Learning in the region

Every PCS regional centre organises a programme of training courses for reps. These courses are non-residential and are usually held in PCS regional centres, in local colleges or at employers' premises.

PCS courses

Details of PCS courses taking place in the region during the current academic term can be found on the events and courses page.

There are 3 core PCS courses:

  • New reps
  • Organising to win
  • Representing members.

New reps

This course is aimed at new branch reps and is deigned to equip reps with the range of skills needed to deal with members and managers and to develop an understanding of how PCS works. All new reps are encouraged to attend this course.

Organising to win

This course is for reps who wish to improve union organisation in their workplace and who may negotiate with management. It is recommended that all BEC members attend this course.

Representing members

This course gives reps the skills to represent members in grievances, disciplinaries and begin to bargain with management.

In addition to these core courses, from time to time, the region also offers the following courses:

  • Union learning representatives (ULR)
  • Branch treasurer
  • Advanced personal cases
  • Employment tribunal.

If your branch has a particular training requirement it may be possible to deliver a course locally. To discuss this possibility please contact the regional learning organiser, Clare Hownam.

TUC courses

In addition to PCS courses the TUC offer training on some of the wider issues affecting PCS members, as well as essentials such as Health and Safety stage 1, at colleges within the region.

For details of TUC courses being run within the region during the current academic term please contact Linda Hughes in the PCS office in Newcastle.

Applying to attend a PCS or TUC course

Anyone applying for a PCS or TUC course must complete an application form and return it to the PCS regional office. If submitting a hard copy the form must be signed by the applicant and endorsed by an officer on the BEC. Electronic forms are also accepted and these should be emailed to northern@pcs.org.uk, a branch officer should also send endorsement of the application to the same email address.

Travel and subsistence

Expenses claim form

Please remember to claim all expenses within three months of them being incurred using the form above. Receipts should be provided whenever practical and in all cases where an individual expense is over £5. Please note that if you are attending a TUC course, expenses will only be paid if that course is either TU reps (stage 1), health and safety (stage 1), ULR (stage 1), or mental well-being.

5 mile rule

Day subsistence rates are payable if you are more than five miles from your home or office, whichever is the lesser.

Travel by car

Mileage will only be paid if it can be shown to be the cheapest total option, including additional subsistence that would have been incurred if public transport had been used. Mileage should be claimed from your home or normal office, whichever is nearest to the course venue and to verify this, all three postcodes must be supplied. Anyone with a disability who has to use their car may obtain authorisation for regular car use by writing to the director of finance explaining their full circumstances.

Travel by rail

Fully open tickets should not normally be used. Wherever possible, please try to purchase advance tickets to travel on a specific train; alternatively a discounted return ticket should be used.


In order to minimise delays in payment of expenses, remember to complete your claim form fully, include any necessary receipts and do not forget to sign and date the form.

For more information about regional training courses you should email: northern@pcs.org.uk

Page last updated 30 July 2018

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