Co-operative Values and Principles are the lifeblood of any co-op. Co-operantics member Nathan wrote about this in the Principles Really Do Matter guide to carrying out a DIY audit of your co-op ‘s implementation of the co-op principles. He noticed that many co-ops he’d worked with who had suffered a business crisis had lost sight of the values and principles at the heart of the business. The business problems were a symptom of a failing co-operative organisation.
The great advantage of the International Co-operative Principles (see ica.coop) is that they can be applied to a wide range of types of co-op working in a wide range of sectors and delivering member benefit in a myriad of ways. This can also make it difficult for some members, or outsiders,.to understand how you are putting them into practice. This is especially true for co-ops who are unique in how they operate.
For co-ops who find themselves unable to carry out a DIY audit of how you put principles into practice, we can provide a Co-operative Principles Audit.
We review your co-op’s decision making, structure and day to day operations and talk to some of your members to check how you are implementing the Co-op Principles. We can also identify examples of the Co-operative Values that underpin the Principles. We conclude with a report, identifying areas for improvement, including suggestions based on decades of work supporting hundreds of co-operative enterprises. The depth of the audit is dictated by the time spent on it and we can work to most budgets.