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Cyber training (2023)

Request

Details on cyber security training conducted by your organisation over the last three financial years (April to April).

  1. Number of courses and cost (£) of each course
  2. Detail on the nature of each course e.g. online, phishing, keeping data safe
  3. Number of staff who undertook each course

 

Response

Details on cyber security training conducted by your organisation over the last three financial years (April to April).

1. Number of courses and cost (£) of each course
2. Detail on the nature of each course e.g. online, phishing, keeping data safe
and
3. Number of staff who undertook each course

We have interpreted your request to mean the type of courses as well as the number of House of Commons and Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) staff members who undertook these courses in each financial year between 2020/21 to 2022/23.

Some information is held by the House of Commons regarding your request. We hold details on the Cyber Security module provided in our Annual Essentials training, which all House of Commons and PDS staff are required to complete, as well as details of specialised training undertaken by specific staff as a part of their roles, details on both of these are provided below.

Annual Essentials training

All employees of the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) must complete an 4-part course called Annual Essentials Certification, either online or in the classroom, which covers a variety of subjects. The cyber security section of the ‘Annual Essentials’ covers cyber-security, cyber-crime, including awareness of phishing, the need to set strong passwords and how to work safely online, video conferencing and use of WIFI, information compliance and management, the Parliamentary Protective Marking Scheme (for the sharing of information), Parliamentary sensitive information and how to keep this safe, managing personal data, recognising requests for information, reporting lost information and managing a breach. The costs we hold on this training are as follows:

• The cost of the original design and content development work for the Cyber Security module was £16,140 (inc. VAT).
• Our latest iteration of this annual compliance training was launched on 21 April 2023, and the cost for the re-design of our entire e-learning package was £31,125 (inc. VAT) in total.
• We also pay an annual subscription cost to our learning management system provider to access a wide range of courses and for maintenance. Please note however that the cost of access and maintenance for the Cyber Security module cannot be disaggregated from this. To be helpful however, we can provide the annual subscription we have paid in the years requests, and this is broken down by financial year as follows:
o 2020/21 - £56,400 (inc. VAT)
o 2021/22 - £59,184 (inc. VAT)
o 2022/23 - £59,184 (inc. VAT)

Regarding the number of staff who undertook this course in the periods specified, please note that we do not hold a static figure for this in the way you have requested. This is because House of Commons and PDS staff are required to recomplete the Annual Essentials on an annual basis, and when an individual staff member is required to redo the training, their learning record will re-set to 0% meaning they will no longer be counted as having completed the training and must re-certify. As a result, it is not possible to give an exact number of how many staff have completed this training within a specific financial year, as staff members may have completed it previously but may have not recertified at the time the information is recorded.

This said, it may help you to know that we regularly run compliance reports to give a picture of the number of people who have completed this training at a point in time, and we are able to provide the number of people who had completed this training in March in each of these financial years. Please note additionally that a high proportion of these figures represent individuals who have re-taken this training each year:

• March 2021 – 2773
• March 2022 – 2691
• March 2023 – 2752


Specialist training

As well as the Annual Essentials training, some staff have undertaken specialist training about cyber-security because it is relevant to their role. Information about these courses, including the number of attendees and the costs we hold

Please note that other specialist IT courses undertaken by staff are likely to cover elements of cyber security. However, this information only covers those courses where cyber security is the central focus and ‘cyber’ is included in the title.