“I decided to enroll on the Foundation in Data Protection certificate due to finding myself at a career crossroads and felt this could be a valuable asset with my job search.
As a complete novice to GDPR and not working in a sector that gave me any real exposure on a day to day basis, I was very apprehensive about joining the course. My concerns were soon diminished despite all the other delegates currently working in DP within various industries and at various levels. The online training room was relaxed, and Julie, the trainer explained the content in plain English, using everyday examples to put into context and invited an open forum to ask questions at any point or repeat areas that needed further discussion to ensure that all the delegates were keeping pace.
At no point did I feel out of my depth, that I couldn't speak up if something didn't make sense or that things were moving too fast despite there being a lot of information! The little tests that we were given at points during the week instilled confidence in my ability and the additional reading resources and advice were invaluable when it came to the exam of which, I was delighted to pass!”
“When I first started the course I found it quite intense and overwhelming, as I wasn't experienced in the DP field as a whole but wanted to challenge myself.
I enjoyed the breakout sessions and the question sets more than the course content. The exam prep session was very helpful with some beneficial tips. The course folder was very thorough and well put together. Due to IT constraints I was unable to do the exam online, Jodie was very accommodating so I could learn my exam at home.”
“Thank you Joyce for your advice and support throughout the 2 weeks of the course.
I do have a couple of things to suggest.
Through no fault of anyone, I did struggle with the online set up; more so during the second week.
There was a lack of interaction between attendees - it felt only 50% of the group gave feedback or engaged in discussion which provided little real life examples. The breakout groups were often awkward and I felt the same, more confident at speaking attendees, led the group time after time. I felt some attendees just switched off. Joyce was often met with silence when she asked the group a question.
Going forward maybe have the cameras on for the first 5 minutes each morning and all say hi and maybe all asked to prepare and ask a question or tell the group something they have learnt the day prior - then cameras off for the course.
Someone is designated to lead the group, take notes and feedback for breakouts and this switches person each time.
I found I learnt the information better when I could apply to real life examples - maybe a few more of these; a few more case studies.
I really struggled with the course being over two weeks. Switching from course to work after dinner didn't help with concentrating and focussing on either. If I had a difficult afternoon at work or looming deadlines, I'd be thinking about it the next morning during the course and became distracted. I feel it should be one full week.
I liked the 5 question test at the end and the course materials (folder) is well set up and very useful.
Again thank you.
Posted 3 weeks ago
Thank you for your comments. In any course, both online or in a classroom, there will always be a mix of people engaged in discussions and those more comfortable remaining quiet. Our policy at Freevacy never puts pressure on a delegate to speak or answer questions when that might cause upset, particularly for delegates with limited subject matter knowledge. The course you attended did have a high proportion of delegates new to the subject, so it is only natural that there was the occasional silence.
It is a similar issue regarding cameras. In an ideal situation, delegates' cameras are always switched on. However, there are technicalities that can prevent some people from getting online, such as insufficient bandwidth or internet connection issues that can make using a camera practically impossible. Other delegates use computers or devices that do not always have a camera. Of course, there is also the issue that not everyone is comfortable using a camera. We ask everyone (where it is possible) that they use their cameras for the introduction. And we should be reminding delegates that the use of cameras for break-out sessions will enhance the discussion and help everyone.
At some point, we expect to deliver classroom-based training courses again, which means the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information course that you attended will revert to being delivered across five full-days. This is not possible currently due to COVID-19. However, the feedback received on half-day online sessions is extremely positive for the same reasons that you didn't like the format. Many people and their employers appreciate being able to fit training in around their daily role. So much so that we will continue to offer these online half-day sessions after the pandemic has ended along with full-day classroom events. Hopefully, we will be able to provide you with a choice in the future.
Regarding your last comment, your course was the last to be run with a 3-hour written BCS exam involving case studies and essay questions. In future BCS exams for FOI practitioner certificate will have an electronic multiple-choice based exam. We will continue to have break-out sessions, and exercises that are real-life based, but there will be more of the end of day question that you enjoyed. Thank you again for your feedback. It is always appreciated.
“Communication and support very good. A lot of the content was difficult to put into context due to my nature of work but delivery of the course was good. I think in hindsight I personally would have benfitted more if it had been a classroom delivered course.”
“Joyce was a great trainer and really went out of her way to accommodate everyone's needs. The course is well structured and relaxed with breakout sessions working in smaller groups on exercises and mini tests at the end of each session, which really helped embed what you have learnt throughout each session.”
“I have just completed the online learning aspect for my Data Protection Course and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The sessions were well timed, informative and communication and questions were encouraged. Something I found really helpful. Fingers crossed for the exam!! Thank you Joyce and my fellow students!”
“Really great, interactive and informative sessions with real examples to discuss and understand. Wide ranging topics that are really helpful rather than specific to just our organisation. Very thorough”
“Very well informed lessons delivered. Questions answered and good discussions about topics. The technology was a bit of an issue (being able to join the meetings) however this could have been down to firewalls in place by my organisation and not course owners. However would be a good issue to have resolved for future training.”
“The two week Data Protection Practitioner course was excellent. Extremely informative, well presented and great training materials provided. The Trainer was very helpful and always happy to take time to answer questions and offer advice. I would highly recommend Freevacy for your training needs.”
“The course was really helpful and the flexibility to do it remotely was great. The guidance from the instructor was clear and our group discussions were very interesting. I passed the exam fine however it did seem harder than anticipated from the course material we covered.”
“The entire service was excellent. Julie was a fabulous trainer. I had all the relevant manuals and supporting documentation and support from Jodie was excellent too. The only thing I did not think was clear was that the exam is to be booked after the course. I am looking forward to my exam! Many thanks! Lisa”
“I have completed two courses with Freevacy and enjoyed both. The handbook and materials are of a high quality and useful as a reference source after the course. Joyce and her team are very accommodating and knowledgeable.”
“The day we were due to start our Data Protection Practitioner course lockdown was initiated. But within the day an online version of the course was set up to allow us to continue from home.
The course was very well run and included plenty of student interaction which made what could be quite a dry subject much easier to learn and understand. Post course support has also been very good with an exam preparation day included.
Thank you Jodie and Joyce.”
“Recently completed the Foundation Data Protection course. In light of the lockdown, Freevacy adapted well and the course was delivered expertly by Joyce online. The training materials were excellent and Joyce was very knowledgeable and supportive. They have a friendly and personal approach with valuable ongoing support and resources, I would definitely recommend Freevacy.”