Blackboard sayingLearning and Development Survey 2013 - Report of Findings

29 April 2013

The Scottish Information Commissioner undertook an online survey of Scottish public authorities between 7 December 2012 and 11 February 2013.  The survey sought to inform the Commissioner about current practice and existing learning and development (L&D) materials.  It is the first step in initiating a wider discussion to explore how the Commissioner can add value to authorities and support them in improving their own practice.

There were 288 responses, from across all parts of the Scottish public sector. 

What the survey told us

  • There is a direct link between the strategic importance afforded to FOI by senior managers and the amount and perceived usefulness of FOI L&D:
    • 34% of respondents stated that FOI is mentioned in their strategic objectives, and 58% that it is mentioned in their performance measures.
    • 82% of those authorities who mention FOI in their strategic objectives also mention it in their performance objectives.
    • 44% of authorities mentioned FOI in their L&D plans but this almost doubles to 82% of those authorities who mention FOI in their strategic objectives
  • Where FOI is seen as a strategic objective it is more likely to be embedded in the performance and L&D systems of an authority.
  • About 30% of respondents feel their level of FOI L&D was too little over the last three years.
  • The greatest barriers to providing FOI L&D are lack of strategic commitment (42%) and lack of resource (68%).
  • External face-to-face events and self-directed learning are the most widely used delivery methods by authorities, with individuals preferring on-the-job learning from colleagues.
  • The findings suggest a gap in knowledge about and the perceived importance of the EIRs.


What next?

The findings suggest six areas where the Commissioner can add value.  These will be explored in more detail and form the basis of future work plans:

  • Helping senior managers understand the links between FOI and risk, governance and effective communication.
  •  In a brokerage role – understanding what FOI L&D resources are out there and helping put authorities in touch with each other.
  •  Providing more guidance on what good practice looks like, to help authorities develop learning materials.
  •  Facilitating affordable events on specific technical issues and practice – in partnership with authorities, and equally accessible to all authorities.
  •  Ensuring lessons from decisions continue to be shared.
  •   Reviewing guidance and supporting materials in relation to the EIRs, in consultation with authorities.


Learning and Development Survey: Full Report (PDF - 3.62 MB) 

Learning and Development Survey: Executive Summary (PDF - 86.6 kB)

Learning and Development Survey: Questionnaire (PDF - 444 kB)






Back to Top