Good governance

Good governance is crucial to the effective operation of co-operatives – particularly those looking to grow – regardless of size, legal form or business sector.

This section aims to give co-operatives a range of expert guidance and resources to improve their governance. Read on for an overview of each section.

Latest resources

  • Board behaviours in co-operatives: A practical guide for for co-ops to gain a better understanding of the impact of boardroom behaviours with practical tips on how to support the behaviours seen in the most effective boards.
  • Annual General Meetings. A guide to preparaing and running a successful annual general meeting (AGM).
  • Key elements of 'good governance' for co-ops. Learn about the governance wheel, which depicts all of the areas of governance that should be in place within a thriving co-operative business.
  • Recruiting directors to co-op boards. 'Make up of the board' is a short film and guidance note on the process of recruiting directors to co-operative boards, an issue that has very much put the co-op sector under the spotlight in recent years.
  • Directors Toolkit. A comprehensive series of resources for inducting directors onto a co-operative board. See the resources in full.
  • The role of the board Briefing note outlining the role of a co-operative board.

The key elements of good governance

It depicts the key areas of governance that should be in place within a thriving co-operative business – an effective board, operations and processes, performance and roles, members and participation. 

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The purpose of a co-operative

This section provides an overview of the 4 key elements that sets the framework to support the purpose of a co-operative.

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Governance: An effective board

From recruiting the best people to your co-operative Board to equipping the Board with the tools to carry out their role well, this section looks at the different elements of developing an effective board in order for your co-operative business to be effective.

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Governance: Operations and processes

This section addresses how you maintain good governance of your co-operative by introducing and maintaining good operations, systems and processes.

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Governance: Members and participation

This section focuses on members and how through their involvement and participation in a co-operative can contribute to its successful growth.

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Governance: Performance and roles

This section looks at how people in your organisation can perform effectively in clearly defined roles for the benefit of your organisation. 


Governance training

We have a number of one-day training courses, including for co-op chairs, directors and secretaries. There is also the option for in-house training – find out more.

The Co-operative Governance Expert Reference Panel 

The Co-operative Governance Expert Reference Panel was established and co-ordinated by Co-operatives UK in response to a need for an independent and authoritative voice in the co-op sector for best practice in governance. It will continue to contribute best practice and resources to The Hive for for free as and when they become available. Read more about the Panel...

Updated: 26/03/2019