The ICO exists to empower you through information.

The toolkit has been divided in to topics. The topics relate to sections of the Freedom of Information Act. It is advised to do one topic at a time. This will give you an understanding of your performance in that area and help in planning any subsequent activity.

You don’t to complete a whole topic in one sitting and to help manage this activity each topic contains small individual modules, each containing three to six questions. The modules can be completed one at a time. You are asked to rate your public authority’s performance, policy or process as ‘Good’, ‘Adequate’ or ‘Unsatisfactory’. Guidance is given to how the ICO views the ratings for each module, but it is up to each public authority to decide their own rating. You should read all the criteria for each module before answering the questions. You should take a proportionate approach based on your individual authority. It is the outcomes of your practice that are relevant rather than the level of complexity.

You will be given a rating and report for each module. The report should be downloaded where you can record, on an action plan, why you gave the individual ratings, what is driving any issues behind the rating, and most importantly what you can do to improve performance.

The self-assessment toolkit cannot cover every situation and is a guide to key areas you should be considering. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of any other issues, which may be impacting on your FOI performance and add them to the action log.