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About ULRs

About union learning reps

Union learning representatives (ULRs) are reps who promote learning in their workplace.

ulr posterTheir four main responsibilities are to:

  • provide confidential support and encouragement to members who want to review and broaden their current range of skills
  • raise the profile of life long learning in the workplace by providing information and sign posting members on a range of learning opportunities- both work and non work related
  • help identify learning needs and appropriate provision by acting as a link between members, the union, the employer and training providers
  • work with local union committees to promote and include learning within the bargaining agenda and to build and strengthen the union member offer

ULRs have statutory recognition under the Employment Act 2002. This means they have the equivalent status to health and safety representatives, which includes a legal right to reasonable paid time off for carrying out their ULR duties and to attend the initial and any follow-on training associated with the role. Their rights were strengthened in 2010. You can find out more in the ACAS code of practice and our ULR factcard.

They make a real difference to colleagues within the workplace, improving skills for work and life.

What's in it for me?

By becoming a ULR you will get:

  • new skills and experiences
  • internal and external networking opportunities
  • a raised profile within your workplace, enabling you to contribute to internal training and development plans
  • the opportunity to contribute to and influence government policy on adult skills and education
  • job satisfaction

ULRs are entitled to paid time off for training to help them carry out their duties. Prospect provides accredited ULR training which consists of 2 full days (Stage 1 & 2) and a follow on 1-day course (Stage 3)

The ULR role is flexible and can be adapted depending on your current workload or personal commitments. In consultation with your local branch/section, and taking into account your working patterns and workplace need, you decide when, where and how to assist colleagues.

Prospect recommends that ULRs maintain their continuing professional development by attending and participating in regular learning and skills focused events which are offered throughout the year by Prospect and Unionlearn.

Did you know?

There are more than 24,000 ULRs across the trade union movement, Prospect currently has around 175 ULRs across a range of sectors and regions. 

You can find and book your next ULR training course online.

Interested? Do you have any questions about the role? Contact us or download our ULR factcard.

Already a ULR?

Visit our ULR resources page for useful tools, information on learning initiatives and related learning and skills websites.