TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

This course will help experienced safety reps develop their understanding of health and safety principle and practice.

The course gives learners the opportunity to question the development and function of health and safety law, discover how to build trade union organisation for health and safety and tackle some of the health, safety, welfare and environmental problems that workers currently face.

Who is this course for?

The course is designed specifically for experienced health and safety reps.

How long is the course?

This course is 36 days, delivered over a year .

What will the course help me to do?

The course will help you:

  • question the development and function of health and safety law
  • discover how to build trade union organisation for health and safety
  • tackle some of the health, safety, welfare and environmental problems that workers currently face.

What subjects will be studied?

The TUC Diploma is accredited by the NOCN and is divided into several units - three core units and four study skills units - see below.

Occupational Health, Safety, Welfare and Environment Unit

This unit focuses on four main topics, occupational health, safety welfare and environment problems at work, sources or information, the use of evidence in a problem solving process, and trade union strategies for tackling priority issues.

This unit will help you to understand:

  • health, safety, welfare and environmental problems
  • key sources of information on health, safety, welfare and environmental problems
  • evidence to support solutions to priority problems
  • trade union strategies for tackling priority problems

Occupational Health and Safety Organisation Unit

This unit focuses on two main topics, union organisation and management organisation.

This unit will help you to understand:

  • the role of your union health and safety organisation at a local level
  • the role of your union health and safety organisation at a national and international level
  • the principles of health and safety management
  • the role of occupational health and safety services

Occupational Health and Safety Law Unit

This unit focuses on four main topics: the criminal legal system for occupational health and safety and improvements needed; the civil legal system for occupational health and safety and improvements needed; the way laws are developed in the UK and how trade unions can influence these developments; the way international standards are developed and how trade unions can influence these developments.

This unit will help you to understand:

  • the way the criminal and civil legal systems cover occupational health and safety
  • ways in which occupational health and safety law could be improved
  • how occupational health and safety law is developed
  • how trade unions can influence the development of occupational health and safety law

Study skills units

Communication and study skills

  • read and respond to written materials
  • produce written materials
  • prepare and make a presentation to a group
  • take part in discussions and work collectively

Research project

  • project planning
  • research skills
  • presenting a project

Working with figures

  • statistical and mathematical techniques to collect and record data
  • sources of data
  • presenting numerical information

Information communication technology

  • prepare and input data
  • display and present information
  • present data
  • use database, word processing and spreadsheet applications

What are the entry requirements?

Union safety representatives who wish to take this course should have:

  • previously attended the TUC stage 1 and 2 Health and Safety Courses; or
  • obtained 8 30-hour NOCN credits, with a minimum of 4 credits at Level 2 (24 10-hour NOCN credits); or
  • obtained a suitable equivalent to the two categories above through their own union's courses or from elsewhere.

Please note all applicants to the online course will be required to complete a second stage application form detailing the knowledge and experience that they have gained as a trade union rep. This will be used by tutors to assess applicants' suitability for the course.

What qualifications will be awarded?

It is possible for participants to achieve numerous qualifications from this course.

The TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The TUC will award its Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety after the participant has achieved 60 credits at levels 2 or 3 or a combination of both levels.

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

The TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety at NOCN Level 3 is accredited to meet the academic requirement for Safety Technician (Tech IOSH) grade. This category is for a person holding a qualification that covers the breadth of ENTO standards at Level 3 and at least 5 years verifiable experience in a health and safety role (for example as a safety rep; a manager, a supervisor, a worker, or a combination of roles which involve health and safety. Reps must achieve the TUC Certificate with 60 credits at level 3, and must take part in Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

According to IOSH, 'Continuing Professional Development is the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills. It also involves the development of personal qualities needed by the professional in order to carry out managerial and technical duties. The CPD process continues throughout the working life of the safety and health professional.'

'Kitemarked' Access to Higher Education award

For this award participants need:

  • a total achievement of 48 credits, 36 of which will be at Level 3
  • of those, 36 Level 3 credits achieved from within the TUC Diploma, at least 30 credits will be at Level 3 from the following units: Occupational Health, Safety Welfare and Environmental Issues; Occupational Health and Safety Organisation; Occupational Health and Safety Law; Research Project.

NOCN Key Skills Qualifications

It is possible to achieve the NOCN Intermediate Key Skills Award or the NOCN Advanced Key Skills Award.

NOCN Credits for each unit studied

Participants who successfully complete each unit will be awarded the relevant NOCN credit(s) for that unit, at levels 2 or 3.

Can I get time off to learn?

Union representatives who wish to attend TUC courses in working time should first ask their employer for time off with pay. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 give accredited union and safety representatives a legal right to reasonable time off with pay to attend courses approved by the TUC or their union. Guidance towards establishing what constitutes reasonable time off can be found in the ACAS Code of Practice (pdf).

You can also get time off for online courses. Online learning should not be seen as an alternative to paid release from work. The law still applies, whether learning takes place away from work or in work, at a workstation or in a company learning centre.

Representatives who find difficulty in obtaining paid time off to attend TUC courses should seek assistance from their senior union representative or full time union officer.

How much is the course?

There are no course fees for union reps from TUC affiliated unions.

Further information

If you require any further information about this course, please contact your TUC Regional Education Officer.

Apply for this course

See where and when this course is available. Search the directory.

Last modified: Monday, 19 January 2015, 11:36 AM