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Apprenticeship training course

Trade union official (level 4)

Develop and deliver union organising activities and campaigns that will recruit and retain union members and activists.

Qualification level
Equivalent to higher national certificate (HNC).
Typical duration
18 months
Apprenticeship category
Business and administration
Maximum funding
Maximum amount government will fund
for apprenticeship training.
Also known as
  • Area official
  • Area organiser
  • Industrial officer full time officer (FTO)
  • Learning organiser caseworker
  • Organiser
  • Organising officer
  • Regional industrial officer
  • Regional officer
  • Regional official
  • Regional organiser
  • Trade union official
Skills an apprentice will learn
  • Critically apply knowledge of the industrial social and sectoral history of the Trade Union movement to inform promotion of the purpose and benefits of Trade Unionism to a range of audiences and stakeholders.
  • Create effective membership structures across the workplaces within their responsibility that are reflective of Trade Union inclusive practice and also the membership profile. Ensures that membership structures are designed with regard to PESTEL analysis, maximising the potential for the structure to flourish.
  • Identifies, builds and maintains effective relationships in order to create a successful union presence. Builds rapport where needed. Recognises all potential stakeholders and target audiences relevant to their membership structures, campaigns, and wider Trade Union agendas. Identifies the key stakeholder power and influence relationships and uses this to best effect in advancing their objectives. Utilise leverage that the community has on Trade Union objectives.
  • Identifies and utilises a wide range of data and information that will inform own decision-making and influence others, in particular relating to campaign strategies. Selects appropriate research approaches in order to source and interrogate information.
  • Selects appropriate project tools and implements these effectively to the entire lifecycle of a project or campaign, from planning to delivery and evaluation. Sets timeframes, tasks, objectives and evaluates.
  • Actively listens to the concerns of members. Targets messages and presents both fact based evidence and persuasive arguments in ways that are tailored to their audience and can be clearly understood in order to progress a Trade Union issue. Applies judgement to select the most effective communication/campaigning and evaluation methods and deploys effectively. Presents the key objectives of a campaign while managing expectations of members. Communicates persuasively and with conviction. Recognises discrepancies and gaps in information and uses a range of questioning techniques to clarify and extract as much detail as possible.
  • Analyses membership data to assess, develop and enact retention and recruitment strategies. Uses effective problem solving techniques to make well-informed judgements/decisions. Uses information from a range of sources to determine the appropriate course of action.
  • Applies appropriate recruitment techniques and articulates the value of membership. Overcomes challenges to joining in order to ‘close the deal’, when appealing directly to potential new members or when seeking to maximise the retention of existing members. Empowers others to recruit new members and retain existing members.
  • Maximising the potential for success by identifying, applying and positioning legislation, codes of practice and policies in a variety of situations including union recognition, collective bargaining, individual representation, and other areas. Implement systems to confidently advise and support members as well as protect own union (for instance from risk of litigation).
  • Delivers informal education and other learning opportunities that meet Trade Union objectives, choosing an appropriate development method tailored to the audience. This includes, but is not limited to, developing members to become representatives in their workplaces, maximising Trade Union presence and autonomy within the workplace setting.
  • Adopts an appropriate leadership style in order to motivate, unify and strengthen Trade Union membership and self-sustaining workplaces within own jurisdiction. Manages setbacks whilst maintaining unity with members. Applies democratic principles in line with own Trade Union rulebook.
  • Design, deliver and evaluate effective and engaging campaigns that win for members and create opportunities for growth. Bring Union policy to life, translating plans into realistic targets, objectives and time frames.
  • Uses tact and diplomacy appropriately to mediate and reconcile different points of view and resolve problems whilst representing and/or advocating on behalf of members. Articulates the case to best effect by selecting persuasive arguments. Manages conflict and handles dissension calmly and confidently, upholding and maximising the reputation of the Trade Union at all times. Identifies and organises collective responses where appropriate. Explains and defends own point of view; thinks clearly and rapidly under pressure and uncertainty.
  • Adopts and adapts the appropriate negotiating styles and techniques to maximise the potential for successful bargaining (such as effective preparation, building support for the issue, being the legitimate voice of the workforce, adopting a strategic approach, identifying and applying leverage, knowing when to adapt the negotiating strategy, promoting beneficial change and reaching mutually agreeable solutions). Applies sound judgement in progressing and concluding negotiations with the ability to identify routes to a successful outcome.
  • Applies sound judgement related to confidentiality, maintaining it where appropriate and ensures that procedures and legislation are followed.
  • Maximises the organising potential in workplaces within their allocation by applying the principles, practices and methodologies of organising trade union workplaces taking into account own union's approach and strategy to organising. Ability to organise around a wide range of issues including but not limited to industrial issues, health and safety, and workplace learning.
  • Identifies and addresses equality issues and opportunities. Develops and applies strategies that progress the Trade Union equality agenda and own union's equality priorities. Applies campaigning techniques to address inequality in the workplace and beyond.

Full information on Trade union official (level 4) is available from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

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