Booking and attending courses

To apply for a course contact your branch education co-ordinator or branch secretary in the first instance. They can also help you find the right course for you, and dealing with any accessibility concerns.

If you are unsure who you need to contact please get in touch with your regional education section.

For most courses, you will need to complete an application form included in the relevant regional or national education programme.

Finding the course

Your branch education co-ordinator,learning rep or lifelong learning advisor can help you find the right course for your personal or professional development.

They will work with your branch to negotiate learning partnerships with your employer. That will allow you to have time off for learning.

Your learning reps will work with the member and self-organised groups in your region to make sure that all underrepresented groups have access to learning opportunities.


We will provide course materials in large print or Braille and provide facilitation on UNISON courses as long as your requirements are clear when you complete the course application form.

If you have childcare or other caring responsibilities and you are attending training away from home or when you would not normally be at work UNISON or your branch will provide a crèche or cover the cost of care.


UNISON pays for the activist training courses and materials for courses.

Where there is a charge, it is to branches, not to you.

Some member education is also free to learners, and in other cases you can apply for a bursary or learning grant to help with costs.

Financial support

Time off for training

Stewards, health and safety reps and union learning reps have the right to paid time off for training in their union duties in workplaces where UNISON is recognised for collective bargaining by the employer. This also applies to part-time activists and those who take part in online courses.

Finding time to train