Voice coaching for Ministers, special advisers or senior civil servants: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/03004  
Date received: 18 October 2018 
Date responded: 14 November 2018
Information requested
The total amount paid by the Scottish Government for voice and presence coaching for either Ministers, special advisers or senior civil servants in 2017-18. Information should include who undertook the training and the cost for each appointment/meeting.

While requests covering the whole of the Senior Civil Service can generate extremely large amounts of information and may often breach the cost limit, we considered that, in this instance, the subject of your request was sufficiently narrow that this would not be the case. Therefore to keep within the cost limit we did a time-limited trawl which assumed no response by a defined date as a nil.  This is therefore the best available information.

Two Senior Civil Servants have undertaken coaching of this nature in 2017-18 and the total cost was £1667.62.   The cost of each appointment/meeting per individual is set out below:

  • Two sessions for voice coaching. Cost £713.81 per session: and
  • Participation in a one day public speaking course. Cost, £240.

In addition this kind coaching can be a feature of Leadership programmes provided by the UK Civil Service but the cost of this element is not distinguished from the overall 2 year programme.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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