Trade Union Management Development Programme

Whether a new appointment, a person growing in their role or somebody that has been doing the job for a while but without training, the GFTU is certain that most managers in trade unions are often expert in their field (as paid officers for instance, in terms of advocacy and negotiating skills, employment law, industrial relations, etc.) but often have little experience of managing projects, staff, finances and complex organisations.

To varying degrees, we all have different memories of learning when we were younger, some positive and some less so, as with our experience of management and knowledge of good management techniques which are often limited to being badly managed themselves in the past with very limited examples of effective management to refer to.

New trade union managers (including paid officials and EC members) need to develop and use a wide range of competences including project management, maximising performance, change management, dealing with difficult situations, developing and coaching staff and activists, and developing strategy and leadership as well as balancing the books effectively and communicating objectives widely.

In the commercial world such courses would have an emphasis on maximising profit and delivering shareholder value – in our world, however, the emphasis is on ensuring we get the most from our efforts and members’ contributions whilst adhering to trade union principles. We have created a unique niche in the development of a trade union management. The course is delivered with trade union principles at the forefront of its thinking and modern practice in the various units always to mind.

The programme has been re-designed to be more interactive and will be delivered by very experienced trade unionists with experience of management in trade unions. Guest speakers will also attend some units. It will mostly be face to face learning, but there may also be some elements of personal and online learning to supplement the programme. Support will be offered to those that haven’t been in a learning situation for a while.

The course methodology will also enable extensive peer discussion amongst TU officers and employees about the common issues we face in our everyday roles and explore solutions.

Who should apply for this programme?

  • Trade union employees in management or supervisory roles and EC members
  • Paid trade union officials
  • Senior representatives and convenors

Institute of Leadership and Management Development programmes recognise the value of leadership and management development as a means of raising management capability within the Trade Union Movement.

This blended learning programme includes self-directed learning, group learning through discussions, facilitated activities and self-reflection. Guest speakers will be invited to provide a personal insight into their roles, Course materials are provided to each participant.

Learning sessions will mainly be held at Quorn Grange Hotel near Loughborough in Leicestershire ( For those requiring accommodation either side of a one day unit, a special discounted room rate has been negotiated at the hotel. This has to be paid by each individual when making the booking.

This is the trade union movement’s management development qualification

What will it cost?

The GFTU Educational Trust subsidises this course, but some costs are necessary to pass on.

For GFTU affiliated unions

This ILM Management Development programme will cost £950

For non GFTU affiliated unions

This ILM Management Development programme will cost £1500

This newly offered course schedule will commence in October 2017.

A brief summary of the course content is given below;

1 Understanding the management role to Improve management performance. 

This module explores concepts of leadership, developing self-awareness and personal leadership style, best practice in managing change and practical tools.

There will also be an exploration of handling grievance and disciplinary matters and will explore fairness, procedures, ACAS Codes and the reality at work.

2 Management communication.

This module explores and considers effective management interpersonal skills for the workplace and how to manage meetings more effectively.

3 Becoming an effective leader.        

 This short workshop explores the fundamental principles of leadership, how to set meaningful objectives to empower individuals and teams.

4 Coaching and mentoring in the workplace.                          

A workshop to develop coaching and mentoring techniques.

5 Understanding financial management.

Developing your understanding of financial information, developing financial planning and budgeting skills to control expenditure.

6 Managing a healthy and safe environment.

A workshop exploring the employees, managers and employers rights and responsibilities in the workplace and will consider managing stress and conflict in the organisation, providing practical skills for having difficult conversations and strategies for moving forwards.

7 Managing Equality and Diversity in the organisation.

Understanding the law relating to equality and diversity, your company policies and what these mean in practice, it will also give you the practical skills to measure, monitor and build diversity in your area of responsibility.

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