Self-Assessment Toolkit

Welcome to the Commissioner's self-assessment toolkit. Here we publish resources to help authorities to:

  • Capture current activity and practice
  • Assess how well they are performing against a set of standards
  • Improve their FOI practices, procedures and administrative arrangements

How to use the toolkit

Download Description of contents / purpose

Introduction to the self-assessment toolkit

An overview of how the toolkit works and why authorities should self-assess their practice.

Getting started

Explains how the modules work and how to set up your documents. Introduces the toolkit methodology and signposts to the support materials.

How to carry out an FOI self-assessment

Our detailed guide to completing the five self-assessment stages in any of the modules.


The modules are each made up of two documents:

Standards and Criteria - introduction to the specific module, expected outcomes and legal context, characteristics of good practice, ratings and evaluation criteria.

Assessment Questions and Evidence Grid - a workbook of questions, specific to the module, with sections to record evidence, strengths and areas for improvement.

There are additional support materials with each module. Click on the module name below to go to the module resources.

Module number Module name Outcomes you can expect from the module


Module 1: Responding on time

Improved compliance with FOI timescales, reduced risk of reviews and appeals, greater public trust in your authority.


Module 2: Searching for, locating and retrieving information

Greater accountability within the authority, more user-focused records management, more satisfied requesters.


Module 3: Advice and assistance

Better relationships with requesters, fewer confusing requests and reduced risk of reviews and appeals.


Module 4: Publishing information

Reduce the work involved in responding to requests, better relationships with stakeholders, demonstrating transparency.


Module 5: Conduct of reviews

Efficiencies in handling requests and reviews, increased trust by requesters, lessons learned for future requests.


Module 6: Monitoring and managing FOI performance

Analysing statistics, identifying trends, resolving issues, strengthening governance and improving communication

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