Co-operatives provide education and training

Co-operatives provide education and training

Education Program

The Golden Horseshoe CHF provides workshops and training to housing co-op members and staff. The program is planned and evaluated annually according to the identified needs of housing co-ops.

Scheduled Workshops

Scheduled workshops are presented each year. Our Winter Workshops are held in conjunction with our Annual General Members’ Meeting each January.

These workshops represent a great value and an opportunity to meet members from other co-ops. workshops combine information giving, problem solving and sharing of participants experience. Members with similar interests have a unique opportunity to learn new skills while learning from each other.

Portable Workshops

Portable workshops are usually requested by and tailored to the specific needs of an individual Board, committee or other group of a housing co-op. Portable workshops are delivered on-site with no limit to the number of people that can be accommodated. Portable workshops, apart from offering great value for money, can be designed to address the issues and needs of the individual co-op.

How Do I Know What is Being Offered?

Scheduled workshops will be advertised well in advance, however, participation is usually limited by location size. Watch for notices in the Federation Digest, @ghchf bulletins sent to your co-op. It is recommended that you register immediately for these workshops as they are very popular and fill up quickly.

Portable workshops are requested by the co-op. More than one co-op can get together and share the cost of this type of workshop. Once you have decided which training best fits your co-op’s needs, call the Golden Horseshoe CHF office and order what you need. Give two possible dates and times, and a contact person. The federation will do the rest.

Who Teaches These Workshops?

The Golden Horseshoe CHF uses instructors that have themselves been trained by the Golden Horseshoe CHF, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada or have uniquely suited qualifications. Instructor training includes a basis in the co-op principles and co-op living. Many instructors specialize in particular areas. We will recommend the instructor that we feel will best fit your needs.

How Much Do Workshops Cost?

Prices, (per person), for scheduled workshops are published when the workshops are announced. Attending scheduled workshops gives housing co-ops the opportunity to invest in a greater number of timely topics and have their attending members update their membership at large with information sessions where they can share their new-found knowledge.

The Golden Horseshoe CHF has the following rate schedule in place:

Half day (3 hour) workshops:
member of federation………………..$300.00

Full day (6 hour) workshops:
member of federation………………..$500.00

Workshop Listing

Arrears Management: Does your co-op have an arrears problem? We will talk about how to recognize an arrears problem and how to prevent it. You will learn about by-laws, policies and procedures to manage the issues of late payments and arrears. This workshop will offer a proactive approach to arrears. 3 Hours

Avoiding Vacancy Loss: What does it take to keep your co-op full in to-day’s market? This workshop will help you develop a strategy for finding new members. Topics covered: developing a successful marketing plan, spending your advertising dollars effectively and designing a membership process that meets the needs of applicants. 3 Hours

Orientation and Information Sessions: are a good way to attract new members to your co-op. This workshop will help you design a useful information session. This is the first step in your relationship with a member. Getting off to a good start can make the difference to new members and to the co-op. You will learn how to develop an orientation process for new members that will help them understand their role in the co-op. 3 Hours

By-Laws: Evaluating and updating your by-laws Your facilitator will lead you through the steps in bringing your by-laws up-to-date and writing them in plain language. A hands on working workshop to get you off to the right start. Rates by the hour. Minimum 3 Hours

The Board as an Employer: If your co-op staff and Board are to work together as a team you will each need to know their responsibilities. The role of the Board, hiring, staff training, performance evaluation and the role of the staff liaison are covered in this workshop. 3 Hours

Organizing the Maintenance Committee: Good organization and a clear job description are a must for a well functioning maintenance committee. We will review the duties and responsibilities of this committee, then we will write a job description. Find out how a maintenance committee can organize its members and tasks to get the work done. 3 Hours

Unit Inspections: We will review different ways of organizing and completing unit inspections. It will give you practical ideas about how to get the work done. We will look at different inspection forms that make the inspection process easy and worthwhile. 3 Hours

Developing a Maintenance Action Plan: You have done the annual inspections. Now what? How can you make this information work for the co-op? We will talk about ways to use the information from unit inspections and from other sources. 3 Hours

Member Selection: Focuses on recruiting people who will become active informed co-op members. Marketing, information sessions, application forms, selection criteria are covered in this workshop. 3 Hours

Leadership Skills: Developing strong leadership skills within the co-op sector is important to the growth and well-being of our members. This workshop will help you understand the different styles of leadership; explain the concept of leadership and its importance to effectively deliver your message; and will assist you in your ability to positively influence others. 3 Hours

Board Basics: This is a general view of what the Board does, its roles and responsibilities. 3 Hours

Advanced Board Training: Aimed at the experienced Board member. Topics: working as a team; legal responsibilities; co-op finances; planning and goal setting; managing staff; working with committees and creating a co-operative community. Full day session

Good management in Your Co-op: By-law changes; policy review; evaluating co-op management procedures; committee re-structuring; financial downsizing? We will discuss how your co-op stacks up against the co-op housing sector recommendations. An overview of the different models of co-op management is included in this workshop. 3 Hours

New Members in Your Co-op: This workshop will help you understand and improve your co-op’s membership process. Topics will include: membership policies; interviews; approving new members; welcoming new members; organizing the work of the membership committee. 3 Hours

Skills for Better Board Meetings: You will learn about: rules of order, speakers lists, keeping people on topic and on time, how to keep order, the role of the agenda and how minutes contribute to good meetings. 3 Hours

Ethics and Conflict of Interest, Tips for Directors: We will discuss what conflict of interest is and isn’t. This workshop will also look at a guide to ethical conflict that will help Boards’ manage the co-ops’ business and provide the right kind of leadership in the co-op community. 3 Hours

Managing Your Co-op’s Finances: Who is responsible for your co-ops’ finances? Role of the Board in financial management. Responsibilities of the signing officer, working with financial records. This workshop deals with the actual day-to-day finances of your co-op. 3 Hours

Your Co-op and the Law: Will guide you through the legal and corporate requirements which affect housing co-operatives. 3 Hours

Evaluating Staff: Is a complete guide for Boards, personnel committees and management teams. It will help you develop a fair and inclusive staff evaluation process. Find out how this guide can help you build and strengthen your co-op management and create positive staff/employer relationships. 3 Hours

Organizing Committees: Committees are the backbone of a housing co-op. Effective committees help the co-op run well and allow for meaningful member involvement. You will learn how to create a good committee structure and to define the work of the committee. Topics will include how to orient members, writing job descriptions and the role of committees in the co-op. 3 Hours

Effective Meetings: Will review the basics of meeting process and how to prepare for a meeting. You will learn how to plan and run meetings to meet the needs of the co-op and its members. Topics will include: planning the agenda; rules of order; the role of the chair; involving members; preparing agenda items and communication and decision-making. 3 Hours