RMT Trade Union Education Programme 2020

Circular No. Ed/161/19

10th September 2019


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 2020. This programme will be delivered at the Bob Crow National Education Centre (BCNEC) in Doncaster and where requested Regionally. Regional trade union education programmes that require support from the BCNEC should be discussed, agreed regionally and submitted to the National Education Officer preferably before the end of 2019.

The programme as ever is developed and designed to best equip our Unions activists, 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 activists and reps from across our union learning from each other and strenghtening our union.

This circular also has attached the required National Application form that all members have to fully complete before sending in to the Bob Crow National Education Centre for the attention of the National Education Officer. This application form is also available on the RMT website. Members should also note that applications to attend courses can also be made online, each application being notified to the respective Branch Secretary by email.

The National Education Course Application form and the associated Regional form attached have been revised to include an opportunity for applicants to briefly outline any Union activity or role previous courses have enabled them to do. For those attending their first course the opportunity to set out very briefly what they expect from the course to assist them with future union activity or a particular role.

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.

 Regional courses should be an integral part of the wider regional plans to better organise the union.

 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 the majority of courses within the national programme will be fully accredited.

 All regional courses should be organised at venues that take account of issues of disability in relation to access and the overall learning environment.

 Courses from the national programme delivered regionlly will be funded by Head Office as now and administered jointly. 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.


The union is right to seek to ensure the maximum benefit in terms activity and involvment from those attending national or regional edcuation courses back in the workplace, union structures and the wider labour movement. A three 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 Mentor for the sole purpose of supporting them into activity and offering any assistance or information they may need locally.

• Following each course, Regional Mentors will receive the contact information of students attending from their region with the task of following up with the student, several weeks after the close of the course.

• The Regional Mentors will provide a report back to the National Education Officer of the feedback received for a regular report to the NEC.

To assist the above it would be extremly helpful if all Regions could ensure they are represented on the National Education Advisory Committee and that they have at least one Regional Education Mentor in place.

This circular will have attached;
 Application form for Education Advisory Committee
 National & Regional Education Application forms

The course calendars will be attached electronically and placed on the unions website (Education Section).

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, nationally and regionally, 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

RMT General Secretary