Organising and learning

Building the union and recruiting more members should be everyone's priority.

It should not be seen as a once a year activity but as an ongoing process.

The more members we have, the stronger we are - but only if each workplace has activists who involve the membership in union activity.

This means that we will have more influence with employers, politicians and government and will be more successful in improving the lives of our members.

For more information on where your workplace fits into the PCS branch structures, please look at the PCS south west Google map.

This map shows all the PCS south west based branches, group by group. The left hand margin shows the listings, or you can click on the symbol on the map. The locations are either the main workplace or the branch chair’s workplace, as far as possible.

The map is to show members which other PCS branches are nearby in order to help in local organising and in national campaigns.

If members will find it useful, the contact details of branch secretaries or reps can be added. The map can be modified by the SW regional office, so we can respond quickly to whatever activists would find useful to be displayed or amended.

You can also get details of your branch secretary from the SW regional office.

TUed to support the National Campaign

In addition to our standard training programme we offer a range of TUed courses, workshops and briefings to all branches in the region to help support the national campaign to defend jobs, pay and conditions and services.

The courses will cover important topics such as recruitment, campaigning, organising, dealing with the media and public speaking. These can be broken down into shorter workshops as required by branches and will provide a real opportunity for reps and members to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the issues we all face.  See the events pages for details

If anyone has immediate queries please contact Rob Crew or 01392 410105.

Further details of this programme will be sent to branches by the end of September so please ask your branch secretary for further details once the materials have been made available.

Lifelong Learning to Support Members At Risk

PCS in the South West have access to support members most at risk from the threat of cuts and privatisation in civil service departments in the region through the ‘Skills for the Future’ and ‘Cornwall Convergence’ projects. By accessing this funding we can support learners in a range of subjects that can lead to NVQ, ITQ and skills for life qualifications, as well as helping members to access higher education opportunities.

Getting staff into learning is a good way to raise morale in workplaces, ring staff together and show potential members the great work we’re doing as a union.

Speak to your ULR and/or Rob Crew or 01392 410105 for further details.

Learning Information:

Trade union education

PCS runs a number of training courses in the region on a termly basis.

These courses are non-residential and are often held in the PCS regional office.

All regions run six core courses. These are:

  • Welcome to PCS - an introductory course for new reps
  • Organising
  • Handling personal cases
  • Tackling discrimination in the workplace
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Union learning reps

Our trade union education courses are designed to meet the needs of representatives at all levels.

Courses are lively and participative. All courses have a practical focus and include a range of tasks and activities.

Please note that anyone applying for any PCS or TUC Courses MUST fill in the appropriate application form and return to the PCS regional office.  Failure to follow this procedure could result in non-payment of travel and subsistence claims for the rep concerned.  If we know beforehand which reps are attending courses then it makes it easier for us to manage our training budget. Please also note that the union will only pay travel and subsistence in connection with attendance on the following courses:

  • Union Learning Reps (5 day initial course)
  • Union Reps Stage 1
  • Stepping Up – The Advanced Course for Union Reps
  • Health and Safety Reps Stage 1
  • Next Steps for Safety Reps

Funding for the Stage 3 certificate in Occupational Health and Safety
and any requests for support with courses not listed here must be arranged via Gareth Greenidge in the Organising and Learning Services department at PCS HQ. email:

Please submit applications as soon as possible to ensure your place on the course.

Applications for overnight stays will be considered but must be authorised in advance. Travel and subsistence is paid by your regional centre.

Details of organising and learning events and courses in the South West. 

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Courses in other PCS regions

We realise it can be appropriate for reps on the borders of the region to attend courses in Birmingham or London, especially if a particular course isn’t due to run in the South West for sometime.

Please contact Rob Crew on 01392 410105or email: at the South West Regional Centre first to discuss.

Bespoke courses

Our course programme aims to reflect theneeds of reps in the region. However, sometimes it may be necessary to hold a specific bespoke course to meet a particular training demand.

Again, please contact Rob Crew on 01392 410105 or email: at the South West Regional Centre to discuss.

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Skills for the future

In South West region (excluding Cornwall) ULRs from a range of civil service departments have successfully completed courses including NVQs, ITQs and skills for life as part of Unionlearn’s Skills for the Future Project which aims to improve improving skills, confidence and qualifications of those currently most vulnerable to losing their jobs or where workloads are changing and being significantly increased.

If you would like to know more about this project and lifelong learning in the region, please contact Rob Crew.

Cornwall Convergence


ULRs across several departments have done an excellent job of recruiting learners as part of the Cornwall Convergence Project. In particular learners have recently begun Skills for Life, NVQs in subjects such as customer care and advice and guidance, as well as IT qualifications.

Much of this work is currently focused around HMRC and MoD workplaces at the moment but there is plenty more opportunity for other departments to get involved in this project. Note that the project ends in December so we need to get interested branches and workplaces involved as soon as possible.

If you would like to know more please contact Rob Crew or 01392 410105. 

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Learning reps

PCS in the South West currently has over 100 learning reps.

The learning rep's role is to encourage and support learning in the workplace for example:

  • provide information and advice to members on learning
  • distribute information and advice to members on learning
  • advise PCS Learning Services of members learning needs and interests
  • signpost members towards professional careers guidance, where appropriate
  • provide a channel of communication between members, branches, PCS learning services and management.

If you are interested in becoming a PCS Learning Rep, please contact the South West regional office for further information or email

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Training room

The training room in the regional office is also available for members to book as a venue for meetings.  The room comfortably fits up to 20 people and tea and coffee is available.  Bookings are made on a "first come, first served" basis.  For availability contact the regional office.

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