Learning for social workers

On this page you’ll find a compilation of training available to enable you to continue to develop in terms of your work, your personal skills and your mental health and wellbeing. Training and development is a great way to keep your brain active and your spirits up. The CPD focus will stand you in good stead when it comes time to develop in your current role/job or look for new challenges and roles. Added to this, most of these options are free so won’t hurt your bank and the others are discounted for you as UNISON members.

This list of courses is not exhaustive and many more interesting learning opportunities can be found with each of these providers on their individual platforms. However, these courses will give you a good starting point.

You can find out more about how UNISON supports social workers on the national website.

Training for social workers (PDF downloads)

Training for social workers – face to face or virtual

Training for social workers – online


Or read on for more details.

UNISON e-learning

Mental health and wellbeing

Staying Strong: Stress Awareness

Register for a My.UNISON account


Social work/CPD

Virtual and face-to-face Gender Awareness and Diversity training is organised nationally and regionally.

National courses and events

Regional education teams

Digital Unite


Free materials and user guides


  • Raising awareness: menopause in the workplace
  • Raising awareness: mental health


Skills Academy

Skills Academy gives members access to over 600 free online courses, from time and priority management to how to manage virtual teams to remote workers’ security.

All the courses are CPD certified, allowing members to show proof of their learning to their employers.

Request an account

Social work/CPD

  • Child Neglect awareness
  • Child protection
  • Child sexual exploitation awareness
  • Deprivation of liberty safeguards
  • Drug and alcohol addiction awareness
  • Modern slavery awareness
  • Privacy and Dignity
  • Safeguarding adults
  • Safeguarding children
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults
  • Trauma awareness


  • Essential skills for first-time managers
  • Finance for non-finance managers
  • Key tools and knowledge for team leading
  • Managing people
  • Practical leadership skills
  • Tackling sensitive workplace conversations

Mental health and stress

  • How to improve your mental health
  • How to improve your physical health
  • Mental health first aid
  • Mental wellbeing in children and young people
  • Reducing stress (techniques to relax)
  • Reducing stress with meditation and visualisation
  • Stress management (employees)
  • Suicide prevention
  • The power of the mind
  • Self-care


  • Alcohol at work
  • Communication barrier in the workplace
  • Dangers of working at night
  • Dealing with difficult people and situations
  • Dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and violence in the workplace
  • Dealing with workplace violence
  • Disability awareness
  • Drug and alcohol addiction awareness
  • Duty of care
  • Equality, diversity and discrimination awareness
  • Health and wellbeing
  • LGBTQ Awareness
  • Lone working
  • Managing emotions at work
  • Mindful Listening
  • People handling
  • Preventing workplace discrimination
  • Promoting positive behaviour
  • Self-harm awareness
  • Tackling sensitive workplace conversations
  • Working in teams


  • Assertiveness skills
  • Benefits of Tai Chi
  • Body language
  • Building your confidence and self-esteem
  • British sign language
  • Communication skills
  • Decoding direct/indirect messages
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Handing conflict in high-value relationships
  • How to build resilience
  • How to improve your sleep
  • How to stop smoking
  • How to write better emails
  • Identifying causes of conflict
  • Improve your assertiveness
  • Mindful listening
  • Unconscious bias
  • Personal safety
  • The art of persuasion
  • Travel safety for women

English and maths

  • Advanced English spelling
  • English grammar – improve your English
  • Punctuation mastery
  • Writing skills

FutureLearn (The Open University)

Mental health and wellbeing

Youth mental health: helping young people with anxiety

Emotional intelligence at work

Understanding depression and low mood in young people

Mindfulness and wellbeing for peak performance

Leadership and management

People management skills

Personal skills and development

Work/life balance and the impact of working remotely

OpenLearn (The Open University)

Social work/CPD

Introducing social work: a starter kit

An introduction to social work

Partnerships and networks in work with young people

Perspectives on social work: individual stories

Supporting and developing resilience in social work

Leadership and management

Discovering management

Managing and managing people

The role of the manager

Mental health and stress

Challenging ideas in mental health

Exercise and mental health

Making sense of mental health problems

Understanding depression and anxiety

Work and mental health


Working in diverse teams

Working in groups and teams

Effective communication in the workplace


Diversity and difference in communication

Making decisions

Difference and challenge in teams

English and maths

English: skills for learning

Number, units and arithmetic

Succeed with maths – Part 1

Succeed with maths – Part 2

Digital skills

Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

Using a scientific calculator