BST (UTC +1h)
Group size:
max 15 people.
Class duration: 1h 20min.
Level of participation: very high. Regular Q&As and a clinic.
Price: £35 for the entire course.

All attendees will have a chance to submit their specific FOIA questions/challenges you may have, which will be discussed at the clinic on day two

Please note, this course has a specific focus on UK FOI law and is unable to address the legislation in other national contexts in any great detail..

“Illuminating, articulately presented”

“Jenna is a great trainer because she can talk from her own very real experience”

“Very informative. The practical part at the end was very beneficial. I feel confident that I will be able to utilise what I was taught.”

Each session will last for 1h 20min. No prior knowledge required.

There will be class interaction and lots of opportunities to ask questions.
On day two, if there is a particular FOIA obstacle that you’ve encountered – and would like Jenna to talk through this challenge during the session – please send your question/problem to Jenna before this session. You will receive all the details, once you book for the course.

Technical Requirements

This course will be hosted on Zoom.

Our Zoom account’s default settings have been modified to maximise information security and ensure all training participants’ data protection and privacy. See details of our Zoom infosec settings HERE

9 July 2020 – Using FOIA. Information Requests.

This session will outline the basics of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and how you can apply it to your research, campaigns and investigations. You will learn how to draft effective requests, and Jenna will share her tips and tricks when sending FOI requests, especially when sending ‘batch’ requests. Towards the end of the session, you will be introduced to the Environmental Information Regulations, and she will also teach you how you can request your personal data held by public authorities and private companies using the Data Protection Act.

10 July 2020 – Using FOIA. Appeals and a FOIA clinic.

This session will go through the FOIA appeals process, and teach you how to argue your case effectively when government bodies are doing whatever they can to prevent a disclosure. Jenna will share her strategies when raising FOI complaints, and she will also share how to write appeals with you. To finish, she will discuss and work through some of the FOIA challenges that you have encountered.

Jenna Corderoy

Jenna Corderoy is a reporter for openDemocracy’s investigations team. She specialises in obtaining documents under the Freedom of Information Act, and has brought several successful FOIA challenges at tribunal.
  • 9 July 2020 10.00–11.20
  • 10 July 2020 10.00–11.20
Location: Zoom Meeting
Freedom of Information