Plunkett Institute Principles of Good Co-operative Governance

The Plunkett Institute of Co-operative Governance will expect its members to abide by the following, with respect to their role as directors of their individual Societies;

1. To uphold the co-operative principles and values as enunciated by the International Co-operative Alliance*

2. To act with honesty and in good faith, placing the interests of the co-operative before all others.

3. To abide fully by the Institute’s Code of Ethics for Co-operative Board Members.

4. To ensure that the co-operative fulfils its legal duties.

5. To foster democracy within the Co-operative of which they are members by promoting the growth, and development of its membership and encourage members to actively participate in its governance.

6. To use the Annual General Meeting to communicate with members and encourage them to exercise their democratic rights and their right to active participation.

7. To provide for sound, accountable management of the co-operative; to serve the interests and to protect the assets of its members by exercising independent and objective judgment.

8. To support the Chair in his or her responsibility for the leadership of the Board.

9. To ensure that the Board is in effective control of the co-operative’s affairs.

10. To support the Chief Executive of the co-operative in exercising his or her responsibility for the management of the co-operative’s operations.

11. To respond to the advice of the Secretary regarding all governance matters.

12. To put procedures in place for regular renewal of the membership of the Board and its committees to ensure that the democratic rights of members can be exercised and that the Board is accountable to members

13. To have a strategic focus, always looking ahead to the co-operative’s future.

14. To ensure that mechanisms are put in place for comprehensively inducting Directors into their role.

15. To ensure that Directors are properly briefed and informed at all times in order to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.

16. To see that a formal and rigorous annual evaluation of the Board’s own performance and that of its sub-committees and of individual directors, is undertaken to ensure that roles can be carried out effectively, and to act on its outcomes. This evaluation should include attendance at and participation at meetings of the Board and its committees

17. To establish sub-committees to work on specialist aspects of its remit in order that it can be provided with sufficient information and ensure that it is able to carry out its role effectively.

18. To ensure that the annual report presents a fair, balanced and understandable assessment of the co-operative’s strategy and performance.