Friday, June 07, 2013

COHSE Student Nurses Charter 1989

The National Learner Forum has been established as the result of a resolution submitted to COHSE Annual
Delegate Conference in 1989 by South Sheffield Branch in recognition of the special needs of all learners, both
inside and outside COHSE.

We intend to formulate and promote a Charter for Learners which consists of the basic rights that we feel all
learners should have and for which we intend to campaign.

The NLF intends to take an active and helping role in establishing a learner group network throughout the
organisation, specifically:

• LOCALLY - promoting and campaigning for local learner groups, to relate to local issues, to promote national
campaigns (for example the Charter) and to encourage learner participation in COHSE at branch level;

• REGIONALLY - promoting regional learner forums to work closely with Regional Councils, liaise with local
learner groups within the region and, once established, to elect representatives to the NLF. We feel regional
groups of learners are imperative to enable NLF representatives to represent more fully learner members;

 • NATIONALLY - to provide a national voice for COHSE learners on the many issues facing them, both within
the union and publicly to lead the campaign for the charter of learner rights.

The NLF is determined to achieve quickly an accurate reflection in its membership of the COHSE learner
population. This means actively seeking and encouraging participation from previously under-represented
groups such as ethnic minorities.

We intend to take a major role in promoting learner recruitment campaigns within COHSE and feel that offer-
ing a supporting and campaigning learner network will be a major attraction in the recruitment of new members.

 We also aim to co-ordinate and organise opportunities for education through a continual programme of national
workshops open to all learners.

 We intend to liaise on student affairs with the National Executive Committee and Regional Councils and to
work actively with the National Union of Students to promote learners' interests.

We anticipate taking a full and active role within COHSE and look forward to the COHSE organisation's full
support in this initiative.

The COHSE National Learner Forum was established in response to a demand from learners for a voice within the union to represent their special needs.

The forum consists of two delegates from each region of COHSE plus two members of under-represented ethnic groups. Primarily these delegates are learner nurses, but we wish to include learners from other health care professions - such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and radiographers.

Since its inception the Forum has drawn up a
Charter for Learners. This charter is intended
to attract attention to these areas where we feel
our rights have been neglected and to declare
our intent to fight for these rights.

Our main aim, alongside the adoption of the
charter by educational establishments, is to
build a network of regional and local learner
forums to increase our quantity and quality of
representation and to support learners at local,
regional and national level.


The COHSE National (Student Nurses) Learner Forum believes all learners are entitled to the following

i) Fair remuneration - as a first step equivalent to at least the Trades Union Congress minimum wage threshold;

ii) The same employment protection and representation on disciplinary and grievance matters as other NHS workers;

iii) To appeal against examination/assessment failure in the same way as learners in higher education institutions;

iv) Opportunities to undertake clinical experience in training in an environment with adequate staffing levels and adequate support from qualified mentors/supervisors;

v) Access to designated independent learner counsellors;

vi) Security of tenure if renting accommodation from a health authority;

vii) An effective voice locally in order to influence decisions which affect their working lives (for example through a COHSE Learner Council);

viii) To opt out of training placements in the private sector where public sector alternatives are available;

ix) To act as accredited union representatives without harassment or intimidation;

x) Support and protection in the event of giving information through the appropriate channels with regard to malpractice(s);

xi) To join the trade union of their choice free from any undue influence. The NLF commits itself to do its utmost to ensure the achievement of the above rights.