National courses

Workshop participants writing © Jess Hurd/

UNISON Learning and Organising Services offers a limited number of courses at national level.

To see upcoming courses please use the links in the sections below.

Advanced employment law

Experienced reps can build their employment law skills and knowledge with Advanced courses delivered at national level. These are intended to supplement the range of training offered at regional level, and cover the following topics:

  • contracts, redundancy and TUPE
  • disability discrimination law
  • maternity and parental rights
  • race and sex discrimination law
  • unfair dismissals and employment tribunals

Reps should be ERA accredited and should have attended a basic employment law course in the region before applying for these advanced courses.

National Employment Law Courses 2020

Race and Sex Discrimination: a practical UNISON guide to identifying unlawful discrimination

Branch Education Co-ordinator

These courses are normally delivered in the region but on occasion are offered by National. Branch education co-ordinators play a pivotal role in getting members involved in the branch through learning opportunities and getting new reps trained and confident to get started. This course will help you to identify the training needs of activists and co-ordinate support for new reps to get started in their role.

It will also familiarise you with UNISON’s learning opportunities and the organising potential of empowering members through learning, and explore how you can contribute to your annual branch assessment by developing an annual training plan.

Please contact your region in the first instance if you are a new Branch Education Coordinator.

Branch Welfare Officer

UNISON branch welfare officer training has two stages: two short introductory online modules followed by a two day face to face course. UNISON organises national courses in London, Bristol, and the North, and some regions provide training for branch welfare officers.

The training helps branch welfare officers to understand: their role and the confidentiality it involves; the ‘There for You’ UNISON welfare charity structure and staff responsibilities; and the application process and areas where welfare can assist members.

Branch Welfare Officer Training Programme 2020

Skills for National Committee members

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.


Overnight accommodation for nationally organised courses

Recognising that many members may have to travel from across the UK, UNISON Learning and Organising Services has a policy that for the first day of any course the start time will be 11am. This provides sufficient time for the majority of members to travel to the course on the first day. For a 3 day course accommodation will be booked, if requested, for day 1 and day 2 of the course and for a 2 day course it will be booked for day 1 only. The member will then travel home on the last day of the course.

There are some exceptions. You can read the full policy here.



Photograph © Jess Hurd/