Mick Batskos - Executive Director
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Training

FOI Solutions offers training in government (administrative) law areas including freedom of information and privacy.  FOI Solutions is a specialist firm in the area of administrative law.  Our firm has 2 of the 20 accredited specialist solicitors in Victoria.

We are pre-eminent trainers with extensive knowledge and experience, and a reputation for being able to convey difficult and complex legal concepts in a practical and understandable manner.

All training sessions about Victorian legislation are conducted by Victorian lawyers from FOI Solutions. You will have the added benefit of a presenter with legal and practical experience in the Victorian jurisdiction.  Beware of unqualified training being offered by entities or individuals with experience in different (non-Victorian) jurisdictions who lack local legal and practical expertise - we provide the best legal and practical training for the Victorian jurisdiction drawing on the outcomes of decision making we see involving Information Commissioners (or equivalent) and various Tribunals and Courts, as well as our extensive practical Victorian experience. See below for just some of the feedback we have received about recent training sessions

If you miss out on a particular session due to the tyranny of distance or diary clashes, some of the papers and associated materials may be available for purchase. Click here for more information about which papers are available.

From time to time we have intensive sessions combining a number of our other sessions into a half day or full day program, so keep a look out for them as well.

We often add to our program so come back regularly to see what is available as new and different sessions will be added.

January 2018 - June 2018 (interim)

Practice Area
Description
Dates
Privacy

Mandatory Data Breach Notification: What should you do when a data breach occurs?

This is a new and exciting session which deals with the uncertainty of the impact on Victorian Government agencies and councils of the Commonwealth Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 and what Victorian agencies should do as best practice.

 

15 March 2018 (past)

If you missed out and wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email Roisin in our office. 

Freedom of Information

(Victoria)

Copyright and FOI: how does copyright affect access to documents under FOI?

This training, offered for the first time, will be conducted by:

  • Dr Warwick Rothnie, Barrister, contributing author to Lahore, Lindgren and Rothnie, Copyright and Designs
  • Mick Batskos, Executive Director of FOI Solutions

This session will explore the interaction between copyright law and FOI including how it impacts on the form of access which might be given to documents under the FOI Act.

Coming soon in 2018

If youwish to express interest in attending this session, please email Roisin in our office. 

 

FOI Basic and Intermediate Training

Whole day

Our most popular training session for all FOI decision-makers and managers from absolute beginners to experts. 

Learn all the practical knowledge you need about processing FOI requests from receiving requests, assessing validity, refusing without processing, deposits and access charges, managing workflows, exemptions, when partial access is required, and statements of reasons, complemented by extensive workshops to consolidate knowledge.  Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this all day training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria over many years and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act.  Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

6 June 2018 (1 place left)

If youwish to express interest in attending a future session, please email Roisin in our office. 

 

Basic FOI Training

Half day

A great start or refresher for handling FOI requests covering all you need to know to begin processing including:

  • Why we have an FOI Act
  • Scope of right of access
  • What to do when a request is received
  • When can you refuse to process a request
  • Fees and charges
  • Time limits, decisions, Information Commissioner & VCAT review
  • Workshop problems

Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria over many years and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act. Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

6 June 2018 (4 places left)

If youwish to express interest in attending a future session, please email Roisin in our office. 

 

Intermediate FOI Training

Half day

Builds on the preliminaries of the Basic session with a focus on when exemptions apply, partial access, reasons for decision and consideration of how FOI interacts with other statutory access regimes and legal processes for gaining access to documents.  This session includes consolidating workshop problems.  Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act. Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

6 June 2018 (1 place left)

If youwish to express interest in attending a future session, please email Roisin in our office. 

Complaint Handling

Complaint handling for government agencies

Half day session

Outline of best practice features of a poper and efficient complaint handling system applicable to all types of complaints. These sessions regularly sell out.  Don't miss out as numbers will be limited..

 

Next one in early 2018

If you missed out and wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email Roisin in our office. 

 

Be sure to book in early to avoid disappointment. For more information on any of the training sessions or to register your interest for future training sessions (particularly if you missed out on one that has passed) please contact Roisin at marketing@foisolutions.com.au Also contact Roisin if you have any particular topics which you would like included in future training and update sessions.

Note: Sessions are organised by Batskos Holdings Pty Ltd and presented by FOI Solutions.

Training sessions are subject to terms and conditions which will appear on the back of your tax invoice.

 

Customised Training

FOI Solutions is also available to present customised training sessions for agencies on freedom of information, privacy, protected disclosures and other areas relevant to them.  That training can be presented in agency offices or their chosen venue at a date and at time suitable for the agency. 

There is a large variety of sessions available and we can customise training to suit individual agency needs. To illustrate the types of training that can be conducted from which sessions can be selected and adapted, we have prepared a Custom Training Sessions Catalogue.  You might even use the Training Catalogue to pick and choose a selection of sessions to develop your own internal training package.

If you would like a copy of the Training Catalogue to be emailed to you, please email us at marketing@foisolutions.com.au

 

Feedback & Testimonials

2018

  • "Covered everything needed while allowing for lots of questions and individual agency context - extremely helpful";  "So helpful- thank you!!";  "A lot for a day but I feel confident now on why the legislation exists, the process we need to follow to approach this and where to go to get help and understand what we need to do";  "Such a bland topci made very interesting, greatly appreciated.  Presenter had fantastic knowledge." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 19 April 2018)
  • Katy was a "very knowledgeable speaker with useful slides";  "High level, informative"; "Very thorough, good examples";  Katy was an "engaging speaker, good overview";  "Relevant information for agencies"  (Mandatory Data Breach Notification - 15 March 2018)
  • "Practical and accessible for non-legal participants";  "Excellent presentation of the material to those that are not from a legal background/ or no FOI knowledge";  "Excellent explanation and overview of FOI Act";  "Ability to aske in depth questions and receive practical answers";  "Incredibly informative";  "The examples support the information.  Mick's advanced and extensive knowledge and humour" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 8 March 2018).
  • "Well presented by Mick Batskos - Informative.  Excellent class training";  "Examples and discussion was very thought provoking";  "Assumed no knowledge of FOI.  Used useful and relevant examples";  "Broad range of topics; very informative" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 25 January 2018).

2017

  • "I got a very good understanding of FOI which would have taken me forever through my day to day role";  "I liked the anecdotes and real life stories/examples";  "It was split up well with the basic session being a feneral introduction and the second session dealing with exemptions";  "Thank you - great, very friendly without being overwhelming" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 13 December 2017)
  • "Very weill presented (again)"; "Instructor was great"; "Great engagement with audience by presenter"; "Very informative"; "Very comprehensive.  Vast knowledge of presenter" (FOI Intermediate Training - Statutory regulator client, 27 November 2017)
  • "Extremely well targetted.  Very useful and appropriate exemples";  "I liked the informal sit down rather than lecture, speaker was approachable";  "Mick you are obviously very experienced in this area and I enjoyed your presentation" (FOI Basic Training - Statutory regulator client, 23 November 2017)
  • "Maintained the interest of the attendees; very good presentation"; "It covered a lot of information in a short period of time; very informative";  I liked the "ability to ask questions to clarify my understanding"; "Depth of knowledge of presenter.  Presenter's patience in answering questions with clarity and authority" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 27 October 2017)
  • "I liked the practical application and workshops";  "Good overview.  Activities to apply the concepts were very good.";  "Very informative; enjoyed the workshop activities adn discussions that followed.  Found this very interesting, how everyone interprets different ideas";  "Mick's detailed knowledge and experience." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 22 September 2017)
  • "Good explanation and examples thoroughout the session";  "Use of case law as examples for how to apply sections of the Act";  "Thorough analysis, thoughtful responses";  "Very easy to understand, short and succinct";  "Detailed explanations and great content" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, 19 September 2017)
  • "Mick is a great presenter.  All very professional"; "Really detailed papers with supporting case law, really useful reference material"; "Friendly and approachable presenter.  Very knowledgeable on the subject matter and cases"; "Mick is a very knowledgeable presenter with a wealth of knowledge on FOI.  Loved the 'tips' and consolidation." (FOI Intensive 2017 - Whittlesea 7 and 8 September 2017)
  • "Informative and relevant"; "Exhaustive"; "Very clear and articulate" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, Departmental client session, 23 August 2017)
  • "Very informative, succinct and to the point"; "Practical focus on impact of amendments on processing of requests"; "entire session was useful"; I liked "small numbers; easy to ask questions"; "Detailed guidance and advice on the amendments"; "Very practical thank you! Very well presented" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, 17 August 2017)
  • "Interactive, enjoyable";  "Pace and flow of material presented"; "Very in depth, covering a broad range of FOI topics.  Highly interesting"; "Factual not too long workshops"; I liked "the workshops - it was good to have examples"; "I liked the breadth of information and clarity on aspects of FOI I was not sure about" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 15 August 2017)
  • I liked "the amount of material provided, the depth of the topic, Mick's delivery style"; "Great information in beginning to handle the changes under the FOI Act.  This session is a good 'heads up' for 1 September"; "Excellent materials and content"; "I liked the comprehensive paper to take and way and refer to in the future" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, 10 August 2017)
  • "Knowledgeable speakers, excellent writtwen material supplied";   "Excellent resources and thorough";  "The depth of information to support out continued improvement in this area of our business";  "Presenters very knowlegeable.  Thank you Mick and Elisa";  "Thanks! Very informative - looking forward to thoroughly reading the notes and following up";  "Very enjoyable for a dry subject";  "the presenters did a good job on this subject and are clear subject experts" (Complaint Handling for Government Agencies - 20 April 2017)
  • " Small group; excellent technology and slides; professional, knowledgeable, enjoyable presenter";  "Nice pace of introduction to the topic and then expanding to more in depth knowledge of the process";  "Mick explains the concepts and issues around the process well, and in depth where needed.  The ability to ask questions as you go is great.  Great course notes :)";  "Definitely learned a lot - liked the informatl training approach, I think it promoted good discussion amongst the group";  "As always, Mick has beena  wealth of information!  The ability to relate real-world examples help us all understand the practical aspects of FOI, even though they might still be scary!" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Wodonga 6 and 7 April 2017)
  • "Very informative, learnt a lot";  "Mick is obviously very passionate about FOI, you could nearly say his passion is infectious! A great resources is provided"; I liked the "discussion in the workshops" and "workshop questions"; "Appreciate that FOI Solutions comes to regional areas, nice not to have to go to Melbourne" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Hamilton 30 and 31 March 2017)
  • "Mick is a great presenter, very approachable between sessions and provides clear, easy to understand and digestible examples of FOI law in practice";  "FOI Intensive structure is great";  "I liked the comprehensive notes, plain language and timeframe";  "Informative, relevant, lots of tips; flowed well and kept all interested";  "Clarity of information combined with tips how to apply in a practical setting";  "Extremely informative; Mick is a great presenter;  Clear, precise and knowledgeable";  "Very entertaining coverage of FOI";  "Great to have it closer to home instead of going to Melbourne" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Bendigo 23 and 24 March 2017)
  • "This session was great.  As I am someone without prior knowledge, it was really good to be a part of"; "Great presenter and no need to travel"; "Day 2 provided a good update on a broad series of topics";  "I liked the presenter, Mick; very knowledgeable on topics, great examples to explain sections of the Act; the workshop notes were very thorough - great reference material"  "I liked Mick's knowledge and his sharing of knowledge - Thanks heaps!" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Sale - 16 and 17 March 2017)
  • "It was great that we had the opportunity to have the short sessions usually held in Melbourne into one big session in our region."  "Practical tips and examples of each seciton, knowledge of legislation by facilittor";   "Enjoyed the strucutre, lots of group conversation";   "Great information and background" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Robinvale - 10 March 2017)
  • "Good refresher, well paced and easy to follow";  "I liked the practical examples";  "Succinct";   I liked "the workshop scenarios"; "Good range of examples, nice pace, folder is a fantastic resource";  "I liked the broad range of infrmation" and "structure/flow" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Narre Warren - 2 and 3 March 2017)
  • "Small group size enabled questions to be asked and answered in the detail required";  I liked "the opportunity to learn from a very experienced subject matter expert in a small group setting - great opportunity";   "It covered questions that I had regarding FOI";  "Small group means better discussion and learning outcomes";  "Accessibility of information, the expertise, learning new information for 'my toolkit'" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Geelong - 23 and 24 February 2017)
  • "The session was extremely informative and thorough on processes";  "Presenters explained concepts in clear and methodical manner";   "Relevant, well structured and delivered by knowledgeable presenters - thank you";  Informative, good tips regarding complaint handling; helpful discussion eg complainant conduct";  "I liked that the full session is in a manual so I don't just have to rely on my scribble and memory" (Complaint Handling for Government Agencies - 17 February 2017)
  • "Mick was great, very easy to talk to and I was comfortable asking questions"; "Detailed the FOI process from receiving an FOI request to possible legal outcomes. It was a great opportunity to ask questions as we worked through the session, and we were able to link content of the session to current FOI requests."; "Very informative and the limited numbers allowed for more personalised and more frequent questioning"; "I thought that Mick explained the process very thoroughly.  The workshops worked well." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - Customised for Rural Council - 15 February 2017)

2016

  • "Really helpful training session I would recommend to others.  I understand FOI much better now and feel more confident working in that space."; "Thank you for answering all of my questions patiently and thoroughly"; Very informative with frank advice on how to consider and appy the Act"; "The examples were relevant and helped understanding of the topics presented.  Mick was a really engaging presenter who managed to make what could be very dry interesting"; "Although a lot of information was covered it was presented in an easy to understand and engaging manner.  The ability to ask quesions throughout was appreciated"; "A lot of practical and useful information.  All the take home materials very useful.  Very engaging and open." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 9 December 2016)
  • "Great session, lots of information and great discussion points.  Will be recommending this course to others."; "Enough detail without getting bogged down in it"; "Very informative and engaging"; "Presenter's friendly demeanour and ability to relate the FOI info to real life scenarious"; "I liked the open discussion, comfortable to ask questions"; "I liked interaction of group with facilitator" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 2 December 2016)
  • "Clear inforrmation during presentation and good knowledge"; "Very engaging speaker with lots of background covered"; "Highly informative"; "Short, sharp and focused" (Privacy Risks in Using Social Media - 1 December 2016)
  • "Topic useful with specific industry examples"; I liked the "information provided both verbally and in writing and the level of knowledge of the presenter"; "I learnt what I need about electronic signatures" (Electronic Signatures - 30 November 2016)
  • "Real and industry specific examples and the obvious knowledge of Mick instilled confidence in the accuracy and quality of the content";  "Everything was informative and helpful"; "It was very comprehensive.  The workshop questions relating to healthcare were great";  "Mick is a good trainer; patient and concise" (Health sector client specific - FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 28 October 2016)
  • "Presenter was extremely knowledgeable"; "Provided very good cover of the issues and considerations relating to the topic"; "Addresses contemporary issues" (Accessing CCTV or video footage under FOI - 12 October 2016)
  • "Very informative on key issues.  Interesting discussion about real life cases."; I liked the "update on recent changes"; session was "short enough" and Elisa was "approachable" (Reviewing Protected Disclosures - 5 October 2016)
  • "Very informative session, plenty of valuable information.  Overall very insightful and engaging"; "As always very informative always pick up on something new, no matter how many times I attend these sessions"; "Food was amazing and so was the session"; "Great overall, Mick was very friendly and helpful.  Would recommend to others." (FOI Basic and Intermediate - Customised for a Public Hospital - 4 October 2016)
  • "Comprehensive and easily understood. Refreshing to hear about legislative changes in a way that isn't black letter law"; "Great materials provided - allows focus on the content, not taking notes"; "Very informative and easy to understand on amending legislation"; "Good, informative, clear information"; "Thorough, comprehensive, honest, some pragmatic advice"; "Good, informative, clear information"; "Very relevant and practical and thank heavens for the handout to allow recap"; "Very comprehensive, informative discussion, all questions answered thoroughly"; "Plenty of information, good Q&A time, in depth knowldege of presenters" (FOI Act Amendments seminar: Don's shoot the messenger - 15 September 2016)
  • "Comprehensive overview on Privacy; relevant"; "Excellent presenter and materials"; "Fantastic job"; "Small group - good lunch!" (Introduction to Privacy - 13 September 2016)
  • "I liked the relevance to public hospital FOI"; "It filled in holes"; "I found it to be a very interesting and thorough presentation! I had minimal knowledge of FOI and the session provided me with a lot of practical knowledge"; "Interactive; problem solving; practical application" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - Customised for a Public Hospital - 8 September 2016)
  • "Extremely relevant to my job"; "Interactive, clear and practical.  Enjoyed the examples"; "Mick is an authority! Incredibly knowledgeable and excellent at delivering what could be dry material.  Engaging and entertaining"; "Thorough coverage of a broad range of FOI issues.  Good ground of information in Basic training which was built on in afternoon Intermediate session"; "I could relate topics to my own work duties.  Class size was manageable and not too oversized" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - 31 August 2016).
  • "Speakers were able to answer any questions on the topic, very well informed"; "Great overview of changes to FOI regime"; "Knowledge of presenters was very thorough"; "Comprehensive notes that the presenters stuck to"; "Clear advice on amendments.  Good information folder"; Detailed but succinct and relevant explanation of changes which potentially impact greatly on the organisation"; Made aware of the fact that we need to make changes to our procedures now"; "Very comprehensive and easy to follow"; "Well done.  Good timing to provide agencies with forewarning of potential impacts on FOI and privacy"; "Terrific - as usual"; "Exceptionally detailed.  Comprehensive.  Gets me ready for new FOI regime (yippee!!)" (FOI Act Amendments seminar: Don's shoot the messenger - 15 August 2016)
  • "Very relevant to day-to-day work"; "Mick maintained my interest and is very engaging"; I liked the "size of the session (ie small no. of people) which allows the session to be more informal and makes it easier to discuss things and ask questions"; "Thank you - a very knowledgeable presenter and a very enjoyable day!"; I like the "fast pace of the training; it stayed interesting and didn't get bogged down and boring"; " Fast and knowledgeable.  Like hand outs; liked question & answer workshops - very helpful to apply and discuss" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - 28 July 2016)
  • It was "detailed, notes were good and I liked the opportunity to provide individual examples and view points"; "Presenters were concise and knowledgeable"; "The course notes were excellent"; I liked that it was "an overview of how to handle complaints and tips on investigations that is in line with the University's policies and procedures"; (Complaint Handling - 26 July 2016 internally at a University client)
  • I liked "references and discussion about court cases.  Gives practical advice/evidence on what issues can arise; "To the point, good length"; "THe content is very interesting and applicable to my role"; "It was short and interesting"; "succinct and easy to understand" (A crash course in Privacy and Social Media" - 23 June 2016)
  • "Very relevant.  Also liked the lunch" ; I liked the "small group, good discussion, examples were great, helped with understanding"; I liked "the format - answering questions along the way"; "The tips were quite interesting and I shall explore using them" (How to avoid unnecessary processing of FOI requests - 21 June 2016)
  • "Great introduction to a broad topic"; I liked the "knowledge of the topic" and "handouts and general presentation"; I liked the "relevance to agency applications and timing that coincides with preparation of Annual Report"; "Good overview of the topic" (Part II Statements - 16 June 2016)
  • I liked the "provision of 'real' examples of situations that provided clear context for the point of being explained"; " Was a good day, informative discussion groups and good examples"; "Excellent materials"; I liked "the detailed coverage of the FOI process and very considered cases and points" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - 14 June 2016)
  • "Small groups, plenty of time to ask questions, precise - to the point"; "I liked the general discussion without having to take notes (as a detailed paper was provided at the end of the session)"; "Good pace, use of examples, able to ask questions"; "Thank you, enjoyed it very much" (FOI Commissioner Reviews - 9 June 2016)
  • "Excellent facilitator, interactive format and good content"; It was well tailored to the level of the audience and gave perspective and depth to the topics an filled in the blanks I had"; I liked "the examples which linked content to real life" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - 4 May 2016)
  • "Mick was very clear and provided helpful practical scenarios to demonstrate points"; "Provided practical tips to follow the legislative process" (FOI and Public Documents - 7 April 2016 )
  • "The FOI seminars are well focused and I find them extremely practical"; "It was clear, easy to follow and comprehensive"; "Great overview and coverage of the issues for and against disclosure"; I liked the "discussion of cases" (Understanding the "public interest" test - 6 April 2016)
  • "Use of case material and decisions to explain issues with determining public interest"; "It was good to discuss public interest in detail with case studies"; "Useful information for very commonly used section of the Act"; I liked the "content and Mick's knowledge" (Understanding the "public interest" test - 16 March 2016)
  • "all very useful, good class size, right amount of breaks and good discussions"; "Really comprehensive and in plain English"; "Very practical"; "Well explained and well paced.  Covered allot of information that makes it accessible" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - 9 March 2016)
  • "Very relevant, practical to my actual position"; "Everyone was included"; I liked the "steady pace and opportunity to apply learning to examples"; "Passion and significant knowledge of subject matter.  Presented well in an interesting manner"; "Lots of great information"; I liked the "handouts, meeting others who deal with FOI requests, great variety of food" (FOI Basic and Intermediate - 17 February 2016)
  • "Held locally, great presenters, providing clear explanation"; "Always like attending.  In depth explanation, that is easy to understand.  Always go away with ideas to make changes so it works better for us"; "It was easy to follow and well presented.  Questions were answered along the way and the presenters obviously know their stuff"; "Practical examples and intensive notes"; "Flowed very well - was concise with little legal jargon.  Very user friendly"; As always, your sessions were highly detailed and explanatory, the fact that you provide the backup notes as well to take away are fantastic." (FOI and Privacy Intensive - Wangaratta - 3 February 2016).