TUC Cymru provides training for union reps. If you’re interested in developing your skills or refreshing your knowledge, you’ll find everything you need in this section. Explore our classroom courses, online courses, webinars, toolkits, networks and interactive learning guides.


Man in front of a computer with woman teaching him

What is trade union education?

TUC Cymru Education trains union reps to work with union members and officers to make a difference in their workplace.

Who is it for?

We offer courses for all types of union reps. Whether you're a workplace rep, shop steward, health and safety rep, union learning rep, green/environmental rep, equality rep or any other type of rep, you’ll find training available that will give you the skills you need as a rep to be effective in the workplace.

Whether you're considering becoming a new rep or are an experienced rep looking to update your knowledge, we have a course for you. 

In 2024 we are offering specialist development programmes targeted at groups currently under-represented in the movement, including specialist development programmes for women activists, Black activists and young activists. These programmes are aimed at supporting members to become more active as reps. 

Time off for training

Union reps have a right to reasonable paid time off to carry out union duties and undertake training. They also have the right to reasonable unpaid time off to undertake union activities. There are separate regulations covering union health and safety representatives, workplace representatives and Union Learning representatives (ULRs). You can find more information about rights to time off for training here.

Courses

Courses are run in partnership with our trade union studies centres at Adult Learning Wales and Coleg Gwent. Union reps attend from a wide range of industries and unions. 

Accredited training

Our courses are accredited and allow reps to receive nationally recognised qualifications through the award of units on the Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF). 

Professional tutors

Everyone knows the importance of a good teacher. Our courses are delivered by professional tutors who are experienced trade union reps. They receive regular training and updates from the Wales TUC.  

Fully funded training

Courses are fully funded - there are no course fees for union reps from TUC affiliated unions.

Summer Term 2024 courses for reps 

Course title

Provider

Start date

Venue

Pattern

Contact

Women Activists' Development Programme Wales TUC Cymru Summer 2024 - dates to be confirmed TBC TBC More information and register your interest

 

Autumn Term 2024 courses for reps 

Further information about the content of each course can be found further down this page.

Course name

Pattern

Start date

End date

Venue

Provider

Book a place

Union Reps Stage 1

10 Fridays

13/09/24

22/11/24

ALW Cardiff

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

Union Reps Stage 1

10 Fridays

13/09/24

22/11/24

ALW Wrexham

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

Health and Safety Reps Stage 1

10 Tuesdays

24/09/24

03/12/24

Newport, Nash Road Campus

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

Union Learning Reps Stage 1

4 Wednesdays

25/09/24

12/10/24

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

Introduction to environmental awareness (for reps)

1 Thursday (half-day)

05/09/24

05/09/24

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

Greening our workplaces – green rep skills

3 Mondays

23/09/24

07/10/24

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

Handling Redundancies

2 Wednesdays

07/10/24

14/10/24

Newport, Nash Road Campus

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

Social Partnership

2 Mondays

16/09/24

23/09/24

Newport, Nash Road Campus

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

Tackling & Preventing Sexual harassment

3 Wednesdays

07/11/24

20/11/24

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

Disability in the Workplace

3 Mondays

04/11/24

18/11/24

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

Social Partnership

2 Tuesdays

12/11/24

19/11/24

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Spring term 2025 - courses for reps

Further information about the content of each course can be found further down this page.

Course name

Pattern

Start date

End date

Venue

Provider

Book a place

Union Reps Stage 1

10 Mondays

13/01/25

24/03/25

Newport, Nash Road Campus

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Health and Safety Reps Stage 1

10 Fridays

17/01/ 25

28/03/25

ALW Cardiff

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Health and Safety Reps Stage 1

10 Fridays

17/01/25

28/03/25

ALW Wrexham

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Union Reps Stage 2

10 Fridays

24/01/25

04/03/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Health and Safety Reps Stage 2

10 Tuesdays

14/01/25

25/03/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Union Learning Reps Stage 1

4 Mondays

27/01/25

17/02/25

Online

ALW

Apply online

 

Union Learning Reps Stage 2

4 Wednesdays

05/03/25

26/03/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Introduction to environmental awareness (for reps)

1 Tuesday (half day)

14/01/25

14/01/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Greening the workplace – green rep skills

3 Mondays

27/01/25

10/02/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Negotiating for a Just Transition

3 Wednesdays

29/01/25

12/02/25

Online

ALW

Apply online

 

Social Partnership

2 Wednesdays

15/01/25

22/01/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Menopause in the Workplace

3 Mondays

10/03/25

24/03/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Social Partnership

2 Tuesdays

18/03/25

25/03/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Autism Awareness/ Neurodiversity in the Workplace

2 Tuesdays

04/03/25

11/03/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Mental Health – from resilience to resistance

2 Mondays

31/03/25

07/04/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

 

Summer term 2025 - courses for reps

Further information about the content of each course can be found further down this page.

Course name

Pattern

Start date

End date

Venue

Provider

Book a place

Union Reps Stage 1

10 Fridays

02/05/25

11/07/25

ALW Cardiff

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Union Reps Stage 1

10 Fridays

02/05/25

11/07/25

ALW Wrexham

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Health and Safety Reps Stage 1

10 Tuesdays

06/05/25

15/07/25

Newport, Nash Road Campus

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Union Reps Stage 2

10 Mondays

28/04/25

14/07/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Health and Safety Reps Stage 2

10 Fridays

09/05/25

18/07/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Union Learning Reps Stage 1

4 Wednesdays

30/04/25

21/05/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Union Learning Reps Stage 2

4 Tuesdays

14/05/25

11/06/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Introduction to environmental awareness (for reps)

1 Wednesday (half day)

7/05/25

7/05/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Greening our workplaces - Green Representatives Skills

3 Mondays

02/06/25

16/06/25

Online

Adult Learning Wales

Apply online

 

Negotiating for a Just Transition

3 Tuesdays

10/06/25

24/06/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Tackling and preventing sexual harassment

3 Thursdays

08/05/25

22/05/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

Advanced Casework

2 Mondays

05/05/25

12/05/25

Online

Coleg Gwent

Apply online

 

 

Course content: what is covered on the different courses?

 

Click on the name of the course below for more information about what you'll learn.

Union reps stage 1

As a new union rep this course is essential. You'll find out:

  • what it means to be a rep
  • how to represent your members effectively and
  • how to take up both collective and individual issues with your employer

You'll understand the role and responsibilities. These include working together with members and other union reps, talking to members and dealing with their problems, recruiting members and getting them involved in the union, meeting management to discuss a range of issues at work and keeping members informed.

Reps who complete this course can achieve a Certificate for Trade Union Representatives at level 1.

 

Union reps stage 2 

If you have completed the union reps part 1 or your union equivalent, this course will help you advance within your trade union role. The course covers:

  • Leadership roles in the branch structure i.e. Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
  • how trade unions make decisions and how you can shape their policies,
  • How to undertake effective negotiations,
  • How to organise successful campaigns.

The best protection in the workplace is effective organised trade unions however understanding what our rights are and how to make best use of them is essential to your role. You will learn about:

  • Contracts of employment
  • Fair or unfair dismissal
  • Equality and diversity
  • Industrial action

As part of the course, we'll also consider developments such as social partnership, and workplace changes such as AI and the transition to net zero. 

Reps who complete this course can receive a Certificate for Trade Union Representatives at level 2. 

 

Health and safety reps stage 1

As a new health and safety rep, this course is essential. You'll find out

  •  what it means to be a health and safety rep
  • how health and safety is organised in your workplace
  • and how to deal with health and safety issues at work.

You will look at the health and safety law, safety inspections, risk assessments and preventative measures. This course will provide a thorough grounding in health and safety issues and give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to undertake your role effectively.

Reps who complete this course can receive a Certificate for Trade Union Health and Safety Reps at level 1.

 

 

Health and safety reps stage 2

If you have completed the health and safety part 1 or your union equivalent, this course will help you to deal with those bigger issues. The course will cover

  • Effective health & safety organisation and planning,
  • how and when to use it,
  • negotiating a better deal for members,
  • analysing risk assessments,
  • health and safety training.

While we try to ensure safer workplaces for our members, we must also recognise the need for equality and diversity. Throughout the course, you will explore equality based issues such as:

  • Gender and PPE
  • Sexual harassment
  • Hidden disabilities
  • Menopause

Reps who complete this course can receive a Certificate for Trade Union Health and Safety Representatives at level 2. 

Union learning reps stage 1

If you’re a new Union Learning Rep (ULR), this course is essential. It will give you the skills and knowledge that you need to be an effective ULR. The role of a ULR is much more than simply setting up courses in your workplace. It is about working within your branch, with your employer and with providers and funder to widen access to learning and ensure equality of opportunity in your workplace. The course will teach you:

  • The role of trade unions in learning and skills
  • The role of the ULR Trade union approaches to workplace learning and relevant best practice models
  • Key policies and programmes relevant to the adult skills system in Wales
  • How to promote learning in your workplace
  • How to identify learning needs
  • How to work with your branch and your employer to remove barriers to learning and in-work progression

Reps who complete this course can receive an Award for Trade Union Learning Representatives at level 1.

Union learning reps stage 2

This course continues and extends the core essential training for union learning reps. It will help you to further develop the knowledge and skills needed as a ULR in the workplace. The course will help you in:

  • understanding the role of the ULR as part of the union team
  • developing a trade union approach to building equality and organising through learning
  • supporting members individually and collectively
  • the role of learning agreements
  • understanding how changes in the workplace such as AI and the transition to net zero impact on skills

Accreditation will be available for reps attending this course, please contact TUC Cymru for further details. 

 

Greening our workplaces - green skills for trade unionists

This course is aimed at new and experienced green/environmental reps and other trade unionists who wish to take practical action on the climate and nature emergency in their workplace.

The course covers:

  • Understanding the climate and nature emergency and identifying workplace impacts
  • Working with the branch and members to identify sustainability issues that need to be raised with management
  • How to carry out environmental audits
  • How to review and develop workplace environmental policies and agreements
  • Awareness raising and promotion of green workplace practices

Reps who complete this course can receive an award at level 1. 

 

Negotiating for a Just Transition

This course will help to equip trade union negotiators, union reps, health and safety reps, green reps and branch officials with information and ideas about how to respond strategically to the challenge of giving workers a voice on the transition to a net-zero economy.

It will help union reps to develop negotiation strategies on workplace transition planning and develop an understanding of the wider impact of the transition on issues such as workplace skills, jobs and health and safety.

The course will cover:

  • Examine why a just transition is central to future economic strategy
  • Review regional, national and international climate change policies
  • Review national and international trade union policies
  • Identify industry sector green economy policies
  • Obtain members views on just transition priorities
  • Develop negotiation strategies on priority issues for the workplace/community

Accreditation is available for this course, please contact TUC Cymru for further details. 

Social Partnership

This new 2-day course will empower reps to use the new Social Partnership and Public Procurement Act for the benefit of members. 

It will help build the relevant knowledge, skills and confidence to take forward effective social partnership in your own workplace. 

This course will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by social partnership working and reps will have the opportunity to develop a practical action plan for their own workplace.

Accreditation for this course is available, please contact TUC Cymru for further details.

Tackling and preventing sexual harassment

This new 3-day course will help support reps in tackling and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. It will help you to:

  • Identify sexual harassment and understand the impacts
  • Understand employers' legal responsibilities (including the new preventative duty)
  • Negotiate effective workplace policies
  • Support members affected by sexual harassment
  • Develop an action plan for your workplace
Introduction to environmental awareness (for reps)

This new half-day, bite sized course offers trade union reps an essential introduction to environmental awareness. It's aimed at all union reps and no prior knowledge is required.

It offers an introduction to, and raises awareness of, the problems people have created with the environment, the impacts now and in the future, and considers positive steps we can take as trade unionists.

Disability in the workplace

This new 3-day course is for all reps who want to improve disability equality in the workplace and tackle discrimination. It will cover:

  • disability discrimination and how it impacts on members
  • the social model of disability
  • employers' legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010
  • reasonable adjustments
  • supporting members with 'hidden disabilities'
  • effective workplace policies
  • developing your own workplace action plan

 

Mental health - resilience to resistance

This course is designed to look at what unions can do in the workplace to organise around work-related stress and mental health issues. It is important to note that this is not purely a mental health awareness course. The course does not go into to much detail about the specific mental ill-health conditions or coping with them. 

The problem with ‘resilience’

Resilience is often used to imply that an individual needs to toughen up and simply withstand stress better. This course explores how the narrative of ‘resilience’ and related training initiatives, can often be an example of organisations failing to tackle the problem of stress at its root cause.

Employers’ must recognise that stress is often a result of work itself, requiring a change to work structures, rather than a shift in the behaviours and attitudes of individuals.

Stress does not tend to occur randomly but is triggered. TUC research indicates that the biggest causes of stress at work are:

  • Workload (74%) 
  • Cuts in staff (53%) 
  • Change at work (44%)
  • Long hours (39%)

This course focusses on a trade union organising approach to mental health. It will help you to negotiate with employers’ to ensure the right policies, processes and procedures in place to reduce the causes of workplace stress and help prevent or negate escalation of mental ill health in the workplace.

 


 

Toolkits

The Wales TUC has produced a number of toolkits that can be used in the workplace to assist with various areas of equality, workplace learning and environmental issues. Browse and download the full range of of toolkits here.

Interactive guides

We have short bite-sized pieces of learning and longer courses. Each piece of learning is self-contained and contains a mixture of text, video and quizzes. They last between 20 and 45 minutes and can be returned to as many times as you like. Access our interactive guides

Webinars

Our webinars on specific workplace issues are a valuable training tool for reps and members. Sign-up to our upcoming events or watch our past webinars.

Networks

We have a number of active networks where you can receive regular updates on important workplace issues. They also provide ongoing opportunities to network and share experiences with other reps beyond the classroom.

Find out more about our Health and Safety Reps NetworkGreener Workplaces Network and Union Learning Reps Network

Course directory: PDF version

This PDF has a summary of the course dates - handy to pin up on notice-boards.

This course directory provides full details of our latest courses. If you’re unable to find a course to suit your interests/needs or you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact the Wales TUC education team at cymru@tuc.org.uk 

The directory includes: 

  •  Course listings
  •  Course content
  •  How to apply
  • Information about accreditation

 

Download course directory booklet (pdf) EnglishCymraeg

You can also request hard copies of the course directory by emailing cymru@tuc.org.uk