Branches will be aware that the Trade Union Admin Act became legislation in April 2015. Part of the Act and in accordance with Section 24ZB of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA) we had to appoint an Assurer to independently assess our membership records in order to receive our Members Audit Certificate (MAC) due in May 2017. The NEC at its meeting held on 28th January 2016 appointed ERS as our Assurer following endorsement of FOS document 02/16.
As part of the contractual needed to carry out what is called a “pre audit assessment” before the actual inspection takes place at the end of February this year. That assessment took place during June, July and August 2016. It included visits to 2 branches to assess their membership records as the Act requires that Branch records are kept to an acceptable standard.
We received the results and recommendations of the audit which forms part of a 55 page report. The findings were presented in order of severity (i.e in order of risk) listed as follows, Weakness, Opportunity for Improvement, Observation and/or audit enhancement and evidence not provided.
There are 2 key issues within the report that were identified as “opportunity for improvement” within Branches these were as follows;
Length of time new application forms remain in branch offices

To help keep accurate records, additional training for Branch officials whose role includes membership changes within the OLS or online joining system.

In respect of bullet point one, the Assurer observed a timeframe in excess of 2 weeks in some cases. We accept at Headquarters that to assist Branches in ensuring forms are either sent in immediately or for the branch to input the forms via the online joining process we at CWU HQ should offer assistance in the form of training. 
We fully understand and appreciate that if branches are out on recruitment drives, it may be impractical to post new membership application forms to CWU HQ on a daily basis. However in order to ensure we have taken action to respond to the issues highlighted in the report, something the Assurer will want to see, membership application forms should not be left in your branch office for any longer than a maximum of 5 working days.
Finally, if branch officials with responsibility for maintaining membership records would like some additional training to support their work of ensuring that the register of members is up to date and accurate then we can provide such training here at CWU HQ. Anyone requiring training of this nature should email with names, we can then discuss and adapt training to suit different needs and requirements.
The Trade Union Admin Act came into force as part of further attempts by Government to tie up trade union activity in more unnecessary administration, Unfortunately it is now law and as such we have to take such measures as are require and pointed out to us by the Assurer to ensure we comply with the law and to ensure that we are issued with the necessary Member Audit Certificate. Failure to receive a MAC will mean that we are not allowed to use/access our membership data base for Trade Union purposes. Clearly it is important that we all ensure we do what is required to avoid such a situation, hence the necessity to produce this LTB and the actions contained therein.
Any further enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to
Yours Sincerely,
Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary
Email Attachments – Click to download
LTB 038/17 – Trade Union Administration Act – Assurers Report


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