The 5th co-operative principle requires the co‑operative sector to provide education and training for members, employees and to inform the public. Different education and training is needed for managers, directors, members and employees. There is a lack of clarity about where managers, directors, employees and members are getting co‑op specific education or training; whether there is interest in co‑op specific higher education or training, and regarding content and delivery of co‑op specific higher education and training. To address this situation, a Task Force mandated by Co‑operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) was formed, composed of academics and co‑operative practitioners, to conduct an assessment of higher education for co‑operatives and from this to develop a strategy forward.
From the interviews with managers and directors, and the survey with employees and members, there is a need and interest in and for co‑op specific education and training, and the current educational opportunities are not well known and are not completely filling the need. There is room for focussing and redefining educational opportunities.