UNISON training is designed to give you the skills you need to carry out your role, and all courses are free to the UNISON member, although there may be a charge to your branch. You should start with the induction training indicated for your role. After that, you can progress through the development training according to your interests and the branch’s needs. Discuss further optional courses and pathways with your branch education co-ordinator or union learning rep.

U-Train sets out the range of courses available for activists and members through UNISON

Download a clickable version of the U-Train brochure

Download a print quality version of the U-Train brochure

Or follow the links below to find out about the courses available.

Training for specific roles

Workplace representative (steward)

Training for workplace representatives (stewards) includes:

Health and Safety representative

Training for Health & Safety reps includes:

Union learning representatives (ULRs)

Training for union learning reps includes:

Branch officers

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Tutor training

UNISON’s tutor training programme is primarily aimed at ULRs who want to develop their skills in trade union education, but is also relevant for branch officers who may wish to lead workshops or discussions in the branch.

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Bargaining and negotiating

Reps and branch officers can develop their bargaining and negotiating skills with courses designed to enhance knowledge and improve confidence in dealings with management.

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Equalities and campaigning

A range of courses to equip activists with the skills and knowledge to organise and campaign effectively around political and equalities issues.

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Employment law (development)

Employment law is an enormous and complex subject. These introductory courses are designed to give participants an overview and general feel for how employment law works, and areas where it is likely to apply.

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Employment law (advanced)

UNISON Learning and Organising Services run a programme of advanced employment law courses, which supplement the training offered at regional level. They are aimed at ERA accredited representatives who have a basic understanding of employment law.

As a minimum, reps must have completed theĀ Introduction to Employment Law course before applying for any of the advanced employment law courses.

  • Contracts, Redundancy and TUPE
  • Disability Discrimination Law
  • Race Discrimination Law
  • Sex Discrimination Law
  • Maternity and Parental Rights
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination Law
  • Sexual Harassment Law
  • Gender Identity Discrimination Law
  • Religion and Belief Discrimination Law
  • Age Discrimination Law

Upcoming advanced employment law courses are advertised on the Events page.

National courses and events

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Branch development and organising

A range of courses intended to encourage members into activism, and to help the UNISON branch become better organised and more efficiently run.

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National committee courses

Training is available for members of the national executive council (NEC), and members of national service group and self-organised group committees and sub-committees. Courses include:

  • Leadership development
  • Dealing with paperwork
  • Speaking with confidence
  • Chairing skills
  • Smooth running: standing orders committees

If you are a member of a national committee you will be sent details of the courses available.
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Member learning

UNISON provides a wide variety of learning for our members, from confidence building to continuing professional development.

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Regional programmes may differ – talk to your union learning rep to find out what’s available near you.

Short workshops

Ready to run workshop materials are available from UNISON Learning and Organising Services. Contact LearningAndOrganising@unison.co.uk for materials.


Visit e-learning.unison.org.uk and sign in with your My.UNISON account to find short online modules.

How to apply

To apply, talk to your branch education co-ordinator, or you can find contact details for your regional education team here.