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Simply Governance

The guide is designed as a reference for anyone involved in advising or supporting a co-operative, social or community enterprise and may also be relevant to the governance of any third sector organisation. It is also suitable for any member of such an enterprise and is designed to be particularly relevant to a member of any governing body.

The Simply Governance guide:

  • explains what governance is and why it is important;
  • gives a detailed overview of the governing documents of any organisation;
  • gives a detailed overview of the role and responsibilities of the governing body;
  • gives an overview of the legal requirements relating to the governance of co-operative and community enterprises;
  • explains the importance of good governance in co-operative and community enterprises;
  • gives an overview of the typical governance problems of co-operative and community enterprises;
  • provides practical strategies to avoid the common governance problems; and
  • provides tools to allow an organisation to audit its governance.

Sister publications

This guide has been created as part of a "Simply" series of publications to support the set-up and governance of co-operative and community enterprises.  The series includes:

  • Simply Legal - a comprehensive guide to the legal forms and organisational types for community enterprises.
  • Simply Finance - a comprehensive guide to the different options for financing a community enterprise.
  • Simply Start Up - A guide for anyone involved in the creation of an enterprise that will be owned by, run by, and supported by the community in which it operates.

This Simply Governance guide is also supported by the From Conflict to Co-operation series of booklets, also produced by Co-operatives UK.  This series shows how to deal with conflict by:

  • improving communication;
  • improving meetings and decision-making;
  • managing the change caused by organisational growth and development; and
  • clarifying the role of the governing body.



I've just had a quick read/ flick through the document - looks really good and a welcome addtion - many thanks Viv Lewis (secod ltd)