Additional courses

In addition to our main programme of activist education courses, the UNISON South East also runs additional courses throughout the year.

Some are programmed, some are demand-driven, but all help equip our activists for the roles they undertake.

Additional Regional Courses

Branch Officer Training

This is an annual residential weekend training event that covers all the key branch officer positions. All courses are run at the same hotel over the same weekend.

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ERA (Employment Relations Act 1999) Refresher Training

This course is part of the UNISON commitment to provide regular training for UNISON representatives. All UNISON stewards are offered appropriate training and development opportunities to maintain and develop their skills. This course is for the ongoing ERA accreditation of stewards who have undertaken refresher or other appropriate training and development within a five year period.

Online Branch Accounts (OLBA)

This course is aimed at Branch Treasurers. It is mandatory for all branches to have on-line accounts, therefore this course needs to be completed to ensure consistency and the functionality on the online branch accounting system.

Finance in the Organised Branch

This course is aimed at Branch Treasurers and other Branch Officers who are interested in the role of branch finances.

  • Identify the duties and main responsibilities of the Branch Treasurer
  • Recognise the role of branch treasurer in organising and supporting the branch
  • Understand the branch accounting cycle
  • Budgeting and managing finances as part of the  joint branch assessment process

Mental Health at Work

This course is aimed at stewards and branch officers that may have to face the challenge of dealing with members who have mental health problems.

  • Examine what we mean by ‘mental illness’
  • Look at what employers can do to maintain mental health at work
  • Common signs and symptoms of poor mental health at work
  • Strategies for intervention and support
  • Stress in the workplace and strategies for coping with stress

Dealing with Reorganisation and Redundancy

This course is aimed at reps who negotiate on behalf of the branch.

  • Understand the law in relation to reorganisation, including TUPE and redundancies
  • Understand the trade union approach to reorganisation
  • Methods and procedures for dealing with reorganisation
  • Understanding employer procedures
  • How to use the Equality Duties in regards to reorganisation


This course is a taster 1-day workshop aimed at newly elected stewards.

  • Jargon busting
  • Your branch and branch roles
  • How to help members
  • Understanding how UNISON works

Mentoring in the UNISON Branch

This course is aimed at newly elected stewards and introduces the principle of mentoring as a means of support for new stewards.

  • What is mentoring?
  • Understanding the context of a regional or branch strategy on mentoring
  • Developing key mentoring skills
  • The process of developing stewards
  • Agreeing the scope and boundaries of the role of mentors

Tutor Training (3 modules)

  • Module 1: Discussion Leading Skills

This course is aimed at UNISON activists who want to use education methods to run organising-focussed branch based discussions for members. The course introduces activists to education methods for use in branch activities. It aims to give activists the skills and confidence to run small branch and workplace discussions.

  • Module 2: Lay Tutors Stage 1

This introductory course on tutoring methods is aimed primarily at branch activists who want to use education methods to run organising-focussed branch based training for members. You will need to complete both this course and the UNISON ‘Equalities for Tutors’ course to become a UNISON Lay Tutor.

  • Module 3: Equality Awareness for Lay Tutors

This training is mandatory for all UNISON Lay Tutors. This course will build confidence and covers dealing with equality issues assertively and understanding the deep-rooted nature of prejudice and discrimination.


Demand-Driven Courses

Disability Champions

This course will look at how discrimination can occur, the legal rights of those with disabilities and the sources of support available both inside and outside of the workplace.

Using Social Media as an Organising Tool

This course is aimed at reps of all levels and experience, and is designed to teach reps about the different kinds of, and uses for, social media platforms. It will cover the skills and techniques needed to make social media a successful tool for union branches and activists.

Unfair Dismissal

This is an introductory course that looks at conduct and capability, and provide an overall guide to unfair dismissal and offences listed as dissmissable in the disciplinary policy.

Sex and Race Discrimination

This is an introductory course looking at indirect and direct discrimination with regards to race and sex, looking at evidence of victimisation and discrimination time-limits.

Race Discrimination Grievances

This is an introductory course looking at your grievance procedures, a briefing on discrimination law, case studies and the pros and cons of bringing a grievance case.

Return to Learn (R2L)

The course will help you develop your skills and give you greater confidence in five key areas: writing, investigating and research, analysing and problem solving, working with numbers and basic computer skills.

Recruitment Techniques

This workshop will help you to deliver recruitment events in the workplace and increase your confidence when using a range of recruitment techniques.

Privatisation and Outsourcing

Aimed at branch activists in all sectors who are faced with outsourcing and privatisation.

Strategic Campaigning

The course introduces key steps in the running of a strategic campaign to deliver achievable results and a positive outcome in terms of organisation and branch recruitment.

Women’s Lives

This course is specifically designed for women who have been away from learning for some time but who would now like to take up new learning opportunities.

Handling Basic Pension Enquiries

This course aims to provide UNISON activists with the knowledge and skills to deal with basic pension problems and to be able to process more complex problems in a more efficient way.

Union Learning Reps

Union Learning Reps are enthusiasts and advocates for learning in their own workplace. Their role will vary according to their own circumstances.

Challenging Racism in the Workplace

The aims of this course are to help branches and branch negotiators become more active in identifying and challenging those issues that affect Black workers collectively.

Equality Reps

UNISON has developed a 3-day course specifically for our Equality Reps. The course covers UNISON’s approach to equalities, legislation and how you can make a difference.

Dealing with Stress

This course is aimed at all activists and will focus on a definition of stress and how to deal with it, understanding the causes of stress and the effects on your health, understanding legislation concerning stress and building a balance between trade union roles, paid employment and home life.