Course Description

This workshop is approximately 10 learning hours plus a 3.5-hour live interactive problem-solving session. Learners who wish to do the final assessment to qualify for the microcredential badge attesting to their competency will spend an additional 2-3 hours completing the requirements. 

In this workshop, participants from municipalities, regional centres for education, post secondary institutions, and Nova Scotia Government Agencies, Boards and Commissions will examine key legislated Information Access and Privacy (IAP) requirements, as well as best practices and how to apply them. Content in the Learning Management System (login required) is organized into 15 distinct learning modules with recorded lectures, readings, and case studies that reflect common Information Access and Privacy situations.

The modules begin with an overview of the status of Information Access and Privacy in public sector, provincial and territorial jurisdictions across Canada, and then proceeds to highlight key legislated obligations, first in Information Access, and then in Privacy. The modules are progressive, and learners should successfully complete an average of five modules per week over a three-week period prior to the scheduled online session. This scheduled session will be held online through the Learning Management System and will involve virtual discussions and problem-solving exercises using various case studies that highlight both Access and Privacy issues. These problem-solving exercises will allow learners to apply the basic skills and information absorbed from completing the 15 modules.

Course Outline

Module 1: What Information Access and Privacy Means for your Organization

Module 2: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Application Process

Module 3: Searches for Records

Module 4: Freedom of Information (FOI) Exemptions

Module 5: How to Deal with NSIPC Reviews of FOI Disclosure Decisions with Janet Birt-Gerrans, Director of Investigations, Office of the N.S.I. P.C

Module 6: What Privacy Means for Your Organization

Module 7: Privacy by Design (PBD)

Module 8: The Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (PIIDPA)

Module 9: Privacy and Social Media Background Checks in the Hiring Process

Module 10: Short Form Privacy Impact Assessments

Module 11: Privacy and the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Making Decisions

Module 12: Privacy and the Monitoring of Employees Working Remotely

Module 13: Privacy Breaches - How to Prepare for Them and Act on Them

Module 14: How to Prepare for and Respond to Ransomware Attacks through Table Top Exercises

Module 15: How to Deal with NSIPC Privacy Investigations with Janet Birt-Gerrans, Director of Investigations, Office of the N.S.I. P.C

What You Will Learn

  • Strategies to respond to Information Access and Privacy challenges.
  • Basic tools used to process Freedom of Information (FOI) applications.
  • Applying exemptions and handling appeals to disclosure of records.
  • The five key privacy protection obligations in the N.S. legislation and how to implement them.
  • The legislated requirements on how personal information needs to be stored, accessed, and disclosed in Canada.
  • Major sources of privacy breaches and the best practices in preventing them.


FOIPOP - Problem Solving

This course provides learners with the opportunity to earn a microcredential. A microcredential is evidence of a skill or competency that is employment related. Dalhousie microcredentials are developed in collaboration with employers, industries, and/or organizations that relate to the content. A microcredential can be displayed on social media pages, digital resumes, personal webpages, and in email signatures. To earn the microcredential in this course, learners will need to successfully complete a competency-based assessment.

Learn more about this microcredential under "Other Areas of Interest" on our website.


In participating in the live case study sessions, learners will have the opportunity to share experiences and approaches of experienced professionals in dealing with the problems of day to day information access processing and managing privacy issues for their organization. They will also have the guidance of one of the most experienced and knowledgeable information access and privacy educators, consultants, and lawyers in charting organizational plans and strategies for dealing with information access and privacy issues.

The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses and workshops. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this workshop, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.


There are no prerequisites for this workshop.

Recommended For

  • IAP Coordinators who work in the K-12 and Post Secondary Sectors as well as municipalities
  • Human Resource Professionals
  • Information Technology Professionals
  • Senior Management who work in the K-12 and Post Secondary Sectors as well as municipalities
Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Navigating Information Access and Privacy
Online - Self-Paced
Sep 27, 2024 to Dec 13, 2024
Online - Scheduled
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
1:00PM to 4:30PM
Nov 18, 2024 to Nov 22, 2024
Schedule and Location
Total Learning Hours
  • Online Campus - Atlantic Time
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $250.00
Required Software
Students will require a webcam and microphone to participate in live sessions.
Reading List / Textbook
There are no additional textbooks to be purchased for this workshop. All workshop materials will be available within the online learning platform.
Section Notes

This workshop has scheduled written assignments and discussions within the term time frame. Live sessions will be held as follows:

  • Monday, November 18: 1 - 4:30 PM AT (session for municipal employees)
  • Tuesday, November 19: 1 - 4:30 PM AT (session for Regional Centres for Education employees)
  • Wednesday, November 20: 1 - 4:30 PM AT (session for university and college employees)
  • Thursday, November 21: 1 - 4:30 PM AT (session for NS Government Agencies, Boards, and Commissions)
  • Friday, November 22: 1 - 4:30 PM AT (session for police services)

Students who are unable to attend live sessions will be able to view a recorded version. The online learning platform will open at 4:00 PM AT on workshop start date. The syllabus will be available on the workshop site. 

Please note: Although the asynchronous portion of the workshop will open on September 27, registration will remain available until October 25.

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