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Participation Policy

At its October meeting, the CEHL Board approved an Active Membership Program Policy recommended to it by the Participation Policy Advisory Group. Reflecting the role of co-ops in determining their own active membership arrangements, the policy is entitled Co-ops Developing Active Membership Requirements and Policy.

The final policy follows an extensive engagement process with the broader Program that included:

  • nine regional workshops
  • two conference workshops
  • three online surveys.

In total, approximately 250 individuals contributed to the development of the policy through these engagement activities.

The policy provides the parameters within which co-ops will determine their own active membership requirements. Importantly, the policy also provides for co-ops to develop a pathway to respond to and resolve situations where a co-op member is failing to meet their active membership requirements.

The policy is now available via the CEHL website. In developing the policy, PPAG wanted to ensure that it gave a fresh and future-focussed approach to what has been a contentious Program topic. PPAG also developed a policy preamble that sits alongside the final policy. The preamble is designed to provide important context for the policy, so you are asked to read the preamble prior to considering the policy.

Co-ops are encouraged to review the policy, which is available on the Co-op Resource Centre section of the website. For a co-op dealing with a current participation issue, please speak to your CDC.

At its October meeting, the CEHL Board approved an Active Membership Program Policy recommended to it by the Participation Policy Advisory Group. Reflecting the role of co-ops in determining their own active membership arrangements, the policy is entitled Co-ops Developing Active Membership Requirements and Policy.

The final policy follows an extensive engagement process with the broader Program that included:

  • nine regional workshops
  • two conference workshops
  • three online surveys.

In total, approximately 250 individuals contributed to the development of the policy through these engagement activities.

The policy provides the parameters within which co-ops will determine their own active membership requirements. Importantly, the policy also provides for co-ops to develop a pathway to respond to and resolve situations where a co-op member is failing to meet their active membership requirements.

The policy is now available via the CEHL website. In developing the policy, PPAG wanted to ensure that it gave a fresh and future-focussed approach to what has been a contentious Program topic. PPAG also developed a policy preamble that sits alongside the final policy. The preamble is designed to provide important context for the policy, so you are asked to read the preamble prior to considering the policy.

Co-ops are encouraged to review the policy, which is available on the Co-op Resource Centre section of the website. For a co-op dealing with a current participation issue, please speak to your CDC.

  • UPDATE 4 AUGUST

    6 months ago

    UPDATE 4 AUGUST: The Participation Policy Advisory Group has considered the feedback received via the conference workshops and survey and developed a final draft of the participation policy. To better reflect its purpose, the policy is now titled Co-ops Developing Active Membership Requirements and Policy.

    HAVE YOUR SAY NOW

    Co-ops and members are invited to provide feedback on the final draft as well as the implementation considerations via the online survey, which is available here.

    The survey closes on 16 October 2017.

    For assistance with the survey, please contact Peter Sleeman on (03) 9208 0800.


    UPDATE 4 AUGUST: The Participation Policy Advisory Group has considered the feedback received via the conference workshops and survey and developed a final draft of the participation policy. To better reflect its purpose, the policy is now titled Co-ops Developing Active Membership Requirements and Policy.

    HAVE YOUR SAY NOW

    Co-ops and members are invited to provide feedback on the final draft as well as the implementation considerations via the online survey, which is available here.

    The survey closes on 16 October 2017.

    For assistance with the survey, please contact Peter Sleeman on (03) 9208 0800.


  • Participation Policy Updates.

    6 months ago

    UPDATE 25 AUGUST: Online survey on the draft participation principles is now closed. PPAG will consider the feedback received via the survey and the conference workshops and a final draft policy will be available for feedback on 4 September 2017.

    UPDATE 18 AUGUST: Online survey on Draft Participation Principles, Implementation Considerations, and Roles and Responsibilities now open here.

    The survey closes on 25 August 2017.

    There will be a further opportunity for co-ops and members to provide feedback on the final draft participation policy between 4 September to 16 October 2017.


    UPDATE 4 AUGUST: The Participation Policy Advisory Group are...

    UPDATE 25 AUGUST: Online survey on the draft participation principles is now closed. PPAG will consider the feedback received via the survey and the conference workshops and a final draft policy will be available for feedback on 4 September 2017.

    UPDATE 18 AUGUST: Online survey on Draft Participation Principles, Implementation Considerations, and Roles and Responsibilities now open here.

    The survey closes on 25 August 2017.

    There will be a further opportunity for co-ops and members to provide feedback on the final draft participation policy between 4 September to 16 October 2017.


    UPDATE 4 AUGUST: The Participation Policy Advisory Group are looking forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming conference on 18th August. In preparation for our workshop on the Participation Policy, we would like to share the latest version of our thinking with you. This builds on the draft principles we shared on 21st July 2017.

    This can be found here and at the top of the document library in the bottom right of this screen.
    This table outlines our understanding of the implementation needs for each of the eight policy principles. This has emerged from our analysis of your feedback through the member engagement process. It also contains some thoughts about the roles and responsibilities of both CEHL and Co-operatives in bringing these principles to life.

    At the conference, each member will have an opportunity to discuss four of the eight principles during the workshop session. There will be time for a short discussion, and then we are seeking your feedback on the extent to which the principle will make a positive difference to participation/active membership.
    For those who are interested, there will be opportunities to contribute beyond the workshop in two ways:
    • by adding your thoughts to workshop materials in the foyer of the conference
    • by contributing through the forums below, which will be open until 25th August.
    Through our discussions, it has become apparent that the roles of CEHL and Co-operatives have not always been clear, particularly around the big issue of non-participation. We hope that what is presented in this table helps to bring greater clarity to our roles and how we move forward. On that note, please keep in mind that we are developing a Program level policy that will provide the context for each Co-operative to align their own policies in the future.

    You will also notice that we have often used the language of active membership (rather than just participation) as we feel it better captures the positive and mutually beneficial nature of this essential aspect of co-operative living.

    We invite and appreciate your involvement in the conference and active participation in the Participation Policy discussion.

    Kind regards,
    Participation Policy Advisory Group:

    Parameswaran Kanagasingam
    Gayle Lawson-Verdon
    Jean McVilly
    Therese Streets
    Christene Walker
    Giselle Wilkinson

    CEHL Representatives:
    Andrew Bartlett
    Nicola Foxworthy
    Peter Sleeman

    Independent Chair: Victoria Thom (Synergy2030)

    UPDATE 21 JULY: The Participation Policy Advisory Group wish to thank all members for your involvement in the recent member engagement process, to gather input to the future Participation Policy. We also understand that the engagement expectations for members of late have been significant, and appreciate your ongoing willingness to be part of this important process. Seventy out of 112 Co-operatives were represented and approximately 10% of members participated in an engagement forum and/or the online survey.

    Our commitment is to develop a policy that reflects the Program Principle for Participation:

    Co-operatives need everyone to share activities and democratic decision-making to ensure that they meet all their responsibilities and keep operating. Co-operatives will provide opportunities and encouragement for all members to participate according to individual capacity and capabilities.

    The Participation Policy Advisory Group have been working through your feedback, and are working in partnership with CEHL to understand the Program’s legal and compliance context. We aim to develop a fresh and future-focused policy that sets out clear expectations and support for active membership and the consequences of non-participation. We believe it is an opportunity to set a new and energised direction for the future of Co-operative living

    Through our deliberations so far, we have arrived at a set of draft principles. Once finalised these principles will become the primary framework that enables Co-operatives to refresh their own rules and implement processes related to active membership. During the conference we will explore with you the draft principles and the roles of Cooperatives and CEHL in implementing them.

    To get this update with a copy of the principles for download please click here.

    Draft Participation Policy Principles
    • Cooperatives’ active membership and participation policy and requirements will promote a sense of community and inclusiveness.
    • A cooperative must be clear about their purpose and clearly link active membership and participation to cooperative goals and objectives.
    • A range of enablers and resources will be available to facilitate active membership and participation.
    • Active membership and participation is valued, acknowledged and designed to provide benefits to the members, while enabling the future of the cooperative.
    • Active membership and participation is required to meet the needs of the cooperative to keep it viable, and will be expressed with flexibility and imagination.
    • Active membership and participation is a responsibility that is shared amongst all of the cooperative’s members.
    • Cooperative rules must set out pathways of consequences for a member who is not meeting reasonable active membership and participation requirements, which may ultimately result in the loss of co-op membership.
    • CEHL have a program responsibility to partner with cooperatives to support their members to actively participate and to resolve issues of non-participation.

    We commit to providing you some further detail including implementation consideration and draft roles and responsibilities, on the website by Friday, 4 August.

    We invite and appreciate your involvement in the conference and active participation in the Participation Policy discussion.

    Kind regards,

    Participation Policy Advisory Group:

    Parameswaran Kanagasingam

    Gayle Lawson-Verdon

    Jean McVilly

    Therese Streets

    Christene Walker

    Giselle Wilkinson

    CEHL Representatives:

    Andrew Bartlett

    Nicola Foxworthy

    Peter Sleeman

    Independent Chair: Victoria Thom (Synergy2030)

    UPDATE 14 June: The Participation Policy Project is moving forward and making great strides. We would like to thank everybody who has participated in the process in both the workshops as well as the survey. The summaries of the workshops, as well as a high-level summary of the survey, have been uploaded to this page. Please scroll down and check the document library on the bottom right of this page for these documents.

    UPDATE: The Participation Policy Survey has now closed. Thank you for all your well-considered input. We were very pleased with the number of responses. This feedback will be shared with the PPAG group and be inputted into the draft Participation Policy.

    Watch this space to monitor the creation of a new Participation Policy for the Program.

    CEHL is working together with co-op members to discuss the opportunities and challenges that co-op participation brings.

    The policy will give clear guidance to CEHL and co-ops on:

    • what participation requirements are appropriate within the Program, and

    • how co-ops and CEHL can respond when participation responsibilities are not met

    This is an important conversation for the Program; we encourage you to have your say, join the discussion and shape the policy.

    To comment on the News Items and the Forums as well as filling in the future survey please click on Register to Have Your Say button that is to the right of the text. If you don't see the button it means you are already signed in.

    If you registered for engagement when we ran the Policy Principles Project then you are already registered and just need to sign in by clicking the sign button in the top right of this screen.

    Once you have registered and signed in you can leave comments on the News Items in the NewsFeed below. Or you can engage in a larger discussion in the Forum threads below. Here you can discuss existing topics with other participants or start your own thread.


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  • Participation Policy Background Paper

    about 1 year ago
    The Participation Program Policy Background Paper provides all the information on the Project and how it will progress through the coming months. Click on the link above to open the paper in full.



    The Participation Program Policy Background Paper provides all the information on the Project and how it will progress through the coming months. Click on the link above to open the paper in full.



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  • Workshop Invitations Sent

    about 1 year ago

    Invitations to the Participation Workshops have been mailed out and will be with you any day now.

    The invitation contains information on the dates and times of the workshops and how to RSVP for them.

    For those of you who would like to get a jumpstart on RSVP'ing, click on the RSVP for Participation Workshops button to your right.

    Invitations to the Participation Workshops have been mailed out and will be with you any day now.

    The invitation contains information on the dates and times of the workshops and how to RSVP for them.

    For those of you who would like to get a jumpstart on RSVP'ing, click on the RSVP for Participation Workshops button to your right.

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  • Participation Policy Advisory Group Selected

    about 1 year ago

    We are delighted to announce that, following an Expression of Interest process, the members of the Participation Policy Advisory Group have been chosen.

    The group's members are:

    • Jean McVilly, Access CERC
    • Kanagasinga Parameswaran, Herbert St CMC
    • Christine Walker, Phoenix CERC
    • Gayle Lawson-Verdon, Woorayl CERC
    • Giselle Wilkinson, Earth CERC
    • Therese Streets, Diamond Valley CMC.

    The advisory group will:

    • provide feedback on the proposed participation engagement activities to ensure that they are appropriate and suitable for Co-ops and Co-op member

    • develop and recommend a final Participation Program Policy to the Board that reflects feedback received through the engagement activities

    We are delighted to announce that, following an Expression of Interest process, the members of the Participation Policy Advisory Group have been chosen.

    The group's members are:

    • Jean McVilly, Access CERC
    • Kanagasinga Parameswaran, Herbert St CMC
    • Christine Walker, Phoenix CERC
    • Gayle Lawson-Verdon, Woorayl CERC
    • Giselle Wilkinson, Earth CERC
    • Therese Streets, Diamond Valley CMC.

    The advisory group will:

    • provide feedback on the proposed participation engagement activities to ensure that they are appropriate and suitable for Co-ops and Co-op member

    • develop and recommend a final Participation Program Policy to the Board that reflects feedback received through the engagement activities

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