TUC Education

TUC Education provides a broad range of training for more than 40,000 union representatives, health and safety representatives, and union learning representatives each year.

The courses encourage everyone to learn in a friendly, supportive environment, usually in surroundings designated for trade union courses. Courses are offered flexibly to suit the needs of union representatives  through the traditional day release model.

For many reps this is a second chance to learn. A range of learning pathways has been established, offering all reps the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Union reps should also visit Unionlearn for full details of key events, training, features and bulletin board discussions with other reps.                

What will I study on the course?

Visit the TUC Education website to search for a course.

How will I learn and be taught on the courses?

TUC Education develops and provides student materials for all TUC courses. These are regularly reviewed, revised and rewritten with the active involvement of practicing trade union studies tutors and TUC policy experts. Evidence of learning achievement is recorded and students receive regular and appropriate feedback.

Time off to learn

Union representatives who wish to attend TUC courses in working time should first ask their employer for time off with pay. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 section 168 and the Safety Representatives & Safety Committee Regulations 1977 give accredited union and safety representatives a legal right to reasonable time off with pay to attend courses approved by the TUC or their union. Guidance towards establishing what constitutes reasonable time off can be found in the ACAS Code of Practice.

The role of the union learning representative has been boosted by new legal rights to time off for training contained in the Employment Relations Act 2001. Nearly 15,000 union learning representatives have already been trained.

Representatives who find difficulty in obtaining paid time off to attend TUC courses should seek assistance from their senior union representative or full time union officer.

For further information contact your regional education and training officer.

Time off to learn for distance or online learning

Online learning should not be seen as an alternative to paid release from work. The law still applies, whether learning takes place away from work or in work, at a workstation or in a company learning centre. For details of TUC courses that are available online contact Craig Hawkins on 020 7079 6947 or email chawkins@tuc.org.uk

All access needs will be met where reasonably practicable. You should inform the appropriate course providers of any specific requirements at the earliest opportunity.

Who validates these courses?

The TUC accredits its programme through the new Qualification Credit Framework providing clear national recognition of the quality of courses and the achievement of union representatives.

Registration for accreditation is voluntary. There are no tests or examinations. You will build up a file which shows the work you have completed during the course, and National Open College Network (NOCN) awards credits for achieving the learning outcomes for that course’s qualification units, which are recorded on a certificate issued by NOCN.

Credits can be built up over a number of years to gain qualifications and are transferable throughout the country. They can be used to gain access to other courses in further and higher education. They also give unions and employers a clearer view of what representatives have learned and are able to do after attending a TUC course. For further details contact your TUC regional education and training officer.