A reformed governance structure for the Co-operative College has now come into effect.
From 1 May, the college has become a membership organisation as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO). The structure gives it total independence from Co-operatives UK, which was the corporate trustee of the previous charity.
The new trustees were appointed last October and represent a wide range of background and experience in the charity, co-operative and education sectors.
Over the coming months, the College will be developing its membership proposition, for both individuals and organisations. Potential members are being invited to discuss the membership offer and process with the college stand at Co-operative Congress in Birmingham on 27 and 28 June. The college also said the change of governance structure will also enable it to develop a constructive working relationship with Co-operatives UK.
Principal and chief executive Simon Parkinson said: “I would like to congratulate the staff teams and boards of both the Co-operative College and Co-operatives UK. Their hard work and commitment has led to the Co-operative College having a legal structure which will allow it to develop a membership offer and services to meet the growing demands of the diverse co-operative movement in terms of education, learning and development. I feel privileged to have the opportunity of leading a talented group of colleagues on the next stage of our journey, leading to the College centenary in 2019.”
Nick Matthews, chair of Co-operatives UK, added: “After almost a hundred years the Co-operative College takes on a new structure and becomes a membership organisation in its own right. Soon both individuals and other co-operatives will be able to become members and help shape a new Co-operative College fit and able to deliver the education, research and training needed to take co-operative ideas and values forward for another century.”
Ed Mayo, secretary general at Co-operatives UK, said: “The Co-operative College plays a vibrant role in the life of the co-operative movement as an educational charity and the shift now to become an incorporated body with a membership that develops over time will make it one of the most open and participative charities around.”
Nigel Todd, chair of the CIO Trustees, added: “The Co-operative College is entering an exciting new phase in its long history of service to the Co-operative Movement. We’re in the process of becoming an independent, educational co-operative with a membership and governance structure to match our values and principles. We’d like the whole movement to be part of shaping our future so that we meet the educational needs of co-operatives in the 21st century.”