Frequently Asked Questions


Are the courses open to non UNISON members?
The majority of courses are only for UNISON members. They are subsidised from the subs members pay each month and it is a benefit of your membership. There are a small number of workshops which are run in partnership with an external organisation or as part of a Festival such as LGBT Awareness Week which are open to all.

Is there any charge for the courses?
No, the workshops are all totally free. The Open University K101 programmes does have a cost and UNISON funds a limited number of places.

Am I entitled to paid time off from work to attend?
No, there is no automatic entitlement to paid time off work. Often managers will support their staff to attend because it helps develop relevant skills and knowledge in work. This also applies to courses such as stress, bullying, mindfulness, bereavement which can help people in their workplace.

Members who work in domiciliary/home care, day care or supported living in the private and community/voluntary sector can request time off from their employer who can then access funding towards backfill under the Training for the Domiciliary Care Workforce Project administered by NISCC.

Will I get paid travel expenses to attend?
Not for the workshops. We do offer travel expenses to Pathways and Women’s Health & History as a commitment to encouraging more women members to become UNISON reps.

Does the course have to be relevant to my work to attend?
No, you are welcome any workshop because of personal or professional interest. There are a small number of topics which are only of relevance to particular occupational group eg nurses.

Will I get a certificate?
We offer certificates of attendance for most workshops for those members who require verification of continuing professional development for NMC, NISCC, HCPC registration or your CV..

Do I need to have any qualifications to attend?

Can I just turn up on the day?
No, you must book in advance, some courses have limited numbers due to the interactive nature of the workshop. We need to confirm numbers in advance with tutors and for catering.

I am a retired member of UNISON, can I attend?
If you have registered as a retired member, which costs £15 for a lifetime, you are welcome to come along to any of our workshops.