Course rep handbooks

What is a Course Rep Handbook?

Course Rep handbooks are intended to be a complete resource for course representatives, outlining their role and responsibilities and acting as a point of reference throughout their time as a rep and supplement any training that is provided, commonly featuring the following sections:

  • Information on the role, or why being a representative is important to the union, and the university
  • Common issues reps may have to deal with or scenarios with recommendations for resolution
  • Outlines of responsibilities and limitations of the rep role
  • Outline of the benefits of a representative role or a summary of the skills reps can develop through the role
  • Record of a reps’ activities, development or achievement
  • Tips for conducting role effectively, e.g. how to promote oneself, conduct in meetings
  • University and union staff and representation structures, and summaries of relevant boards, meetings and committees
  • Outline of other quality evaluation mechanisms that they may participate in, e.g. National Student Survey, QAA Student Written Submission, etc.
  • Information on representation within the union
  • Department/area specific information
  • Other information as necessary, e.g. equality policies or statements, charters, details of meetings, dates and details of future training or events, details of support available from the union and institution, glossary of terms/committee jargon used in the document.

Things to consider when creating your Course Rep Handbook 

  • What format is best for your handbook? Is a hard copy necessary and in line with your environmental policy? Could you make a downloadable copy or interactive version of your handbook?
  • How long is your handbook? Will it be easy to digest and interesting to look at? Will adding images, quotes, or statistics make it a more engaging to read and empower reps to take action?
  • Could you include course specific information on staff members, policies or codes of practice so that reps know what students should expect from their courses?
  • Could you include any information on national education issues or union campaigns?
  • Did you offer your handbook in a variety of formats to cater for the diversity and needs of your reps?

Examples of Course Rep Handbooks