Scottish Forestry external training spend and budget: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. External training spend in the previous 3 fiscal years (2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20) in Scottish Forestry, broken down by:

  • Amount spent through the Civil Service Learning contract and amount spent to deliver external training through other contracts
  • Under the Civil Service Learning Contract

 -Amount spent on online/digital delivery versus amount spent on in-person delivery 

-Amount of spend allocated for bespoke courses specifically developed for your needs and amount of spend allocated for ‘off-the-shelf’ training material

2. Breakdown of the 2019/20 external training spend through the CSL contract in Scottish Forestry by course, including:

  • Total amount spent per course
  • Total number of learners per course
  • Training provider that delivered the course
  • Course delivery method – i.e. online/digital or in-person
  • Name of course
  • Subject area of course

3. External training budget for 2020/21 fiscal year in Scottish Forestry, broken down by:

  • Budget to spend through the Civil Service Learning contract and budget to spend on the delivery of external training through other contracts

4. Any analysis undertaken on how your department’s training needs have shifted this year compared to previous years

  • For example, are you planning greater emphasis on Leadership & Management courses or training delivered through digital/online courses?

5. Total number of civil service employees working in Scottish Forestry (please provide latest available data).


I enclose some of the information you requested at Annex B. Some of the information provided is marked as nil return as this information relates to the work of the Forestry Commission. In April 2019 Scottish Forestry was established as an agency of the Scottish Government and the duties and functions of the Forestry Commissioners, as cross border body, transferred to Scottish Ministers.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) applies to that information. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex A to this letter.


The Scottish Government does not have the information
Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for prior to 1 April 2019 for the time period requested. This is because as from 1 April 2019 forestry became fully devolved and two new Scottish Government agencies accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament were created.
As such the Forestry Commission (and the duties and functions of the Forestry Commissioners as they related to Scotland) does not exist in Scotland now; it does continue to exist in England.
Scottish Forestry, is responsible for forestry policy, support and regulation. Therefore the information held prior to 1 April, related to your request, is not held by Scottish Forestry.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FoI-202000093299 - Information released - Annex B


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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