FOIPPA Foundations

Privacy and Access Fundamentals

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British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) requires that public bodies, such as ministries, municipalities, and universities—along with public body contractors and service providers—protect all personal information they hold.

It’s an important job!

Your responsibilities

As a public body employee, or service provider to a public body, you are required to protect personal information you handle in the course of your work. At the same time, you must make every reasonable effort to assist members of the public in their requests for information.

This course introduces the key ideas behind the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA). By the end of it, you will be able to:

  • Describe fundamentals of FOIPPA
  • Describe your responsibilities under FOIPPA
  • Describe how FOIPPA applies to your work
  • Identify your privacy and access obligations

This course

The intended audience for this course is primarily B.C. public body employees and service providers to B.C. government. This course should take you about 60 to 90 minutes to complete. It consists of three modules:

This module covers:

  • An overview of the domains of information management
  • Who to go to with questions about privacy or access to information
  • The two primary privacy laws in B.C., the purpose of each law, and their application

This module includes:

  • How to recognize personal information
  • How to apply privacy concepts in your workplace
  • How and when to use privacy tools
  • What you need to know about privacy requirements for public bodies
  • What to do if you suspect there has been a privacy breach

This module explains:

  • How to recognize and process a Freedom of Information (FOI) request
  • How to fulfill the duty to assist
  • How to interpret the limited exceptions to disclosure
  • Timelines and extensions

Each module also includes a Tip Sheet you can download to help you access and remember key information.

The exam

This course ends with a 10-question, multiple-choice exam to test your knowledge of key concepts from the course.

You will need to answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass. You may take the exam as many times as you like. As soon as you have passed the exam, you will be able to download a certificate of course completion.


Select a module below to get started:

We acknowledge all Indigenous peoples on whose territories we live, work, and play. We honour their connection to the land and respect the importance of the diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories.