Course description

The ability to represent members is one of the key skills of the union representative (as the name suggests). It is one of the four core skills that union reps will need to be effective, including 'Communicating', 'Organising' and 'Negotiating'. These are also the core roles of a union branch or shop.

The idea behind this course is that you will learn about how the relationships between workers/employees and employers are regulated by legislation and regulation. More importantly you will get some insight and practice into how to make use of the legislation to help you ensure that BECTU members are treated fairly at work and are able to raise issues and grievances effectively with your support.

Who should attend this course?

 Any union rep who wishes to accompany a fellow worker to a formal hearing must be accredited to do so - this is required by The Advice Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). This does not mean that you, as a volunteer, are compelled in some way to represent someone - just that you are able to do so. Always ask and take advice!

We recommend that you should attend the 1-day Union Reps part 1 before attending this course (or have some previous experience as a union rep). Please check with course tutor Martin Roberts if you are unsure which course to attend or in which order it is best to take the courses.

 If you are an elected or nominated  BECTU representative then you are probably entitled to time off for training by law. In addition all reps courses are free to attend and BECTU will pay reasonable expenses to enable you to attend.

Learning Outcomes

'Learning outcomes' are a way to describe what a course or a workshop will contain. Instead of listing what is included we spell out what you will be expected to know by the end of the course. By the end of this course you will have learned more about:

Understand more about union recognition and the law
Be more clear about the rights and responsibilities of reps and activists
Be able to critically assess recognition agreements
Understand grievance procedures
Understand discipline Procedures
Understand the right to be accompanied
be better able to involve members and improve union organisation

Key Readings

ACAS Code of Practice on Grievance and Disipline procedures

ACAS Guidance on Grievance and Discipline Procedures

TUC Guidance on Grievance and Discipline Procedures


Completion of this critical course means that BECTU deems you competent to able to represent or support a member at a formal hearing. You will have the knowledge, confidence and skills to better represent your members.

What next

At any time you have the choice to carry on with our own BECTU programme or try a TUC or GFTU course. If you want to pursue the BECTU programme then the next course will be Getting Organised  where you will learn about how union branches work and how to get members more actively involved in the union. This course will be organised on demand through your Divisional National Official.

Not the course you are looking for?

To see how we deal with your data go to our privacy notice


This course is being held at BECTU head office in London


This is a 2-day course, (10.00 - 5.00 with 1 hour for lunch on the first day and 10:00 - 4:00 on the second day)
Lunch is provided

Cost - FREE