Social care learning and development

It’s important that people working in social care have the right skills and knowledge to provide high quality care and support. With that in mind we have put together some information showing some of the different learning opportunities available to you as a UNISON member.

Is working in social care for you?

If you are new to working in this field or are possibly looking for a new role within social care why not go to This link will give you an opportunity to explore some of the different types of job and role you could get involved in. You will get to see and hear about different roles including: residential care, supported living, community and personal assistant.

A Question of Care

Functional Skills – Numeracy, Literacy and Digital Skills

If you feel you would like to improve some of your functional skills in Maths, English or I.T. skills, to either gain more confidence in your current role or maybe help you to feel more able to apply for your next job, then look at some of these courses to support your leaning, confidence and development.

Functional Skills

Care Certificate

If you do get a job in a Social Care setting you will be expected to gain the Care Certificate as part of your induction in the first few months of your employment. In order to gain the certificate, you will build a portfolio that shows you have been able to demonstrate both knowledge and skills in areas covering your role. Some of the topics covered include; Understanding Your Role, Duty of Care, Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Communication, Working in a Person-Centred Way etc. It is down to your new employer to make sure you have the opportunities needed to do everything in order to gain the certificate. For more information please go to UNISON’s e-learning site and look at our e-note that shows you what is involved in achieving the Care Certificate. You’ll need to log in using your My.UNISON account, and you’ll find the e-note under the heading ‘For UNISON members’.

UNISON’s e-learning site

Create your My.UNISON account

Continued Professional Development (CPD)

People working in direct caring roles

(This includes people working in residential or community care, personal assistants, catering and domestic roles as well as administrative staff)

People working in support roles

Management and leadership

Social work

Further CPD workshops available through our training partners

WEA (Workers Education Association)

Unison has worked closely with the WEA for many years and they continue to offer our members a variety of courses to support our members in their personal and professional development. Some of the titles that they have adapted for online learning include: Power To Be You, Your Skills Your Future and Get That Job. Please check with your branch or regional team to see if the WEA are running workshops available to you.


The Open University (OU)

UNISON has an established and ongoing relationship with The Open University. They have a very wide range of courses that are also available as online workshops including: Autism, Behaviour Management, Dementia Awareness and Mental Health Awareness.

The Open University

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.

Email to request an account

View a complete list of Skills Academy courses

Branch and Regional UNISON Teams

Always make sure you regularly contact your branch and regional teams to see what local training events are available as well as to make them aware of any potential training or support you may need.

Find your branch

Find your regional education team