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What is a Publication Scheme?

Published 19th November 2013

Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act stipulates that every public authority is required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Publication Scheme should provide the public with a structured list of the types of information that a public authority makes available and should explain how they are accessible. The information included in a Publication Scheme should not only focus on the key areas of accountability of the organisation but also proactively include information that will be of particular interest to the public.

The Investors in People Publication Scheme comprises classes of information.  Each class of information indicates whether some information may be exempt, how the information is or will be published, and whether a charge will be made for providing it. For example, information like minutes from a meeting will be published after a short delay.

In this Publication Scheme the term 'publication' has been interpreted broadly to refer to a variety of formats.  This will include paper-based documents such as letters, reports, leaflets and books, and electronic documents such as computer files, databases and web pages.  Electronic documents may be provided as a printout or via email.   The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) intends that the majority of information will be available to be downloaded free of charge from the Investors in People website.

It should be noted that this scheme is not intended to be retrospective.  The documents published will be the current versions.

Benefits of the Publication Scheme
The Publication Scheme will enable UKCES to develop a culture of openness by proactively providing the public with a clear idea of what information is available in a structured and consistent manner. It classifies the information by type and provides details on how to obtain it. It is intended that the scheme will also be the means by which the many different types of information produced by UKCES will be made available without the need for a specific request. This aims to save you time and effort. 

Information not in the Publication Scheme
The Freedom of Information Act also specifies that members of the public can make specific requests for information about the public bodies covered by the Act.  This means that information not identified in a Publication Scheme may be specifically requested when relevant parts of the Act are in force.  The Data Protection Act 1998 already allows individuals to obtain information about themselves.

Some information might be exempt from disclosure in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.  The Act lays down procedures for resolving disputes about whether information should be disclosed.

How to use the Publication Scheme
As explained in previous sections, the aim of the Publication Scheme is to set out:

  • What information we publish or intend to publish as a matter of course.
  • How this information will be published and made available.
  • Whether the information will be available free of charge or by payment.

In order to achieve these objectives, the information is divided into classes that have been grouped under two themes or sections to assist the public find the information they require more easily.  A list of publications can be found under each class within the two sections.  Each listing will detail the following pieces of information.

  • The title of the publication.
  • A brief description about the publication.
  • The manner in which it is made available (for example, website, by email, or by post).
  • A charge (if applicable).
  • Further notes to help users to identify information of interest to them.

The two sections and featured information classes are as follows.

1. The Management and Organisation of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Information under this section lists classes of information about the organisation and the role of UKCES.  This section features details on our budget, personnel and recruitment policies.  It also includes documents and publications such as our business plans, annual reports and press releases.

  • Remit.
  • Plans and Strategy.
  • Recruitment and Vacancies.
  • Finance and Audit.
  • Press Releases.
  • Organisation Structure and Contact Points.
  • Complaints Procedures.
  • Boards, Committees and Steering Groups.
  • Internal Guidance and Procedures.
  • Parliamentary Questions.
  • Information Management, Freedom of Information and Data Protection.

2. Development and Support of Investors in People (The Standard)
This section provides information about the activities the UK Commission for Employment and Skills are involved in to develop and support The Standard and related initiatives.  For example, information about research and statistics can be found in this section.

  • Research.
  • Statistics on The Standard.
  • International.
  • Quality Assurance.
  • Development.
  • Achieving the Investors in People Standard.
  • Requesting information.

Most information is available on the Investors in People website. Such information is indicated by a hyperlink that will take you directly to the relevant page on the website. Where information is available by post, a request should be made in writing to the address below. The Publication Scheme will indicate if there is a charge for this service.

Code of Practice on Access to Government Information
The second edition of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information was issued in 1997. Section 3 of the Code includes five commitments to supply (subject to the exemptions in Part II of the Code):

  • Facts and analysis with major policy decisions.
  • Internal guidelines about departments dealings with the public 

Reasons for administrative decisions

  • Information under the Citizen's Charter about public services - what they cost, targets, performance, complaints and redress.
  • Responses to requests for information.

If, having searched the Publication Scheme, you cannot find what you are looking for, you can make a request for information under the Code of Practice. Applications under the Code of Practice should be put in writing and should provide as much detail as possible to identify the information sought. Applicants should specify that they are requesting information under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. There is no charge for making requests under the Code of Practice for the first five hours of work. Thereafter, charges are levied at a rate of £20 per hour.

Enquiries, Feedback and Complaints

All enquiries about the Freedom of Information Act and requests under the Code of Practice can be sent to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
If you have any comments regarding the structure or content of the Publication Scheme, UKCES would be pleased to hear them.  Comments will be considered and taken into account when developing the scheme.

UKCES aims to deal with the investigation of complaints within 30 working days. After the investigation, if you still remain dissatisfied, you may refer your complaint to the Information Commissioner (see address below).

Please send your comments by email or by post.  All correspondence should clearly state your name, organisation and contact details.

Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane 
Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Responsibility for enforcing the Freedom of Information Actacross public authorities rests with the Information Commissioner, whose role is to:

  • Promote good practice.
  • Approve and assist in the preparation of publication schemes.
  • Provide information about the public's rights under the Act.

Copyright and Trademark Notices Copyright (c) UK Commission for Employment and Skills and/or its licensors, 2013, all rights reserved. Investors in People and Building a Better Business logos are registered trademarks of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

Further Information

Freedom of Information Act 2000 
Code of Practice on Access to Government Information

Alternatively, copies of the Code of Practice can be obtained free of charge by telephoning 020 7273 3602, or by writing to Freedom of Information and Data Protection Division, Room 912, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT.