Recognised Unions

British Dietetic Association

The BDA is the only body in the UK representing the whole of the dietetic workforce. We are a trade union and professional body representing the professional, educational, public and workplace interests of our members. Founded in 1936, we are one of the oldest and most experienced dietetic organisations in the world.

Membership is open to anyone working in dietetics, in nutrition, or who has an interest in diet or food, throughout the world. We represent the whole of the dietetic workforce – practitioners, researchers, educators, support workers and students.

The BDA seeks to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all members, including fair representation and access to services and participation. We will seek to protect the rights of all members to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We will promote the equality of opportunity for the dietetic profession, and work to remove barriers to career progression

This website provides a large amount of information for anyone interested in food and nutrition as well as dietetics as a career. If you are a BDA member, you will also have access to a wide variety of resources and support in your work or practice.

British Dental Association

The BDA are the voice of dentists and dental students in the UK.

We bring dentists together, support our members through advice and education, and represent their interests.

As the trade union and professional body, we represent all fields of dentistry including general practice, community dental services, the armed forces, hospitals, academia, public health and research. Trade unions have a special status in law which gives them special rights and employers have to work with recognised unions, which the BDA is one.

To serve the needs of our members within the Trust salaried services, we have local representatives, which are elected every 3 years and are called Accredited Representatives (AR).

Accredited Representatives sit on both the JNCC – (Joint Negotiating Consultative Committee) and the JNLC (Joint Negotiating Local Committee) – the latter which looks at specific pay and condition issues linked in with the Doctors and Dentists Review Body. (Doctors and Dentists are outside of Agenda for Change).

As such AR’s can get involved in:

  • negotiate agreements with employers on local conditions
  • discuss major changes such as redundancy
  • discuss members’ concerns with employers
  • accompany members to disciplinary and grievance meetings
  • make sure that the health and safety of workers is protected

British Medical Association

Benefits for your employment and career

Employer advisory service

Are you a GP employer? As a member, get comprehensive, impartial and authoritative advice on a huge range of employment-related issues from our dedicated advisors.

Immigration advice

Moving to a new country often comes with many challenges. Our specialist advisers, visa alert emails and expert immigration guidance can help you through them.

Individual employment advice

Whatever your branch of practice, you can turn to our expert employment advisers for guidance on contracts, pay, annual and parental leave, discrimination and more.

Contract checking service

Over 11% of contracts checked last year contained deviations from the recommended model. Does yours? Ensure your contract is correct with our free checking service.

Learning and development

From face-to-face masterclasses, to webinars and e-learning modules – we provide a variety of options to help with your professional development.

Access a range of useful resources from BMJ – including their international peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ, professional development courses and jobs listings.

Pensions advice

Pensions are a complex and changing issue. Our dedicated in-house team of experts are on-hand to advise you on the 1995-2008 sections of the NHS pension scheme.

Ethics toolkits

Developed with members in mind, our ethics toolkits contain essential guidance to help you navigate the legal and ethical issues you may encounter in your clinical practice.

The British and Irish Orthoptic Society

The British and Irish Orthoptic Society is the professional body for Orthoptists. Orthoptists are registered Allied Health Professionals regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK and CORU will be the regulator in the Republic of Ireland.

BIOS was founded in 1937 and is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

BIOS is affiliated to the Allied Health Professionals Federation, a group made up of 12 bodies representing more than 158,000 workers in the UK.

BIOS is also a member of the International Orthoptic Association and OCE.

BIOS members in the UK are also automatically trade union members of the British Orthoptic Society Trade Union (BOSTU).

Trade unions are groups of employees who join together to maintain and improve conditions of employment.

The typical activities of a Trade Union includes providing assistance and services to their members, collectively bargaining for better pay and conditions for all workers, political campaigning and industrial action.

BOSTU train and organise workplace representatives who help members with the problems they may face at work. BOSTU representatives are provided with regional BOS training and they can also access CSP local training days.

Local representatives:

  • negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions
  • discuss major changes such as redundancy
  • discuss members’ concerns with employers
  • accompany members to disciplinary and grievance meetings

Trade unions have a special status in law which gives them special rights.

Employers have to work with recognised unions to:

  • negotiate pay and working conditions
  • inform and consult over changes at work such as redundancies
  • make sure that the health and safety of workers is protected

Union representatives have the right to consult their members and employers. This means that, as a worker, you can have your say about workplace issues.

BOSTU is dedicated to serving the best interests of its members, protecting workers rights and improving the quality of life by negotiating with employers and government.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK’s 58,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.

Should you have a problem in the workplace, your CSP steward or safety rep will always be your first point of contact – they are there to help.

Stewards and safety reps are familiar with your workplace, they know local managers and HR staff and also have a greater understanding of local policies and procedures. They can therefore offer advice, support and representation on any matter related to your employment.

Typically this will concern pay, your employment contract, disciplinaries, grievances and capability matters, injury or ill health. Where necessary, they can negotiate with your employer on your behalf.

Your local reps are supported by a network of regional stewards and safety representatives, and by regionally-based CSP officers, known as senior negotiating officers (SNOs). SNOs will normally assist when local reps need extra help in resolving a problem, or in progressing a claim to improve working conditions.

ERUS officers undertake research, policy and advice work in a range of specialist areas. This extends to pay, grading, health and safety, employment law, equality and diversity, pensions, workforce development and other issues. Officers also respond to government proposals on employment and health policy and routinely take part in employment negotiations.

Working alongside ERUS officers are a number of support staff, who are often the first point of contact for members and representatives when you telephone the ERUS directorate.

ERUS staff also work closely with colleagues in other CSP directorates, notably Practice and Development (P&D), and Strategy, Policy and Engagement (SPED). As a member, you should experience a comprehensive and seamless service from the society.

Regional Stewards

Stewards in each region meet regularly and elect a regional steward. Regional stewards organise as a national group that helps develop CSP strategy on workplace issues. The group also plays an important role in informing the CSP’s position on issues affecting its members, not least the NHS.

The national group also coordinates regional training days for stewards, submits motions to the Annual Representative Conference and plays an active role within the TUC. CSP delegations routinely attend key TUC conferences. The group meets three times a year and nominates representatives to attend other CSP committees.

Regional Safety Representatives

Safety reps in each region meet regularly and elect a regional representative. Regional safety reps organise as a national group that helps to develop health and safety policies, CSP campaigns, and resources for the safety reps network.

Society of Radiographers

SoR members receive advice, support and assistance on issues affecting them within the workplace. Our trained and experienced local representatives can help deal with workplace issues, from health and safety through to learning.

Royal College of Midwives

Our members know that should the worst happen they have got the best support in their corner. You can turn to the RCM should you need support with a range of issues, including disciplinary hearings, criminal negligence, personal injuries and financial assistance.

If you need workplace help, support or advice and don’t know who your workplace representative is, RCM workplace representatives are the backbone of the RCM

Representing and supporting members is a demanding role, which carries with it hard work and serious responsibilities.

Yet it can also be very satisfying, especially when you are able to win a fair deal for our members. The skills that you gain as a workplace rep will assist you in your career and will also aid your personal and professional development.

All our workplace representatives (WPRs) are fully trained to support, represent and negotiate. They are supported by officers who are registered midwives, able to understand clinical incident issues. RCM organisers will be on hand to assist workplace representatives in the recruitment of members, holding workplace meetings and for learning representatives, hosting events.

To help you decide whether you’re up for this exciting challenge, we’ve created the So you want to be an RCM Workplace Representative booklet for midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs).

We have three types of workplace representatives with specific duties – stewards, learning representatives and health and safety representatives. For more information about these different positions, see below.


Stewards carry out a number of responsibilities including representing midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) in their workplace/trust/board when necessary and also help recruit RCM members.

What stewards have said about their profession:

“The role of a steward is amazing. It’s demanding, challenging, but so worth it for your own professional development.” – Linda Gierask, Retired Steward

Call us on: 0300 303 0444.