In this section

Trade Union Representatives Training

The BDA Trade Union Representatives Training Programme is a 4 day programme of learning which is structured to develop all of the basic knowledge and skills a BDA trade Union representative will need. 

The programme is delivered by TUC tutors and is accredited.  The programme consists of a two day residential course, with a pre attendance module to complete.  Then there is a further two day residential course two weeks later. Then modular work to do back in the workplace to complete the course programme.  It is essential that representatives complete the whole programme. 

TU training is held in March, May/June and October each year, at a trade union education centre.

The BDA Trade Union also run a programme of one day Annual Representative Development Days in each Country and in each Region in England to update Trade Union Representatives on changes in Employment Law.

For information and guidance on expenses please refer to the TU Expenses Guidance page (Members only) (

For the dates of all BDA Trade Union Representatives Training Courses please refer to the left hand banner or view / register on the BDA Events Calendar (

Short Cut to items on this page

Code of Conduct

When attending any BDA Trade Union Training, Committee Meeting or Event,  attendees are expected to comply with the BDA Trade Union Code of Conduct (

Trade Union Congress Training

The BDA Trade Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and therefore is able to make full use of the TUC’s education programme through and

There are several TUC education centres located all over the UK in order to make the education process easier for you to access and attend. On this web site is a brief list of TUC education centres or visit the TUC web site for the full list.

The courses are designed to fit into your normal working environment and will give you practical and theoretical knowledge and experience.

The training curriculum caters for all levels of representative’s experience and knowledge of trade unionism ranging from a Simple Introduction to Trade Union Representation or Health & Safety, to certification level in Employment Law, Health & Safety, Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

Here are examples of the learning subjects available:

  • Accident and Incident Investigation.
  • Asthma.
  • Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence.
  • Discussion Leaders.
  • Effective Risk Assessment.
  • Employment Law.
  • Greening the Workplace.
  • Grievance and Discipline.
  • Handling Casework.
  • Health & Safety Stage 1.
  • Next Steps for Safety Reps Stage 2.
  • Skills for Life and the Union Role.
  • Skills for Life: The Whole Organisation Approach.
  • Stepping Up – The Advanced Course for Union Reps.
  • Stress.
  • Successful Negotiating.
  • Tackling Bullying in the Workplace.
  • Tackling Discrimination.
  • Trade Unions – Global Economy and Change at Work.
  • TUC Certificate in Employment Law.
  • TUC Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health.
  • TUC diploma in employment law.
  • TUC diploma in occupational health and safety.
  • Understanding IOSH CPD.
  • Understanding Pensions.
  • Union Learning Representatives.
  • Union Reps Stage 1.
  • Using Computers for Union Reps.
  • Women’s Health & Safety.
  • Workforce Development.
  • Working with Employers – Developing a Project.

For a more complete list, visit the TUC website (

The courses are accredited towards NVQ levels in order to compliment the National Education curriculum.

The core Trade Union / Health & Safety courses are free to BDA representatives and expenses are paid for by the BDA Trade Union with prior authorization.

In accordance with Section 168 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the ACAS code of Practice, a TU / H&S representative is entitled to reasonable paid time off for training. Your employer must comply with this legislation.

If you are interested in attending any one of the TU / H&S representative courses, then here’s how to do it:

  1. Find your nearest TUC Education centre and contact them for the current training brochure / schedule details (
  2. Choose the training course you wish to attend.
  3. Obtain prior permission from your manager / employer for the time off to attend your chosen course.
  4. Fill in the application form attached to your TUC course literature and send via fax or post to the BDA TU Office for signed authorization. Then return the signed application form to the TUC.
  5. Confirm attendance to both the BDA TU Office and your manager / employer.

For further clarification and assistance please contact any member of the BDA TU Team by email or on 0121 200 8080.


Trade Union Congress Training Centres

The TUC provides a network of Trade Union Learning Centres which are normally part of a local college. 

Southern & Eastern

TUC Southern & Eastern Education
Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS
Tel: 020 7467 1237
Fax: 020 7467 1366

South West

South West TUC
Church House, Church Road, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7BD
Tel: 0117 947 0521
Fax: 0117 947 0523

Yorkshire & Humberside

Yorkshire & The Humber
Regional TUC Office, Friends Provident House, 13 / 14 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QS
Tel: 0113 242 9296
Fax: 0113 244 1161

North West

TUC North West Regional Office
TUC Office, Suite 506 – 510, The Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9UD
Tel: 0151 236 7678
Fax: 0151 236 2331


TUC Education
Midlands Regional Office, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham, B3 2PA
Tel: 0121 236 4454
Fax: 0121 236 7324

East Riding

East Riding College
The Trade Union Studies Centre, 24-30 St James Street, Hull, HU3 2DH
Tel: 01482 382545
Fax: 01482 382587


TUC Education in Scotland
4th Floor, John Smith House, 145-165 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 4RZ
Tel: 0141 221 8545
Fax: 0141 221 8575


Wales TUC Education
Transport House, 1 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF1 9SD
Tel: 02920 347010
Fax: 02920 221940


There are opportunities for development of skills and knowledge via E-Learning from the following:


Whether you’re a newly appointed or long serving Trade Union Reprsenative you need to keep up-to-date of current employment law and other legislation. The BDA understands that this commitment can sometimes be difficult to manage with personal and work commitments to also juggle. Traditionally new Trade Union reps have attended a basic course for ten weeks at a local training venue. This can cause problems for part time representatives and fails to support the needs of established reps that may require some refresher training.

In an effort to try and meet the needs of a diverse team of Trade Union Representatives the BDA has looked for alternative ways to meet this training need and we feel that for some reps this can be achieved via an e-learning courses. The courses we recommend are provided by the TUC and are available 24 / 7 they can be completed in the workplace, at home or other convenient location (library, internet café etc). Each online programme has been created using the same first-rate materials as their classroom based equivalents and is delivered in a friendly, encouraging manner by expert tutors. The online courses allow reps to network with other representatives and study for nationally recognised educational credits and awards that will ultimately meet professional development requirements and enhance their effectiveness in the workplace and within their union.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information regarding these courses should visit:

TUC Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety Online

This course will help health and safety reps become better reps by building health and safety organisation in the workplace; tackling welfare and environmental issues; deepening and extending the capacities of learners enabling them to access union health and safety posts or Higher Education opportunities and by developing personal / study skills, the ability to work collectively and generally improve the confidence of learners to study at a higher level.


ACAS also provide e-learning material in the following subjects:

  • Informing & Consulting
  • Discipline & Grievance
  • Handling Redundancy
  • Working Parents
  • Bullying & Harassment

This training is beneficial to anyone that would like to learn more about these and other employment issues and could act as refresher training for longer serving representatives.  For further information visit:

Note: to access this training you will first need to create a login.