Activist Training (Spring 2024)

Our Regional Learning and Organising Team are offering the following upcoming training courses for new and existing Branch Activists.

UNISON Stewards are offered free training which can be done in person or online and travel, accommodation and childcare expenses are all covered by UNISON.  UNISON Stewards are entitled to paid time off to attend initial training and to carry out Trade Union Duties and the branch will offer support and guidance every step of the way.

Further Training For Existing Activists

ERA Refresher Training

The course is designed to meet the requirements of the Employment Relations Act (ERA) recertification.   If you have been a trade union rep for more than 5 years, you must undertake this course to gain reaccreditation and retain your role in the union as a workplace rep or on seconded release.

On the refresher course you will learn about current protocols in the union when representing members, updates in legal cases, how to organise around issues in the workplace to lessen the amount of individual casework required and identify national and local challenges impacting on branches.  It will also look at developing new skills and supporting new activists.

Date:  6 June 2024

Location:  UNISON Resource Centre, Carlisle

TUC Next Steps for Safety Reps (Online)

This course is designed for health and safety representatives who have already completed the TUC Health and Safety Stage 1 or UNISON’s Health & Safety Starter course and will help reps identify, prevent and control risks helping to build a safer and healthier workplace. It encourages reps to involve members in safety issues by developing a collective approach to health and safety. It helps reps keep up to date on health and safety law and information enabling them to use it more effectively. The course help reps build health and safety organisation and effect real change in the workplace.

Dates:  Every Tuesday for 10 weeks from 30 April 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Certificate in Employment Law (Online)

This is a practical training course, designed for trade union workplace reps who have already completed the TUC Stage 1 or UNISON’s Organising Steward’s course.  It approaches the law from this perspective and its principal concern is how knowledge of and confidence in using employment law can improve workplace bargaining. It is not aimed at legal professionals or the finer points of technical interpretation of the law.

Dates:  Every Wednesday for 10 weeks from 01 May 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Bullying & Harassment (Online)

With many surveys now showing that two out of every five people employed suffer as a result of bullying and harassment in the workplace this course is designed to support representatives with an effective strategy for dealing with the problem. It looks at how bullying and harassment in the workplace has developed and will help representatives to have a greater awareness and understanding of what constitutes bullying and harassment, its effects on the individual and the organisation and the health and safety implications.

Many members may face bullying and harassment at work, but everyone is entitled to work in a safe environment, free from intimidation or abuse. This course will help reps deal with members issues.

Dates:  Every Tuesday for 3 weeks from 18 June 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Trade Unions & Mental Health Awareness (Online)

Mental health is a key issue for trade unions and the course will enable participants to build knowledge around the subject of mental health so they feel able to support colleagues, raise awareness and pursue progress with the employer, in order to build a more positive workplace.

Dates:  Every Wednesday for 3 weeks from 12 June 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Trade Unions & Domestic Violence Awareness (Online)

This course is for union reps – including safety reps – who would like to learn about:

  • Why domestic violence is a trade union issue
  • How to support members experiencing domestic violence
  • Identifying workplace and trade union action on domestic violence

Dates:  Every Friday for 3 weeks from 03 May 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Women in Leadership (Online)

This course is for women trade union reps who want to develop their leadership positions within the trade union movement or build their CV skills to advance into leadership roles within their organisation or community.

The course will help you understand:

  • What is leadership?
  • Leadership skills
  • Leadership styles
  • Public speaking
  • Organising skills
  • Media skills (including social media

Dates:  Every Thursday for 3 weeks from 09 May 2024

Click here to Register

Initial Training for NEW Activists

Organising Stewards Course

This 5 day course is for newly elected Stewards which will mean that you are ERA (Employment Relations Act) Accredied and can represent members in your workplace.

The first three days of training will help you to understand the steward’s role in organising members at local level and help you feel confident in carrying out your duties. It covers the role of an organising union, the importance of equalities in UNISON, working with members and more experienced activists to resolve issues, where and when to seek advice and guidance, union procedures, and your next steps in UNISON.

The final two days of the training for workplace representatives will certify you as competent to accompany members at discplinary and grievance hearings in order to comply with the Employment Relations Act (ERA) 1999.  ERA Accreditation lasts for 5 years before Refresher Training is undertaken.  However, you are not obliged to be a Steward for 5 years and can leave at any time.  Stewards are elected annually at our Branch AGM.

Dates:  13,14,15, 20, 21 May 2024

Dates:  Mondays – 3,10, 17, 24 June and 1 July

Location:  UNISON Resource Centre, Carlisle

TUC Union Reps Stage 1 (Online)

Find out what it means to be a union rep, how to represent our members effectively and how to take up both collective and individual issues with your employer. You will also think about the future and how to influence where it is taking you and those you represent.

The course helps union representatives to understand their role and responsibilities as a rep. They include working together with members and other union reps; talking to members and dealing with their problems; recruiting members and getting them involved in the union; meeting management to discuss a range of issues at work and keeping members informed about wider union concerns.

Dates:  Every Monday for 10 weeks from 29 April 2024

Click here to Register

Health & Safety Reps Starter Course

A 3 day course for New Health & Safety Reps.

Dates:  16, 17, 18 July 2024

Location:  UNISON Resource Centre, Carlisle

TUC Health & Safety Stage 1 (Online)

Health and Safety at work is always a major issue for all employees. Work places that have trade union health and safety reps have a significantly lower rate of accidents.

If you are a newly appointed safety rep, this is the course for you.

The course will help you to:

  • Organise for health & safety
  • Negotiate with employers to improve workplace safety
  • Prevent accidents and ill health
  • Apply H&S legislation

Dates: Every Thursday for 10 weeks from 02 May 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Learning Reps Certificate (Online)

Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) are helping to give people the skills and knowledge to improve their lives at work and beyond. They are making a real difference in workplaces up and down the country, raising the profile of training and development by providing advice, encouragement and information to members about a range of learning opportunities.

This course introduces the role of the ULR, the importance of learning and skills at work and provides the tools and knowledge that will enable ULRs to carry out their role successfully. The course goes on to provide ULRs with the opportunity to develop existing essential knowledge and skills in areas that are fundamental to their role, as well as undertaking a workplace specific learning project in a area of study relevant to their members’ learning needs.

Dates:  Every Friday for 10 weeks from 03 May 2024

Click here to Register

TUC Equality Reps (Online)

The last few years have seen an increase in the amount and complexity of equalities issues at work. Union reps need to be able to keep up to date with equality legislation and handle issues such as flexible working, reasonable adjustments and discrimination. That’s why unions are building the role of equality reps to help make workplaces fairer and more equality aware.

This training course will train equality reps in their new role and help them get to grips with the new and changing equality agenda. Equality reps can promote fairness in the workplace by raising the equality agenda among fellow workers and their own unions; by encouraging employers to make equality and diversity part of mainstream collective bargaining; by working with vulnerable workers and trying to ensure that every worker receives fair treatment.

Dates:  Every Tuesday for 3 weeks from 11 June 2024

Click here to Register

To apply for any of the UNISON courses above, please complete the Application Form below.

NW Course Application

Please ensure you send the completed Application to the branch on for authorisation.

For more information, please contact or visit or take a look at the North West Regional Education Programme below.

2024 NW Education Programme

If you would like to attend the TUC Online Training, please Register using the appropriate links above and email the Branch at who will ensure you are accredited once training has been completed.