Step 1 - Check that you are eligible to attend a reps course

Representatives courses are designed for union members who are also volunteer reps, branch officers or who are active union supporters with the local union branch.

Check with your union branch secretary or your full-time National Official (via head office on 0207 346 0900) to make sure you are on the BECTU reps database.


Step 2 - Decide what course you want to attend

Decide exactly what type of union activity you are most interested in - if you are already a BECTU representative go directly to the next section below. If you are a newcomer to union activity, think carefully about whether you want to be a:

  • Branch rep - representing individuals and groups, negotiating with employers
  • Safety rep - advising on safety matters, inspecting workplaces
  • Learning rep - finding out member's learning needs and helping them access learning
  • Equality rep - advising about equality and discrimination at work

Check out the BECTU Reps Courses but also those run by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Step 3 - Which training provider is best for you?

Once you have decided what area of activity you are most interested in and once you have been elected/appointed, then you are in a position to decide whether you would prefer to attend a BECTU course or a TUC course:

  • BECTU courses are focused more closely on our own industries. They are a mix of residential and day courses usually run at BECTU head office and around the country when numbers permit.
  • TUC/Unionlearn courses are available all around the UK usually in local colleges with a Unionlearn team. Sometimes courses are run by the local Workers Education Association. The TUC programme usually consists of 'day courses' local to you.

Step 4 - Apply for a place

BECTU - contact course adminstrator, Lesley Burt at Head Office or complete the BECTU application form and either post it to us or send as an email attachment to [email protected]

TUC - you will find all the local contact points for local colleges who have Unionlearn educational units on the TUC education website and follow the instructions. Please fill in the TUC funding form to claim expenses for attending a course.

When you book a place on a course it is vital that you apply to your company for special leave to train.


Step 5 - Take up your place

If your choice is to attend a BECTU course your first step will be to attend the Branch Reps Part 1 usually held at Head Office in London, though we can also deliver courses in Belfast, Cardiff/Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester - please check for availability.

Your next course of action depends on whether you are a branch rep, a safety rep or a learning rep. You simply apply for the course programme that is most appropriate for you. To do this simply go the page on BECTU reps courses to find out more.

 It is extremely important that you let us know if you cannot take up a place reserved for you as there will be a waiting list and hotels and other costs may be incurred.