Learning with PCS in London and the south east

Trade union education programme

PCS union education courses aim to support representatives in their role - whether this is recruiting new members, improving branch organisation, dealing with personal cases or negotiating with management.

Our courses are designed to meet the needs of reps of all levels - from new reps to experienced reps. We also provide courses for members who want to become more active.

Upcoming courses

Trade union education programme

New reps course - 3 days

This course is aimed at new reps or activists to provide a well-rounded overview of how PCS works and the role of reps and other activists.

The content includes the PCS branch and group structure, how decision and policy is made, the roles of branch reps and officers, provides an introduction to dealing with personal casework, union organising, equality, and more.

Representing members - 3 days

This course aims to give reps the skills and knowledge to advise and support members experiencing problems at work, including how to intervene and interact with employers to help prevent issues escalating. Reps learn how to deal with and manage personal case work, including communication techniques, managing members expectations and record keeping.

The course includes some basic employment law and importantly, the procedures, processes and resources involved in dealing with personal casework and basic negotiating at the workplace and branch level.

Organising course - 3 days

This course looks at ways to build a stronger more representative union in the workplace and improve engagement with members. It provides reps with skills and knowledge to recruit and campaign around issues affecting people at work, including targeted recruitment, communication skills and mapping techniques. Organising is at the heart of making PCs a more effective union and this course is a must for every activist.

Union learning rep - 3 days

This course explains the rights and role of learning reps in the workplace. Reps learn how to build knowledge and resources to help sign post others to appropriate training and development, along with the knowledge and skills needed to promote learning activities in their workplace.

It covers procedures and resources necessary for the ULR (union learning reps) role, including record keeping and reporting of “outcomes” to secure unionlearn funding.

Equality & Diversity – 3 day

This course aims to enable reps to challenge inequality, promote positive change and bring about greater equality and diversity in the workplace. It provides an overview of the Equality act and protected characteristics, explores the power of language and how to take forward issues in the workplace. Ideal for all reps and especially those with an equality role.

How to apply, travel costs and expenses

You must complete and return an application form and estimate of expenses at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the course. These are available to download from the London & South East events page.

All applications must be authorised by a branch official. All regional courses are non-residential.

You may be eligible to claim reasonable travel costs (2nd class rail) and subsistence. Details of what you can claim are available in the PCS expenses policy and guidance. Claim forms will be available on the day of the course for you to complete. These must be signed.

Return your application form and estimate of expenses to:

TUC regional courses

PCS also support the wide range of TUC courses (including Health & Safety) available across the region

Application for TUC courses is now via PCS in all cases. 

It is important that we monitor all applications, and that you confirm attendance, as TUC colleges generally require the approval of your union for attendance, and PCS needs to be aware of the level of training each branch has had.

You need to submit an 'Application & Estimate of Expenses Form' for any non-PCS trade union training course. 

Reasonable Travel and Subsistence is payable for "Stage 1" courses in most cases, subject to annual budgets. Travel and subsistence will not be paid if courses are not booked via the PCS regional office. 

If you are enquiring about a "Stage 2" (or "Next Steps") course and require any '"t&s" please submit a business case (see Page 3 of application form) to your branch secretary or chair, who should then authorise the form on behalf of the branch and send it to us at lse&easterntued@pcs.org.uk.  Funds are very limited for Stage 2 trade union education, so a very strong business case must be made. 

We are unfortunately unable to provide funding for diploma or degree courses at the present time.

For more information on TUC courses please contact Steven Warwick at lse&easterntued@pcs.org.uk or by phone on 020 7801 2764.

NB: if your TUC course start date is imminent, we advise that you provisionally book a place directly with the college in question, but please be aware that any travel & subsistence funding cannot be confirmed until PCS has received and approved your Estimate of Expenses Form.

If your branch would like to discuss training needs, contact Steven Warwick on 020 7801 2764 or email lse&easterntued@pcs.org.uk.

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