TUC Education – training for trade union reps

TUC Education – training for trade union reps

TUC Education know that trained union representatives make a real difference in Britain’s workplaces. They improve workers’ terms of pay and conditions; enable access to skills and training; promote equality and fairness; and ensure safer working environments.

"43,756 union reps trained with TUC Education in 2013"

What kind of reps can use TUC Education?

TUC Education provides a broad range of training for trade union reps and professionals in England, Scotland and Wales. TUC Education courses include training for all kinds of reps, including:

What is the purpose of TUC Education?

The purpose of TUC Education is to provide a quality learning experience, with a system of accreditation that points to future learning opportunities and qualifications.

How much do TUC Education courses cost?

There are no fees for union reps attending TUC Education courses.

What are TUC Education designed to achieve?

Courses are designed to achieve:

  • Improvements in the performance of union reps at the workplace and in the union
  • Greater understanding of trade union policies and priorities
  • Enhanced study skills and personal confidence
  • Recognition of learning achievements through accreditation
  • Personal satisfaction and enrichment through learning.

Where can I find out more?


The TUC Education site is invaluable to union reps as a one stop shop for all their training needs. The site includes information about all TUC Education courses across the UK; links to TUC campaign resources, information and publications; delivers online and blended learning; and provides up-to-date briefings for union reps via TUC eNotes.

Time off to learn

Union reps 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. Over 30,000 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. TUC Education has also produced a Training for Trade Union Workplace Reps – A Guide for Employers, a useful aid for union reps.