The PCS Academy course programmes follow the following general pattern:
1. A series of bitesize learning modules. These modules cover some fundamental organising ideas and practices and are between 45 minutes and 3 hours in duration. These sessions will usually be delivered in the branch or with the support of PCS full time officials.
2. Short classroom course. Usually a one day, introductory course, delivered in your regional PCS office.
3. Multi-day classroom course. Usually delivered over between 3 and 6 days, interspersed over a number of weeks, with activities taking place between course sessions.
4. Multi-day residential course. This is a five day residential ‘school’, building on and developing the skills and experience you have built up during the previous training and in your workplace.
Courses are open to all members who want to get active in the union, are new to union activism or who are already reps with varying degrees of experience.
For some courses we have suggested minimum course requirements which you will need to enrol for the course, but members and reps will need to make an assessment about your skills and experience and therefore the courses which are most appropriate for you.
The core programme
The core PCS Academy programme aims to take members new to union activity through a complete sequence of trade union training. For members new to activism, or interested in getting involved in the union training begins with a basic introduction to the union through the Advocate short course or the one day ‘Welcome to PCS’ course, before progressing to the ‘Essential building blocks’ course.
Once a degree of experience and confidence is acquired, members are invited to apply for Organising to Win or the 5-day residential school.
There are 4 levels of course:
Step 1 – introductory courses, open to all members who are interested in getting involved in the union. No previous experience of being a rep or activist is required, but existing reps would benefit from revising these basic organising skills.
Step 2 – courses aimed at members who have recently become involved in the union or who want a taster of getting involved in activity. These courses are also open to reps who want to refresh their skills and share their experiences.
Step 3 – courses aimed at members who are already reps, whether new or established. These courses usually involve attendance at a course over a period of weeks and require participants to undertake work back in their branches.
Step 4 – advanced courses, aimed at existing reps, whether new or established. These course are often residential and require participants to complete a portfolio of work or equivalent.