Industrial Foundations

The course will teach you about industrial relations and how to confidently apply this knowledge to issue resolution.



Intended Audience

Organisers and Campaigners

Delivery Mode



4 days




This course is designed for Organisers and newly appointed Industrial Officers looking to acquire fundamental knowledge about industrial relations and how to confidently apply this knowledge to issue resolution.

In this course, you will acquire the fundamentals of the Australian industrial relations system, including its history. The course will cover how laws are made, legal principles such as precedent and the interface between statute and case law.

You will learn about the various industrial instruments that govern employment relationships and how to read and interpret legislation. You will also explore and gain and understanding of the intersection between industrial and organising approaches in the resolution of issues.


By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the legal frameworks that govern industrial relations in Australia 
  • Identify the opportunities provided by these laws to resolve member grievances 
  • Outline how the Australian industrial system has evolved over time and identify the factors that have driven change 
  • Identify the different employment arrangements in Australia and the impact on industrial entitlements and pathways to representation and resolution 
  • Explain the principles of interpreting legislation, awards and agreements 
  • Describe the basic principles of contract formation 
  • Analyse member and collective issues and adopt effective pathways to resolution utilising both industrial and organising tools 


Power analysis

Types of power and how power can be leveraged in organising

Overview of employment law

Industrial, health and safety, anti-discrimination legislation and options for issue resolution
How laws are made and navigating legislation

History of industrial relations system in Australia

Key legislation since federation and how this has shaped our current system and IR context

Overview of Fair Work Act

Application and scope
Overview of recent reform (Secure Jobs Better Pay Act)

Types of employment

Employment types and entitlements
Employee/independent contractor distinction

Industrial instruments

Legislation, awards and agreements
Navigating agreements and clause interpretation

Legal principles

Principles of interpretation
Reading decisions using the ILAC method

Employment contracts

Basic elements of employment contracts
Interaction with company policies and procedures

Resolution of issues

Case study (CUB) exploring industrial and organising options for resolution
Problem solving framework

Delivery Style

This course will utilise a range of resources and methodologies to maximise engagement including group work, videos, case studies, authentic materials, facilitated discussion and content delivery through visual presentations.



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Course Enrolment


21 – 24 May | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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21 – 24 May | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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30 July – 2 August | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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1 – 4 October | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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