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Virtual Training Courses Offered by OIP Yearly Training Courses Offered by OIP and OLE | OIP Training Material
Agency Specific Training Events and Meetings | Public Training Events and Meetings| Digital Training Resources 

OIP regularly conducts training sessions throughout the year on all aspects of the FOIA and on a wide variety of FOIA related topics, including virtual training, yearly training (offered in connection with the Office of Legal Education), agency specific training, as well as public training events and meetings.  Descriptions of these sessions as well as training materials, such as slide presentations and handouts accompnaying OIP's most popular programs and specialized training sessions, are provided below.  Feel free to contact OIP if your agency is interested in specialized FOIA training. 

Virtual Training Courses Offered by OIP

Due to COVID-19 and maximum telework, OIP is pleased to offer virtual training sessions for agency FOIA professionals and individuals with FOIA responsibilities.  Virtual courses are taught in real-time by OIP instructors.  These courses have been designed as shorter, topical training sessions for personnel from all stages of the FOIA workforce, from new hires to experienced FOIA professionals or FOIA managers.  Dates for our virtual training sessions are available on OIP’s Eventbrite page.  We will continue to add additional sessions as needed.  We ask that attendees only register for one workshop at a time to give others an opportunity to attend.  

Virtual workshops are open to all agency FOIA professionals and interested personnel.  Registration is required for attendance.  Please note that these workshops are open to government personnel and contractors only.  Employees must use their government email address to register for the event through Eventbrite.  

OIP is also available to provide individualized remote training sessions to any interested agency, which can be tailored to fit training needs.

If you have any questions, please contact OIP's Training Coordinator at (202) 514-FOIA (3642).


Virtual Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act

This is a 2.5 hour class that takes attendees through the process of a FOIA request from receipt by the agency to final response to the requester.  Then there will be an overview of the FOIA's exemptions from mandatory disclosure.

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates:

  • May 11, 2021

Virtual Procedural Requirements and Fees Workshop

The procedural requirements workshop will provide an overview of the FOIA’s procedural requirements.  The virtual fees and fee waivers workshop will give an overview of the FOIA’s fee and fee waiver provisions

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates:

  • July 21, 2021

Virtual Exemption 1 and Exemptions 7 Workshop

The Exemption 1 workshop will give an overview of Executive Order 13526 and the withholding of classified national security information.  The Exemption 7 workshop will give an overview of the FOIA’s primary exemption for law enforcement records, including this exemption’s threshold requirement and substantive subparts.

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates:

  • June 10, 2021

Virtual Exemption 4 and Exemption 5 Workshop

This workshop will provide an overview of the requirements of Exemption 4 protecting trade secrets, certain commercial and financial information, and the submitter-notice process for exemption determinations.  It will also provide an overview of Exemption 5, which incorporates civil discovery privileges into the FOIA.

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates:

  • June 3, 2021

Virtual Privacy Considerations Workshop

This is a 2.5hr workshop on the FOIA's privacy exemptions and the Privacy Act.  It will include:

  • The interface between the FOIA and the Privacy Act,
  • An overview of FOIA Exemptions 6 and 7(C).

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA professional with any level of experience seeking a detailed training all FOIA privacy matters, and
  • Any other agency professionals who interact with the FOIA as part of their duties, including paralegals, records managers, and attorneys

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates:

  • May 13, 2021

Virtual Processing from Start to Finish Workshop

This is a 90 minute workshop that takes attendees through the process of a FOIA request from receipt by the agency to final response to the requester.

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates:

  • May 18, 2021

Virtual Continuing FOIA Education

This is a 2hr course that discusses current topics in FOIA administration, including: 

  • An update of current legal and policy developments impacting FOIA administration, and
  • An overview of recent FOIA court decisions. 

This course is intended for: 

  • FOIA professionals who have already received FOIA training and who are looking for a refresher on current topics.

Upcoming FY 2021 Dates: 

  • July 15, 2021

Yearly Training Courses Offered by OIP and OLE

Training is open to federal government employees only and registration is required.  To register for any of the training seminars listed below, please visit OIP's Eventbrite page to select the course and date you would like to attend.  Please register for all training sessions using your government email address.  Please note that registration for each course opens no earlier than three months in advance.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite.  OIP will email materials shortly before the course date.       

Additionally, please contact OIP's Training Coordinator if you require any special accommodations such as a sign language interpreter.  In order to arrange for such accommodations, we ask that you provide this notice at least five (5) business days in advance of the training. 

All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are held in Washington, DC at a DOJ facility.  Once the capacity for each session has been reached, a waiting list will be started and you will be notified when attempting to register.  If space becomes available, you will be sent an email from Eventbrite providing you a short period of time to confirm your spot in the class.  If you are placed on the waitlist, please note that space may not become available until a day or so leading up to the program; OIP’s Training Staff will advise you of any change in your registration status as soon as possible.

 All full-day or multi-day courses generally begin at 9:00 am and end by 4:30 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact OIP's Training Coordinator at (202) 514-FOIA (3642).


Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act 

This full-day program provides attendees with a basic overview of the FOIA as well as a hands-on workshop focused on the procedural requirements involved in processing a FOIA request from start to finish, including:

  • An overview of the FOIA’s procedural requirements,
  • an overview of FOIA exemptions,
  • basic principles for processing FOIA requests from start to finish, 
  • communicating with requesters,
  • searching for and reviewing documents, and
  • preparing final determinations and responses.

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA Professionals with less than 1 year of experience,
  • FOIA professionals responsible for processing requests, and
  • agency personnel who work with FOIA only occasionally or need a general familiarity with the FOIA in order to recognize and handle FOIA-related issues.

The Freedom of Information Act for Attorneys and Access Professionals

This two-day program provides multiple lectures and workshops for a comprehensive overview of the FOIA, including:

  • An overview of the FOIA’s procedural requirements and exemptions,
  • workshops on individual FOIA Exemptions,
  • basic principles for processing FOIA requests from start to finish,
  • the FOIA’s proactive disclosure requirements, and
  • the interface between the FOIA and the Privacy Act.

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA professionals with any level of experience seeking a detailed training all major aspects of FOIA administration, and
  • any other agency professionals who interact with the FOIA as a part of their duties, including paralegals, records managers, and attorneys.

FOIA Litigation Seminar

This full-day program provides lectures and instruction on considerations that arise in the course of FOIA litigation, including:

  • Guidance on successful litigation strategy,
  • advanced litigation considerations, and
  • details on the preparation of Vaughn Indices and declarations.

 This course is intended for:

  • Attorneys who handle FOIA litigation, and
  • FOIA professionals who handle FOIA requests in litigation and/or work on FOIA litigation matters.

OIP Training Material

The materials below are provided to assist agencies participating in OIP's FOIA training courses.  OIP will update the materials as needed to incorporate changes in FOIA law and policy.  Please contact OIP's Training Coordinator at (202)-514-FOIA (3642) with questions or feedback. 

Agency Specific Training Events and Meetings

Beyond the range of FOIA trainings widely available to all agency FOIA employees, many agencies find it valuable to hold specialized FOIA training sessions on an individual agency basis.  Such training sessions typically focus on the types of records that are maintained by the agency, the FOIA issues that most commonly surround them, as well as agency-specific internal administrative practices.  Individualized agency training sessions provide useful interchange among the various FOIA-related components of an agency, especially where an agency gathers both its headquarters and field office FOIA personnel together for an agency-wide training session.  If you have any questions, please contact OIP's Training Coordinator at (202) 514-FOIA (3642).

Public Training Events and Meetings

OIP holds various types of events and meetings to bring together agency personnel and the requester community.  These events help facilitate dialogue between agency FOIA professionals and FOIA requesters in order to make the administration of the FOIA work better for all parties involved.  Whenever OIP decides to hold a public training event or meeting, there will be an announcement in FOIA Post with details on the type of event and its location.

Digital FOIA Training Resources

OIP has developed a suite of FOIA resources designed to train all levels of the federal workforce to understand their FOIA responsibilities.  These resources were developed as part of our commitments in the U.S. Second Open Government National Action Plan, as well as the Department’s Open Government Plan 3.0Please note that subsequent to the development of these resources the FOIA was amended by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.  Agencies should use these resources in conjunction with OIP’s Summary of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 and the implementing guidance issued on OIP’s guidance page.

Memorandum from Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery to Agency General Counsels and Chief FOIA Officers of Executive Departments and Agencies Regarding Freedom of Information Act Training

OIP's collection of training tools are designed to help ensure that these important resources are available for all federal employees -- from the senior executive, to agency program personnel, to the FOIA professionals responsible for processing records for disclosure.  These resources are listed below alongside links and instructions for how to access them: 

  • FOIA Infographic - A one page handout covering FOIA basics for all employees new to the federal workforce. 
  • Senior Executive Briefing - A short video from the Director of OIP for agency senior executives, providing a general overview of the FOIA and emphasizing the importance of their support to their agency's FOIA program.  This video is available on both the Justice Department website (available to view and download) and on the Justice Department's YouTube channel.
  • FOIA e-Learning Modules - Two modules designed for use in agency e-Learning systems.  The first module is an in-depth course specifically designed for FOIA professionals, addressing all of the major procedural and substantive requirements of the law.  The second is a brief module designed for all federal employees that provides a primer on the FOIA and highlights ways in which they can assist their agency in the administration of the law.

To obtain the two FOIA e-Learning modules on CD for direct upload into your agency’s Learning Management System (SCORM 1.2 LMS ready), please contact OIP's Training Coordinator at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov. Once you are sent the CD, please provide it to your agency’s e-Learning staff as the courses will have to be uploaded into the Learning Management System before they can be taken by agency staff.

If your agency has access to an FTP server that can be used electronically to send you these modules, please contact Andy Anderson at aca.anderson@usdoj.gov.

Updated April 14, 2021

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