Become a Certified Co-op Professional

Co-operatives have a big impact. But to get the most out of your co-operative, members need to work together and support the co-op’s purpose.  

Our Co-op Professionals micro-learning course provides a unique introduction to the ownership, operations, and governance of co-operative businesses. If you’re a member, employee, or director of a co-operative this course will help you understand how you fit into the organization and where you can participate to help the co-op succeed.  

In this course, you’ll gain practical tools that you can apply at your own co-op, like: 

  • Strategies for engaging your co-op’s members 
  • Tools to hold management or the board accountable 
  • Ideas for building an inclusive, supportive workplace culture 
  • Insights into how co-ops address difficult situations 
  • Strategies to create alignment among members, staff, and the board 

To earn the Co-op Professional Certificate, you’ll complete these 5 modules in our Introduction to Co-operatives Course: 

  • Intro to Co-ops Orientation 
  • Business Model Basics 
  • Co-op Professionals: Membership 
  • Co-op Professionals: Operations 
  • Co-op Professionals: Governance 

Complete this form to receive your personal invitation to get your access to the course:


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Here’s what people are saying about the Co-op Professionals course:

“I highly recommend Co-operatives First’s “Co-op Professional” course for both board members and Co-op employees.  The modules in the course cover co-operatives from three key perspectives – membership, operations, and governance – which combine to provide a very complete view of the roles and responsibilities of members, staff, and the board.  Regardless of which category someone taking the course falls under, by completing the course they will gain a deeper understanding of not only how they contribute to the success of their Co-op, they will also better understand how the other roles contribute to the success of their Co-op.  The course material is practical and pragmatic, and the case studies are excellent and add to the learning process.” – John Stevenson, Board President of Sherwood Co-operative Association

I recently took Co-operatives First’s Co-op Professionals course. They provide a distinct, broad overview of the co-operative business model and the roles within this business type. I recommend this course for every Co-operative Professional from Directors to Co-operative Leadership teams. It is appropriate for all levels of your Co-operative organization. – Carol Rollheiser, General Manager of Wildrose Co-operative Association


“Heather and the team at Co-operatives First are top-notch. Not only their knowledge but their understanding of the project. They have truly helped us along every step of the way. Their timely response and knowledge of the steps are extraordinary. They are forthcoming with information. This is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Weyburn Theatre

“Co-operatives First made the process of establishing our Artisan Co-operative a very clear and easy process. The expanse of available tools and resources provided by Co-operatives First answers many questions and lightens the workload. Greatly appreciate having the connections made with Trista and Kyle, they keep the co-operative moving forward.”

Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-op

“Our experience working with the Co-operatives First team was absolutely fabulous. The staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and patient. It was truly a breath of fresh air to have such a wealth of skill and resources available to a non-profit. They were invaluable to our successful launch!”

Heart Linked Community Services Cooperative

“Working with Co-operatives First was fantastic! We are still new to the cooperative world, and we relied heavily on their advice and expertise when drafting our rules/bylaws, and our memorandum of association. The team has experience with many different cooperative models, so they provided advice on what has and hasn’t worked for other cooperatives. We wouldn’t have been able to incorporate without their help!”

Ananda Cooperative

“We have had a very positive experience with everyone at Co-operatives First. They have helped us in multiple ways. Right from the first step in knowing how to incorporate, how to set our business and offering ideas for us to help steer us in the right direction plus allowing us to really make our own decisions. If our decisions go off track, they have gently guided us back to where we needed to be. The Co-operatives first guys are always eager to answer questions, and give ideas to us that got us off the ground.”

South East Butcher Block