There is no UK legal definition of a co-operative - until now the only way we can say whether or not an organisation is a true co-operative is by trying to assess to what extent it complies with 7 International Co-operative Principles. In practice this can be difficult - you can easily say whether the one person one vote rule applies - but how do you measure co-operation between co-operatives, or education? Now Co-ops UK has produced a paper that attempts to develop practical tools for defining co-operatives. You can download it below, but Co-opsUK wants to know what you think, so please when you have read it, go to http://www.uk.coop/resources/documents/practical-tools-defining-co-opera... and let them have your thoughts:
Do you agree that the ICA statement of co-operative identity needs to be the fundamental starting point for work on classification?
Is it helpful to characterise the principles as relating to co-operative structure and co-operative ethos?
Does the grouping of co-operatives by their primary type of member (customer, producer, employee and mixed/multi-stakeholder classes)
represent a reasonable base for analysing different types of co-operatives?
Does the distinction between co-operatives and mutuals, where mutuals are member-based but may not share all the characteristics of coops such as one-member, one-vote, make sense to you?
Does the idea of some form of a 'scale of co-operation', in which enterprises may have some characteristics akin to co-operatives
but fall short of being a genuine co-operative, make sense?
How does your co-operative score against the Co-operative Scale questions, do they sufficiently cover the characteristics of co-operatives?
What do you think about the more technical, working methods set-out in Annex B are there any positions you think should be amended or areas not sufficiently dealt with?
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