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Everything you need to know about Accord's biennial delegate conference.

Interested in conference 2024? Details will be available soon.

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What is conference?

Accord’s biennial delegate conference is held every two years at venues throughout the UK.

The purpose of conference is to set Accord’s agenda for the next two years - it's part of the democratic processes that make Accord your union. We achieve this by workplaces submitting motions which are debated and voted on by workplace reps who are elected to represent you. We'll talk more about motions later.

The agenda is divided into sections that reflect Accord’s main campaigning areas:

  • Dignity at work
  • Fair reward
  • Security of employment
  • Union policy and external matters (such as rule changes)

Conference is hosted by the union’s Principal Executive Council (PEC) and usually takes place over two days. When conference is in session, it’s chaired by Accord’s president, or one of the vice-presidents.

Why attend conference Highlights from conference 2022

Why reps want to attend

Conference provides a fantastic opportunity for Accord reps to meet new people from across the union - including those working for different employers - and discuss the issues facing you and our members at work. It's an opportunity to make your voice count, and to ensure that the union tackles the issues that matter most to you. 

Around 125 workplace reps attended Accord's 2022 conference to hear from guest speakers from the employers Accord negotiates with and external bodies like the TUC. Together, we addressed issues of interest and relevance to our members and answered some burning questions.

Don't just take our word for it though... find out what our reps had to say about Conference 2022.

Not an Accord rep? Take a look at becoming one for your workplace.

More on what our reps said Highlights from conference 2022

Highlights from conference 2022

Watch the highlights from conference 2022 which took place in Manchester and read more about the event below.

Over the two day event in Manchester, delegates...

As Ged said in his closing speech, "Our work doesn't end here - it begins as soon as we leave this hall. Surviving and thriving as an independent and sustainable trade union is going to take more effort than ever before. It’s down to us and us alone. Nobody is going to do it for us. So let’s recommit ourselves to our enduring campaigns for secure jobs, fair reward, dignity at work and equality. Let's stay true to our values and be full of courage. Let’s change, grow and build."

What happens after conference?

During conference, delegates debate motions on the agenda. Sometimes we don't get through all the motions, and in those cases the Principal Executive Committee (PEC) will carefully consider each of them and decide on the best course of action. 

We publish the outcomes of all motions on our website for all members to review and track our progress.

You can view the union's campaign priorities and progress for 2022 - 2024 that were determined at conference 2022 below. 

Objectives from conference 2022


Never attended Accord's conference before?

If you're a ‘new-to-role’ rep or never had the opportunity to attend conference before, you may be wondering what conference is about and have further questions.

So, let's give you some more information about conference and answer some of those questions you might have...

Delegate attendance

Delegate attendance

Reps who’d like to attend conference must register their interest by the deadline date given by the union. Places are limited and fill up fast!

Delegation numbers are allocated based on the level of membership within each employer / business area. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to attend may be able to but for those who can, time off to attend is paid by the business so you don’t need to use holiday. However, confirmed delegates must give their line manager as much notice of attendance as possible.

Delegates are expected to represent members from their business area and act as ambassadors for Accord throughout conference.

Delegates are encouraged to contribute whenever appropriate by speaking on any relevant issues and in debates.

They should prepare by:

  • Being aware of any motions submitted by the members they represent
  • Proposing or speaking on these motions
  • Being prepared to represent the contrary points of view on behalf of their members

How we work out delegation sizes

We use our membership data and active reps to determine the sizes of our delegations for each business we represent in. We'll publish all of this information, including maximum delegation sizes, as we organise each conference.



Motions give delegates the opportunity to help shape Accord’s agenda for the next two years. They seek changes to the way in which members are managed, changes to terms and conditions of employment and improvements to their working environment.

They will typically be submitted by groups of members. Either by branches or department teams.

Motions must be submitted to Accord HQ by the deadline given by the union. They’ll then be considered by the Standing Orders Committee (SOC), alongside Accord’s President and General Secretary.

Those that make it into the agenda will usually be grouped together so that similar issues can be debated collectively, or where they seek conflicting outcomes.

Not all motions that are submitted will be debated at conference. The PEC have overall responsibility for the agenda of conference, and any motions that are not debated during the conference period will be decided upon and taken forward by the PEC.

Once a motion has been presented to conference, we'll open up for debate for those that wish to speak either in favour or against the motion. After the debate has concluded, or the conference chair has brought the debate to an end, we'll open up for voting. You can read more about the voting process in the next section of this guide.

How to write a motion

Here are some tips on what to consider when writing motions

  • Make your motion simple to follow – avoid technical terms & business jargon
  • Make it easy to understand – keep it clear and simple
  • Don’t try to explain everything at once – that’s what the supporting speech is for
  • Ask for an outcome and suggest a solution to the issue
  • Try not to criticise colleagues in other business areas – they may be at conference and you may need their support

Example motions


Example text

Unpaid overtime

THIS CONFERENCE opposes the working of unpaid overtime at all grades and in all of the Lloyds Banking Group. If overtime is necessary, Conference insists that the Group should always pay the overtime which is due at the agreed rate or offer time-off in lieu as an alternative.

Travel & mobility policy

THIS CONFERENCE asks Lloyds Banking Group to look at the travel policy in relation to travel time to work and to reduce this to one hour each way. At the moment, maximum travel time is unfair, especially where staff need to use public transport, so are likely to be within the distance policy but can spend up to 3 hours travelling to work for a 7-hour day.

Standing orders for conference

Standing orders for conference

These are the rules that govern how conference business is conducted.

The standing orders are developed and agreed by the Standing Orders Committee to ensure a smooth-running conference. As a result, standing orders may change from conference to conference and will be published in advance.



All motions debated at conference are voted on by conference delegates. Our past conferences have used by a traditional 'show of hands' vote and electronic voting.

How voting works:

  • If all delegates vote in favour, a motion is carried unanimously
  • If the majority of delegates vote in favour, a motion is carried
  • If all or majority of delegates vote against, a motion falls

All motions carried become part of Accord’s agenda for the next two years.

Terminology glossary

Terminology glossary

Whether you're new to Accord's conference, or whether you've been a delegate in the past, it's essential you know what we mean by certain terms. Here's a list of the important terms you will hear in connection with conference.




A list of topics to be raised at conference and the order in which they are to be discussed.


A rep chosen to represent workplaces / business areas at conference.


Something that seeks change to the way in which members are managed, changes to terms and conditions of employment and changes to their working environment.

Mover / Proposer

The person who introduces a motion and speaks on it first.


The person who does not want the motion to be carried.


The person supporting the motion for debate.

Standing Orders Committee (SOC)

Workplace reps who volunteer themselves to help with sorting out the motions before conference.

Still want to know more? Take a look at our past conferences and conference guides to get a better feel for what happens, and hopefully we'll see you at our next conference...

Explore past conferences