RMT Trade Union Education Programme 2022

Circular No. Ed//349/21

16th September 2021


To: All Branches & Regional Councils, Regional Organisers and Head Office Officers & Staff.

Dear Colleague.


I am pleased to be able to set out the initial Trade Union Education Programme for 2022. At all times the programme will take cognisance of any health guidance or instructions in place as agreed by the Unions National Executive Committee (NEC). The Bob Crow National Education Centre (BCNEC) will be subject to an on going Risk Assessment plan and regional venues must meet the same standard of risk assessment provided by the venues’ own risk assessment. It is the case that changes to the risks to health may impact upon the programme. All regional courses should be organised at venues that take account of issues of disability in relation to access and the overall learning environment.

This circular sets out the 2022 programme that will delivered at the BCNEC in Doncaster.

Online Applications can be made when the programme goes ‘live’ on 1st November 2021 at https://eservices.rmt.org.uk/index.php/

Log on or Register, click on emembership, top right, this brings up a list on the left, right at the bottom is RMT Training Courses, click and this brings up all available courses in date order.

Paper applications can be made prior to this, see Appendix A

The programme as ever is developed and designed to best equip our Unions workplace representatives, officials and officers to support, advise and represent our members across the union. The programme includes the core skills courses for all grades seeking education for Workplace Representatives and Branch Officials roles as well as a number of specialist courses to equip our Representatives and Officials with the skills and knowledge to deal with those issues in the workplaces. The learning style is one of collaboration and participation with reps from across our union learning as a multi grade Union from each other and strengthening our Union for all.

The full programme is attached to this circular (appendix B) and is available on the RMT website.

The Union is right to seek to ensure the maximum benefit in terms activity and involvment from those attending national or regional education courses back in the workplace, union structures and the wider labour movement. A four stage approach will look to provide information to assess those outcomes:

• All regions are encouraged to organise, funded by Head Office, the Workplace Introductory Course for new activists/reps etc.

• All Branch Secretarys when considering course applicants should discuss with the applicant ‘how the course will help them in their current role/activity or the role/activity they intend to undertake” .

• All courses will include a specific structured discussion within the course covering; “what students expect to gain from the course, how they are or intend to be involved following the course”. This discussion will form part of the Tutor’s workbook notes for accreditation purposes.

• Students will be informed on the course that they will be contacted following the course by their Regional Office for the sole purpose of supporting them into activity and offering any assistance or information they may need locally.

To continue to deliver the considerable trade union education programme of recent years and to directly link it to outcomes in ‘activity’ and recognise the work to organise and sustain a fully accredited programe a number of requirements need to be acknowledged and applied;


The programme is extensive and requires significant administrative management, so to assist this the following will apply to all courses;

• All Courses will require a minimum of 8 applications to have been received by the National Education Officer 14 days before the course is due to commence – otherwise the course will be rescheduled.

• The National Trade Union Education Programme is, following a decision of the NEC, accredited with East Riding College (currently the agreement is being updated). In due course it is expected the majority of courses within the national programme will be accredited.

• Courses from the national programme delivered regionally will be funded by Head Office as now. This does not preclude regions organising Regionally ‘specific’ courses locally but these will be organised and funded by Regional Councils.

• The National Education Advisory Committee will continue to advise the NEC on matters concerning education & learning when required.

All reasonable expenses will be reimbursed on production of receipts and mileage claims must have a receipt for actual fuel purchased (HMRC requirement). Paid release should be applied for when applying for courses, if paid release is refused for Workplace Representatives or Health & Safety you must contact your Regional Organiser.


Online courses offer greater flexibility and opportunity for those Reps unable or unwilling to attend a course on a residential basis. Therefore courses will be made available on a demand led basis throughout the year quarter by quarter.

To assist all of the above it would be extremly helpful if all Regions could ensure they are represented on the National Education Advisory Committee.

Subsequent circulars will be issued on the management of ONLINE & Regional Courses.

If you require any further detail on the courses or the Bob Crow National Education Centre then please contact the RMT National Education Officer at a.gilchrist@rmt.org.uk

I hope you will appreciate these adjustments will ensure we maintain an extensive accredited programme of Trade Union Education, whilst seeking to ensure the Union as a whole benefits from more within our ranks prepared to deliver for our members and the union and labour movement.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
RMT General Secretary