The key elements of '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.

It supports the governing body of a co-operative in its task of creating and maintaining a strong and sustainable business that meets the needs of its members and is robust enough to embrace change. A neglect of governance weakens accountability and carries multiple risks to the business and its strategy.

A panel looking at best practice for 'good governance' for co-operatively run businesses has devised the governance wheel. It depicts the key areas of governance that should be in place within a thriving co-operative business. The key elements of governance are:

An effective board • Operations and processes • Performance and roles • Members and participation

The wheel of good governance


  • Download the 'Elements of Governance' wheel: pdf document [345kb]

Also in this section 

The purpose of a co-operative • An effective board • Operations and processes • Performance and roles • Members and participation

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