National Education

A word from our director of education


Jim Mowatt

Director of Education - Unite the Union

Unite’s commitment to delivering courses recognises the different circumstances in which our reps find themselves. This is why there are various modes of delivery for the same course. Residential courses are for those who simply cannot dovetail into our regional provision whether that is for geographical or domestic or other reasons. Our normal practice for national residential courses, held in The View Hotel, Eastbourne or other venues to be confirmed, kick off at 15:00 hrs. on Monday and finish with a session on Action Plans at Noon on the Friday. You will appreciate that being residential students are expected to participate in a couple of evening sessions which are less formal.

To download dates of national courses click here

Core Programme Offer

These courses are offered for those representatives who cannot access the same courses within their region. The regional programme should be your first port of call before applying for the residential courses.

Workplace Representatives

As an elected Workplace Representative it is essential you access your initial training as soon after election as possible. Your initial training consists of Module 1A and 1B. It is best to book both courses at the same time to ensure you have a place reserved on each course.

Workplace Reps Module 1A - 5 Day Residential

Course description:

This course is designed to be the core initial training for Unite workplace reps. The course covers the wide range of knowledge and skills needed by the new Rep including:

• Key skills for organising your workplace

• Handling discipline and grievance cases

• Communication skills

• Introduction to Employment Law Equality at Work

Workplace Reps Module 1B - 5 Day Residential

Course description:

For reps who have completed Module 1A.

This course covers:

• Evaluating and assessing your experience since the Stage 1 course

• Understanding the concept of ‘good work’

• Understanding and dealing with Issues around Dignity and Respect in the workplace

• Problem solving skills

Health & Safety Representatives

As and elected Health & Safety Representative it is essential you access your initial training as soon after election as possible. Your initial training consists of Module 1A and 1B. It is best to book both courses at the same time to ensure you have a place reserved on each course. 

Health & Safety 1A - 5 Day Residential

Course description:

This course is the essential course for all new Unite Health and Safety Representatives. It is designed to help you build the skills, knowledge and confidence to organise effectively in order to carry out your work as a Safety Rep as well as to create understanding of how economic and others aspects affect the working lives, health, safety and welfare of working people.

The course covers:

• Understanding the role of a Unite Safety Rep

• The legal framework of Health and Safety

• Rights of Safety Reps

• Involving the members in Health and Safety

• Accident Investigations – Risk Assessments

Health & Safety 1B - 5 Day Residential

Course description:

The course develops the skills and knowledge learnt in Module 1A:

• Examining your workplace risk assessment and evaluating them

• Understanding health & safety audits and company accident statistics

• Appreciate health & safety legislation including aspects of criminal and civil law

Additional Training

These courses are open to representatives who have completed their initial training for their role. We offer a wide range of additional courses open to representatives. You may find some of these suitable for enhancing your existing skills. Applications will be directed to your Regional Education Department checking and authorisation before a final place allocation is made.

Harmful Gambling

This short training session is designed to introduce students to the topic of harmful gambling.

The session will cover the following topics and more: - 

  • The Unite Gambling Charter

  • The effects of harmful gambling

  • Getting support

Neurodiversity in the workplace

Who is this course for?

This course is for all union representatives, equality officers and other members who want to find out more about autism (including Aspergers), neurodiversity and the workplace.

To gain confidence in promoting equality in the workplace for people who are neurodiverse.

Learning Outcomes

  • To evaluate myths about autistic people and others who are neurodiverse

  • To describe issues that affect autistic and other neurodiverse people at work

  • To describe how the law can be used to promote equality for people with autism in the workplace.

Stress management and well being

Stress management and wellbeing are key issues for all our reps. Please come along and learn about what the union
can do to help, and how you can monitor your own and your members stress and well being. 

National Equalities Courses

Equality main

The Unite National Equalities Team offer a wide range of training aimed at our Representatives from minority groups.

Supporting LGBT+ Members in the Workplace


Supporting LGBT+ Members in the Workplace 

Date:  15th   – 19th February 2021
Venue: TBC

This course is part of the Unite the Union’s commitment to ensuring that underrepresented groups in our membership such LGBT+ members are encouraged to be more involved and active in the union; as workplace reps, committee members, senior negotiators, conference delegates, full time officers and learning organisers. 

This course is for workplace representatives and branch officials defining themselves as LGBT+. This course is also for workplace reps and branch officials who want to support LGBT+ equality in the workplace.

This course aims to make a positive contribution to Unite Strategy for Equality Agenda

  • By raising awareness of key issues for LGBT+ workers
  • Empowering and encouraging Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans+ individuals and groups to get involved in their union
  • To supporting workplaces and communities through campaigns for equality and genuine opportunity of access for LGBT+ people.

Download the course flyer

Black Asian Ethnic Minority [BAEM] Leadership Course

BAEMLflyer 2022


Black,Asian Ethnic Minority [BAEM] Leadership Course

14th-18th JUNE 2021

A course designed for Unite Black and Asian Ethnic Minority workplace representatives and branch officials, to fully understand the Trade Union and Labour Movement. This course will empower workplace reps to build their confidence and progress by identifying effective ways and methods to encourage Black and Asian Ethnic Minority members to get involved in Unite.

The course covers the skills needed in the workplace, in the union, at conference and in the wider Labour Movement, at all levels, to build involvement and take action for Race Equality.

This course positively encourages applications from black and Asian ethnic minority women

Download the flyer

Faith Workers Education and Training

These courses are designed for members and activists in the Faith workers branch.

Please note any joining requirements laid out in course descriptions before booking your course.

Faith Workers - New Reps Induction

Course description:

Who should attend?  

This course is designed for new representatives or those who have not received training in the last five years. The course is the induction for all workplace representatives, health & safety representatives, learning representatives and equality representatives. 

What will I learn? 

The course covers a number of topics to prepare you for your role as a Unite representative.

  • Roles and Responsibilities 

  • ACAS and other legislation - know your rights

  • Unite structures and where you fit in 

  • Understanding risk assessment and why it’s every reps responsibility 

  • Giving members information, advice and guidance 

  • Why recruit members? 

  • Understanding the Equality Act 2010 

  • Knowing your agreements and the Unite Broad Industrial Strategy 

  • Introduction to leadership 

  • Our history - research and presentation skills 

  • Note taking 

  • Interviewing members 

  • Dignity at work - Bullying and harassment 

  • Barriers to learning and engagement for members 

  • Understanding grievance and disciplinary policies - why all reps should know these! 

  • Understanding negotiations 

  • Developing a workplace project

How will this course run?

You will spend roughly half your time studying case studies about Faith Workers. These include case studies from a number of different religions as well as procedures from major Christian denominations.  The employment status of clergy and the relevance of Equality Law is a major theme of the course.


This course runs 9.30am to 11.30am one day a week, for 10 weeks, with support available by phone and email in the afternoons. It is taught by Faith Workers.

Women Faith workers Leadership Course

Course Aims

To prepare women for leadership roles in their workplace, branch, or wider union.


You will learn about democracy within Unite; you will learn how to realise your potential, aim for leadership positions and learn how to promote equality of opportunity within Unite.

Taster Day for Faith Workers


To help members learn about the role of a rep in the Faith Workers Branch and hopefully become more active. We encourage our members from under represented groups such as BAME and women members especially welcome.

Course outcomes

You will learn about the various roles of  our representative team within Unite; you will practice the skills needed to be a rep.

Faith Worker Helpline Training


To review the operation of the branch helpline in the Faith Workers branch.

Course overview

You will share experiences and review policies and procedures

Please Note

To attend this course you Must be a Helpline coordinator in the Faith Workers branch – all applications will be vetted and attendance is by invitation only.

Women Faith Workers - New Reps Induction


To prepare women as accredited representatives within the Faith Workers Branch

Course Overview

You will learn the roles of a rep within Unite; you will practice the skills needed to be a rep; you will be encouraged to be self-actualised and to achieve your potential. You will learn about employment rights for ministers of religion and about the policies and procedures which affect faith workers. You will be taught by an experienced faith worker.

How the course will run

10am – 12noon

for 10 Tuesdays in the Spring; 2-3 hours per week of writing up is needed in addition (if you have facilities time the course work should be completed during facilities time, otherwise it can be done at your convenience). To assist with release or diary the course will be advertised from 09.30 - 16.30 each day and we suggest you complete the self guided study in the afternoon where possible.

Course dates

May 3rd 10th 17th 24th31st June 7th 14th 21st 28th July 5th 2022

Accredited Support Companions Training

Accredited Support Companion Training

Improve your skills in advising and representing members within the Faith Workers Branch.

Train to be an Accredited Support Companion so you can represent members outside your own workplace. All applications must be approved by Sarah Cook, the regional officer responsible for the Branch.

This training uses case studies to help you understand the employment status of faith workers and will assist you in working for equality within the workplace, within Unite and within society.

It is a course for experienced reps, with at least 3 years experience within Unite.