Voluntary and open membership    

Anybody can join a Co-operative if she/he is able to use the Co-operative’s services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.

Democratic member control    

One member, one vote.  Each member participates in making decisions for their Co-operative.

Member economic participation    

Members contribute equally towards the capital of their Co-operative (e.g. all members may be required to pay an equal membership fee, including a monthly subscription fee).

Autonomy and independence    

Co-operatives are controlled by their members.  Even if they enter into agreements with other organisations, they must make sure that their members keep control.

Education, training and information    

Co-operatives must provide education and training for their members to help to develop their skills (e.g all members could receive business skills training).

Co-operation amongst Co-operatives    

The spirit of co-operation should be applied to other Co-operatives by willingly sharing ideas, knowledge and experience.

Concern for community    

Co-operatives should contribute to the sustainable development of their communities for a better life for all.

The Values of a Co-operative

Co-operative is expected to include the following values in all the work that it undertakes.                                 


For the democratic functioning of a Co-operative, every member must have an equal chance to participate.


Co-operative members should not rely on others to get the job done, they should work together to do it themselves.

Self help

Co-operative members should not rely on others to solve their problems, they should work together to find solutions themselves.

Self responsibility

Co-operative members should not allow others to take charge of their business or blame others in the case of obstacles, they themselves are responsible for making their Co-operative work.

Social responsibility

Co-operatives have a duty to help the community in which they live and work.