Our Co-operative Values and Principles

At First Question we work together co-operatively and aim to incorporate the co-operative values and principles in everything we do. We don't mind saying that this is the crucial message in our training, and that we need to practice it.


We meet 3 times a year just to explore how a set of values and principles related to us personally and our training. We share stories, learnings and check that we are running our business as co-operatively as possible. 


We can replicate this for your community or organisation or enquire about joining in on one of our sessions. It gives us the chance to practice getting accross the Values and Princlples over to new people. See below too.......

Co-operatives are based on the VALUES of:














In the tradition of their founders, co-op members believe in the ethical values of:






Care for others   




The co-operative PRINCIPLES are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.


1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership

Co-operatives are voluntary organisations; open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.


2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control

Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and co operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.


3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.


4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence

Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.


5th Principle: Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.


6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the Co-operative Movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.


7th Principle: Concern for Community

Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.


click on picture for a link to the International Cooperative Alliance taken from http://www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html#values 28/10/11


Join us for our regular   

Co-operative Values and Principles Development Days.

"What is a co-operative" followed by exploration into how co-operative values and principles shape our lives. 

Contact us for dates, venues and prices. 

Olympic Enterprises

Riverwalk School, Bury St. Edmunds. Enterprise week. Tailored to suit the SEN school. 

training in action
Co-operative xmas card making
Reimagining Education conference
visioning exercise
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