TUC Online training

Remember to inform your local ULR or a member of the ULF Project Team if you undertake any of these courses.


Over the past five years, thousands of reade union representatives have taken pasrt in and benefitted from the TUC's online learning programme.

Each online programme has been created using the same first-class materials as their classroom-based equivalents.

Online courses allow union reps to network with other reps and study for nationally recognised educational credits and awards that meet professional development requirements and enhance their effectiveness in the workplace and within their union.

The TUC Education's online courses are ONLY available to recognised union reps from TUC affiliated unions.  However, certain courses are made available for potential reps.  For example, Disability Champions @ Work, Going Global, Trade Unions and the Environment and Equality Reps.  In this instance, your application will need to be endorsed by your union.


How does online learning work?

All TUC Education's online courses are delivered through a web-based learning environment called Moodle.  Group activities take place using an online forum, which learners can log into whenever is convenient. Online courses involve a mixture of discussion-based activities, workplace tasks and individual project work.  Although reps are not required to log in at specific times, they do need to complete activities on a regular basis in accordance with a timetable set by the tutor at the beginning of the course.

We would expect you to:

* study between five and seven  hours a week

* work with any groups you are asked to join

* access the web and email at least three times a week

* complete tasks, workplace activities and course work on time

To get the most from online learning you will need to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and organised.


Application process

Union reps wishing to take a TUC Education online course must complete the appropriate application form available from

You will receive acknowledgement of your application by email within two weeks.  The email will give details of the expected course start date.


Getting ready for e-Learning

All successful applicants to a TUC Education online course are required to take a pre-course module before beginning their course.  This GReL module will help you understand the requirements and process involved in online learning, familiarise you with the Moodle system and allow you to meet fellow learners.



TUC Education accredits its online programme through the National Open College Network (NOCN) with the new Qualifications and Credit Framework providing clear national recognition of the quality of courses and the achievements of union representatives.

Registration for accreditation is voluntary.  There are no tests or examinations.  You will build up a file which shows the work you have completed during the course.  Open College Network (OCN) credits are awarded for achieving learning outcomes for that course.  The OCN will issue a certificate on completion.

Credits can be built up over a number of years to gain qualifications and are transferable.  They can be used to gain access to other courses in further and higher education.

All units used on the TUC Education programme are mapped to the Scottish and Welsh qualifications framework.


Can I get time off to learn?

Union representatives who wish to attend TUC Courses in working time should first ask their employer for time off with pay.  The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act  1992 and the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 give accredited union and safety reps a legal right to time off with pay to attend courses approved by the TUC or their union.

Studying online should not be considered a reason not to obtain agreement for paid release from work.  Moreover reps that secure paid release to complete their training find their course more manageable and are consequently more successful.

The law states that trade union reps are entitled to reasonable time off for education and training.  This law also applies to online courses, whether learning takes place at work, in your home, at a workstation or in a learning centre.