The Partnership Education Program (PEP) provides affiliate leaders with the training needed to develop their leadership skills and to stay abreast of the latest advancements in labor relations.

Each fiscal year, state and provincial associations can choose an Assisted Seminar or a Seminar Subsidy.

Per IAFF policy, all training requests must be submitted to the General President’s office for approval. For a PEP event at your state or provincial association meeting, submit a written request to the General President with the date, approximate number of students expected and location of the event.

For more information, call (202) 824-1560 or email [email protected].

IAFF PEP offers workshops that highlight fire service labor relations and the latest bargaining strategies to help affiliate leaders protect their members’ jobs and keep them safe on the job.

Click the PEP workshop categories below for their topics.

View detailed workshop descriptions in the PEP Catalog.


Workshop Topics

  • Crisis Communications (2 hours)
  • Internal Local Communications (2 hours)
  • Media Strategies and Messaging (2 hours)
  • Organizing and Implementing a Community Outreach Program (2 hours)
  • Social Media (2 hours)
  • Writing for Communicators (2 hours)

Health & Safety

Workshop Topics

  • An Introduction to Behavioral Health (2 hours)
  • Cancer Awareness: Tools for Affiliate Leaders (2 hours)
  • Disaster Relief: Assisting Members in Preparation and Recovery (2 hours)
  • Fighting Performance/Service Level Threats (2 hours)
  • Overview of Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Policy for Union Leaders (2 hours)
  • Staffing for Safety: An Introduction (2 hours)

Human Relations

Workshop Topics

  • Addressing Work/Life Balance (2 Hours)
  • Building an Inclusive Workforce: Reflecting the Communities We Serve (2 Hours)
  • Human Relations at the IAFF (2 hours)
  • Local Human Relations Committee: Getting Started (2 hours)
  • Local Human Relations Committees: Next Steps (2 hours)
  • Teamwork and Inclusion (2 hours)


Workshop Topics

  • Addressing Personal Finance and Planning With Your Members (2 hours)
  • Building Better Business Relationships (2 hours)
  • Ethics for Union Leaders (2 hours)
  • Generational Differences (2 hours)
  • How to Run a Meeting (2 hours)
  • IAFF Union Leadership: Self-Awareness (2 hours)
  • IAFF Union Leadership: Leading Organizational Change (2 hours)
  • Increasing Membership Participation (2 hours)
  • Internal Union Organizing (2 hours)
  • Overview of Membership Services (2 hours)
  • Recruiting and Developing Leaders (4 hours)

Legal Issues

Workshop Topics

  • Discipline: Your Rights and Responsibilities as Union Officers (2 hours)
  • Duty of Fair Representation (2 hours)
  • Local Union Governance (2 hours)
  • Overview of Employment Law (2 hours)
  • Overview of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (2 hours)
  • Social Media Legal Issues and Best Practices
  • Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act (2 hours)


Workshop Topics

  • Advanced Skills for Negotiators (6 hours)
  • Conducting Negotiations: Collective Bargaining (2 hours)
  • Fundamentals of Costing Contract Proposals (2 hours)
  • Municipal Financial Analysis (2 hours)
  • Negotiating Healthcare Benefits (2 hours)
  • Negotiating Strategies for Tough Economic Times (2 hours)
  • Negotiating the First Contract (4 hours)
  • Negotiation Strategies and Tactics (6 hours)
  • Non-Collective Bargaining Environments: Achieving Goals (2 hours)
  • Preparing for Negotiations: Collective Bargaining (2 hours)
  • Understanding Municipal Budgets (2 hours)
  • Writing Contract Language (6 hours)

Politics & Public Relations

Workshop Topics

  • Building Coalitions (2 hours)
  • Establishing and Maintaining a Political Action Committee (2 hours)
  • Introduction to Political Action (2 hours)
  • Introduction to Public Relations (2 hours)
  • Lobbying 101: Understanding the Local Legislative Process (2 hours)
  • Planning a FIRE OPS 101 Event (2 hours)
  • Recruiting and Endorsing Candidates (2 hours)


Workshop Topics

  • Understanding Public Pensions (2 hours)

Union Administration

Workshop Topics

  • Budgeting for Local Unions (2 hours)
  • Duties of the Secretary and Treasurer (4 hours)
  • Frontline Union Representative Basics (2 hours)
  • Introduction to Grievances (2 hours)
  • Investigating and Processing Grievances: Non-Collective Bargaining Environments (2 hours)
  • Local Union Administration (2 hours)
  • Managing Consultant Reports (2 hours)
  • Preparing for Grievance Arbitration: Choosing an Arbitrator(2 hours)
  • Preparing for Grievance Arbitration: Contract Language (2 hours)
  • Preparing for Grievance Arbitration: Evaluating Evidence (2 hours)
  • Understanding Pregnancy and Parental Accommodation (2 hours)
  • Understanding Union Leadership (2 hours)

Assisted Seminars

The Assisted Seminar option provides one day of customized training to be presented in conjunction with the state or provincial annual meeting. The IAFF provides the instructors, curriculum and supplies needed for the training at no cost to the state or provincial association.

Seminar Subsidies

With this option, the IAFF provides financial assistance to state and provincial associations to support their annual seminars. We provide the supplies needed for training plus a subsidy of $20 per participant per day (up to a maximum of three days) during any one-year period.

The state or provincial association is responsible for supplying the instructors, curriculum, agenda, the facility and all other administrative details.

We are excited to announce our first Partnership Education Program (PEP) online event for members. This new virtual training opportunity provides quality IAFF education without the hardships of travel or current restrictions.

Visit 2023 October PEP Online site and register for the online training events.

The IAFF is committed to providing high-quality education programs to our members in order to strengthen their union skills. All workshops provided in the PEP training events are designed to be interactive and engage students. Workshops are delivered by IAFF PEP instructors who have a vast amount of knowledge and experience on union skills.

View all the upcoming PEP events.

Download the PEP Catalog to get our latest workshop modules and their descriptions.

IAFF Department of Education
1750 New York Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 824-1560 or (202) 824-1533
[email protected]

The Partnership Education Program (PEP) is delivered by IAFF PEP instructors who are appointed by the General President.

The IAFF accepts applications to become a PEP instructor, but may not expand its instructor roster every year. For qualifications, requirements, or an application form, please contact Education at [email protected].