Co-op Governance, by Cathy Lang

Co-operative governance document.


  1. What is governance?

    Co-op governance means the processes and structures used to direct and manage the co-op’s operations and activities. Good governance helps organizations use their resources more effectively and ensures that they are managed in the best interests of their members and principal stakeholders.

  2. Role of the Board of Directors

    The main duty of the board is to provide the leadership and overall management  (usually together with the senior management personnel) of the co-op’s affairs.

    Board members have important fiduciary and legal responsibilities.  Fiduciary means that a director has the responsibility to act for another benefit rather than for himself or herself.  In the case of a co-op, the director’s fiduciary duty is to make decisions on behalf of the whole membership.  Legal responsibilities mean that the directors have a duty to act with care and skill. The law does not require board members to be experts. But in all organizations, directors of corporations are required to apply their knowledge and skills to a reasonable degree to make sure that the co-op affairs are being managed appropriately.  This is called a “standard of care”.

…Continued in attachment.

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