Training trade union safety reps in the links between workplace safety and union organisation is a top priority for TUC. Liz Rees, head of TUC's education service, made this plain in a new interview with the trade union safety magazine Hazards. She said being a trade union safety rep is not just about what you know, it's about what you do - involving members, uncovering problems and, crucially, demanding action. 'Safety rep training is the jewel in the crown of TUC Education,' she said, adding: 'We aim to provide everything a safety rep needs to know to represent their members effectively, and to assist and support in dealing with workplace problems, supporting members and organising for health and safety.' TUC's courses are free to safety reps from affiliated unions and come with accreditation from the National Open College Network (NOCN) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). 'During the past year, we have been working with the Qualification Curriculum Authority (QCA), the body that determines the adult education curriculum for the UK, to pilot their new qualification framework, which is based on the kinds of credits we have been making available to reps for more than 10 years,' Liz Rees said. 'This means that during 2008, safety reps who attend TUC courses will be achieving formal qualifications at three levels - awards (short courses), certificates (Health and Safety Stages 1 and 2) and diplomas (TUC Certificate in Safety and Health, now the TUC Diploma in safety and health).' According to Rees, health and safety remains the most popular of all the online training offered by TUC.
Issued: 23 May, 2008