Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations

Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations

Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations

23 November–4 December 2020
The course is available in English, Français

Social dialogue is defined by the ILO to include all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. It can exist as a tripartite process, with the government as an official party to the dialogue or it may consist of bipartite relations only between labour and management (or trade unions and employers’ organizations), with or without indirect government involvement.

This Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations will develop ILO constituents’ knowledge and skills to engage in successful social dialogue at all levels. This two-week interactive and stimulating activity is designed and implemented with the ILO.

The primary goal of the ILO is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equality, security and human dignity.

Social dialogue plays a key role in achieving this objective. It is both a mean to strengthen democratic decision-making and to achieve decent work; as well as an end in itself.

The main aim of social dialogue is to improve the quality of decisions and policies and through the involvement main stakeholders in the world of work. Successful social dialogue structures and processes have the potential to resolve important economic and social issues, deal with economic crises, encourage good governance, reduce inequality and promote growth.

The extent of social dialogue has a direct impact on the climate of social peace and stability as well as the overall governance of the labour market and the economy as a whole. There is no “one size fi ts all” model of social dialogue that can be readily exported from one context to another; there is a rich diversity in institutional arrangements, legal frameworks, traditions, and practices of social dialogue throughout the world. Adapting social dialogue to the specific situation is key to ensuring full ownership and sustainability of the process. As much as social dialogue may differ from country to country, the overriding principles of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining remain the same.

Social dialogue may take different forms. At national level as well as other levels (regional, sectoral), tripartite social dialogue allows government, employers and workers’ organizations (through their representatives) as equal and independent partners to seek solutions to issues of common concerns.

At national, sectoral, enterprise or territorial level, collective bargaining allows an employer or a group of employers on the one hand and one or more workers’ organizations on the other to jointly: determine working conditions and terms of employment, regulate relations between employers and workers, and/or regulate relations between employers or their organizations and workers’ organizations. This unique and distinct form of social dialogue plays a key role in the governance of labour market.

This Academy is a unique opportunity to discuss and analyse the different forms of, and approaches to social dialogue and industrial relations, leading to improved knowledge and skills to effectively contribute to social dialogue in their own environment.

Introduction to the course

The Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations will provide a unique opportunity for participants to become familiar with the latest trends and developments concerning tripartite social dialogue mechanisms, collective bargaining and dispute-resolution systems. Participants will personalize their own two-week course by choosing from several electives, and will benefit from an innovative and dynamic learning environment.

Who attends this course?

The Academy is aimed at:

  • Officials from Ministries of Labour
  • Officials from selected Ministries (Finance, Social Security, Education, Gender, social policies, etc.);
  • Representatives from employers’ organizations;
  • Representatives from workers’ organizations;
  • Members and staff of national tripartite bodies, and other social dialogue institutions;
  • Personnel from institutions involved in promoting social dialogue (including academic, research institutions, non-governmental organizations);
  • ILO officials;
  • Members of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS);
  • Parliamentarians, community leaders, civil society and other stakeholders in society (e.g. development banks, international financial institutions).

Note: As an organization dedicated to fundamental human rights and social justice, the ILO is taking a leading role in international efforts to promote gender equality. In line with this focus, women candidates are especially welcome.


The Academy provides advanced knowledge needed to contribute to the establishment or consolidation of social dialogue, industrial relations and collective bargaining.

Specific objectives

At the end of the Academy, participants will be able to:

  • Identify enabling conditions for effective social dialogue and industrial relations;
  • Refer to key international labour standards as tools for promoting social dialogue;
  • Describe and discuss trends and different modalities of social dialogue and trends in industrial relations;
  • Analyse good practices of social dialogue and industrial relations from different regions;
  • Review the experience of tripartite social dialogue and industrial relations in their own countries and discuss how to strengthen it;
  • Formulate recommendations to strengthen their national institutions of tripartite social dialogue and industrial relations at all levels;
  • Establish contacts with experts and practitioners in the field of social dialogue and promote sound industrial relations for further cooperation and networking.
Structure and methodology

The Academy will combine plenary sessions with elective parallel sessions to be chosen by the participants according to their preferences.

The Academy will foster a conducive environment to social dialogue. The methodology will be learner-centred with the support of facilitators and practitioners of social dialogue. In addition to the lectures provided by national and international experts, permanent interaction among participants through group work, discussions and other interactive learning methods will take place. Participants will have the opportunity to look into several experiences of social dialogue in a direct manner through interaction with the key players of social dialogue and compare them with their own experience and context. It is expected to create a culture and momentum of dialogue to be promoted and deepened by the participants afterwards.


The Academy will be held in English and French with simultaneous translation provided.


The ITC promotes a three phase approach in its learning activities:

  • Phase I: Pre-course information on the Internet-based learning platform – three weeks before the course;
  • Phase II: Face-to-Face workshop – two-week course in Turin;
  • Phase III: Post-Training on the Internet-based learning platform – following the face-to-face course.

During the two weeks in Turin, an action-oriented, highly participative approach will be used, with particular attention devoted to sharing international experiences with a view to their adaptation and practical application:

  • Training methods will combine lectures and discussions, case studies, open space debate, role-play exercises and group work using up-to-date learning methods and technologies;
  • Particular attention will be paid to the presentation of “good practices” through case studies reflecting experiences already gained locally and internationally.

A permanent monitoring of the learning process will be conducted by the Academy coordinator and facilitators; the participatory methodology adopted - based on several forms of interaction, discussion, brainstorming and exercises – will provide the feedback necessary to detect gaps in the learning process. At the end of the Academy, participants will be asked to fill an evaluation questionnaire. The data will be used by the ITC/ILO to improve its future training activities.

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