Become a Rep

I was looking for a new challenge within dietetics and thought joining the trade union would be completely different and non-clinical.

Vicki Bennett, BDA Trade Union Rep 

What is a trade union rep?

Trade union reps look after the interests of their colleagues in the workplace, they represent and give advice when they have problems at work. BDA Trade Union Reps look after the interests of BDA Members in the workplace. 

What do trade union reps do?

Reps are there to:

  • talk to members about workplace issues, advise them, and keep them informed of the latest developments
  • represent members who have work-related issues (i.e. Sickness, Grievance, and Disciplinaries)
  • get involved in the wider union (i.e. attend training, conferences, and BDA Country Employment Relations Committee meetings)
  • negotiate with the employer (local manager) and via staff (with senior management)
  • Attend staff-side committee meetings
  • recruit members into the union and organise them around workplace issues 
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How can I become a rep?

Start by reading the BDA Trade Union Rep role descriptor to better understand the role. Then, complete the application form below.

Once we've received your form, we will then approve your application unless we come across an issues. Once approved, we will send you your credential letters and you will be accredited as a BDA Trade Union Rep. 

You must be a BDA Member with a Full Membership, and in employment with an employer to become a BDA Trade Union Rep. 


Elections of BDA Trade Union Reps and Health and Safety Reps (a combined role) will occur every three years per the BDA Trade Union Terms of Reference and the principles of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

The current election period runs from 1 July 2023 to 1 July 2026. You can apply and stand down from the role at any time.

What support will I get?

You will get support from the BDA Trade Union team, especially from our National Employment Relations Officers, who are trained and experienced reps.

You will have easy access to the Rep Hub, where you can find useful resources, the Rep's Voice (Newsletter), regular networking meetings, and other valuable information to assist you in your role.

The BDA provides structured training programs to develop all the knowledge and skills a BDA Trade Union Rep will need. The programmes are delivered by TUC (Trade Union Congress) tutors and are accredited.