Provide advice to union members

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to effectively provide advice to union members about their industrial and employment rights.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to individuals who have knowledge of unionism and industrial relations, and a commitment to advancing social justice principles. They provide leadership and guidance to workers and union members.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify information about members' rights

1.1. Select and utilise appropriate methods for gathering information from members

1.2. Gather information from members in a sensitive way

1.3. Identify and access sources of information which impact on a member's rights

1.4. Utilise effective communication techniques

2. Interpret information about members' rights

2.1. Interpret information within a legal, industrial and workplace context

2.2. Take account of relevant precedents, the member's expectations, and relevant cultural factors such as gender, ethnicity or the workplace

2.3. Seek union clarification of information if necessary

3. Provide information, advice and support to members

3.1. Provide members with accurate information

3.2. Identify options and recommend action in accordance with union policies and procedures

3.3. Identify opportunities to involve other members/employees in the issue

3.4. Make referrals to specialist services where appropriate

Required Skills

Required skills

analytical and research skills to gather and utilise information about legislation, awards, agreements and other relevant industrial instruments

culturally appropriate communication skills to relate to people from diverse backgrounds and people with diverse abilities.

Required knowledge

common law rights and obligations

decisions and actions of regional, national and international union bodies or other unions

national, state/territory legislation relating to industrial relations, vocational education and training, occupational health and safety (OHS), discrimination and equal employment opportunity

precedents for similar issues/matters

relevant employment agreements, awards and terms, and conditions of employment

union policies and procedures.

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

demonstration of a range of examples where union members have been provided with accurate information about the union, relevant legislation, awards and worker entitlements

knowledge of relevant employment agreements, awards and terms, and conditions of employment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to workplace and union documents

examples from work with union members

support from union officials.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

analysis of responses to case studies and scenarios

demonstration of techniques

direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate

observation of demonstrated techniques in speaking to workers about union matters

observation of presentations

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of decisions and actions of regional, national and international union bodies or other unions

review of methods used to gather information from members

review of information provided to members.

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

other workplace relations units.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Appropriate methods may include:

documents and other information

interviews in the workplace or elsewhere


workplace organising committee meetings

Sources of information may include:

awards, agreements, legislation or common law

grievances or disputes process

union and workplace policies

workplace precedents

Effective communication techniques refers to:

active listening

analysing and summarising

body language

interpersonal and language style

plain English

questioning (use of open or closed questions)

Opportunities to involve other members may include:

attending a meeting

involvement in a workplace election

joining a workplace organising committee

participating in a workplace activity, e.g. drafting a pamphlet

participating in an OHS or other committee

Specialist services may involve:

referral to a counselling or conciliation/mediation service

referral to a senior union officer

referral to legal counsel

relevant agency or tribunal, e.g. industrial relations tribunal


Unit sector

Competency Field

Workforce Development - Workplace Relations

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.