training & education programs

Training Program Descriptions

This section provides you with an overview of the various ASAP educational programs and their distinctions. Following the ASAP program overview, you will find a listing of other sources of training.

ASAP currently sponsors 5 or 6 different types of training/educational events a year:

  1. The Annual National Training Conference
    This program was created to bring educational opportunities beyond the Washington, D.C. area. The program combines "nuts & bolts" training topics with the thought — provoking and practical issues associated with FOIA and Privacy Act processing and requesting as well as records management. A special feature of the program is breakout sessions for individual agencies that give participants a unique opportunity for questions and answers as they pertain to their own agency policies. This provides a very cost-effective way for agencies to bring together their supervisors and employees from different offices and achieve face-to-face communication and understanding. Another intangible benefit to this program comes from the registrants, themselves. So many people come from so many different office environments, that the issues and questions that are raised bring a new level of information and awareness, especially for supervisory personnel. The program is usually three days with registration opportunity on the previous evening. The venue is rotated throughout the nation with the program typically held in March.
  2. Training Series
    This is a series of three, one-day training programs usually held in the spring or summer in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Day one is geared to the basics of FOIA and Privacy Act Training. Days two and three delve in-depth into FOIA exemptions, various Privacy Act issues and records management. Hot topics are also covered. This program offers more flexibility in terms of attendance and budget as registrants can choose how many and which days to attend at an affordable fee/tuition.
  3. FOIA/Privacy Act Training Workshop
    A two and half day intensive program specifically designed as an in-depth refresher course or for those who are new to working with the FOI, Privacy Acts or records management, those who have limited experience, or those who deal with the Acts as an adjunct responsibility. Instruction and practical application work sessions are utilized to include overviews of both Acts, procedural guidance, redactions, fees and fee waivers, negotiation & litigation considerations, Privacy Act processing, conditions of disclosure under the Privacy Act, and specific sessions dealing with FOIA exemptions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7, and special sessions on various hot topics. This program is usually held in September in the Mid-West.
  4. Annual Symposium & Training Conference
    The ASAP Annual Symposium is the flagship forum for the discussion of broad concepts, issues concerning government information, current and future trends in access and privacy, and best practices in these areas. The leaders in the access community concern themselves with much more than just the daily processing and practical applications of information access. They take the time to learn and understand more about the various issues that eventually shape the policies. The Symposium is designed for those persons who want to advance their awareness and understanding -hence, their careers — by listening, participating and learning the various positions and practicalities surrounding the hot topics of the day. This is a more provocative program and is usually held over two days in December in the Washington, D.C. locale.
  5. Dispute Resolution
    With the support of NARA's Office of Government Information Services and Justice's Office of Information Policy, ASAP has begun offering a one-day course on Dispute Resolution. FOIA professionals deal everyday with potentially contentious issues that arise in processing FOIA requests and appeals, which may lead to disagreements and disputes. FOIA professionals are often put in situations where they must negotiate with members of the requester community as well as with colleagues in their own agencies. In addition, the OPEN Government Act of 2007 formalized the role of the FOIA Public Liaison, charging them with helping to resolve FOIA disputes. This dispute resolution training, which includes communication and facilitation skills, is intended to aid FOIA professionals from all backgrounds and skill levels. Mediation is discussed and there are simulated FOIA-related mediations. While you may not become a mediator, dispute resolution skills are incredibly helpful in working with different parties in a dispute. Depending upon budget and site logistics, this course is usually held in conjunction with one of the other ASAP programs.
  6. Food for Thought Training Seminars
    These popular events address hot topic issues in an informal setting with good colleagues, good dialogue and good food. Panelists provide insight from their perspectives on the issue at hand and dialogue with the audience members. Currently, ASAP holds these very affordable seminars in various restaurants in Washington, D.C. from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. These events are primarily advertised to ASAP members.
  7. Webinars
    ASAP is proud to offer a solution to a problem facing almost every agency or organization - a dwindling training/conference/travel budget and the need to stay on top of current training needs and new ideas and strategies. ASAP webinars offer the opportunity to get professional development and education through subject matter experts in an easy, cost-effective manner while earning your CEUs.


Other FOIA and Privacy Act Training Sources