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Co-operative College

Base of operations (headquarters)

Manchester, UK

Who we are

Born over 100 years ago out of a need for radical education that fights for social justice, our mission is to inspire and enable people, through co-operative learning, to transform lives and tackle inequalities in their communities, creating a fairer world. 

What we do

The main activities of the Co-operative College are:

  • Training for organisations (UK and International): bespoke training supporting the development of co-operatives, their individuals and teams. Our curriculum covers a wide range of themes, including Co-operative Leadership, Sustainability and Values Led Practices. We also offer online self-paced courses introducing and exploring a variety of themes such as International Co-operative Development, Co-operatives and Sustainable Development Goals, and Introduction to Co-operatives. 
  • Co-operative Learning Projects (UK ): our UK projects aim to develop and inspire a new generation of co-operators. We support groups, including young people with learning difficulties, disabilities and autism, to develop co-operative knowledge and skills, in order to feel empowered and make a positive change not only in their lives, but also in their communities. 
  • International Co-operative Development (ICD): with a strong focus on research, practice, and partnerships, our ICD projects are aligned with SDG8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, supporting the start-up and sustainability of co-operative enterprises in the Global South. We have worked in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Zambia and have a long standing programme in Malawi supporting the strengthening of their co-operative infrastructures at the Macro, Meso and Micro levels.
  • Thought leadership in global co-operative education: we work with new and emerging co-operative education institutions to support their development, including  in the Philippines and Nigeria. We also strive to play a key role within networks of co-operative educators; for example, by using our global reach and reputation to enable researchers and academics to reach new audiences. Over the past twelve years we have been active partners in the Co-operatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP), an initiative bringing together European partners to share good practice and benefit the global movement. This work has been instrumental in the development of a multi-year EU framework partnership agreement with the ICA global and regional offices.

Geographic scope

Americas – Brazil, Colombia

Asia-Pacific – Philippines, India


Others: UK Co-operative Retail Societies, Co-operative to Co-operative partnerships

Year of foundation


General Contact

Email: hello@co-op.ac.uk

Development Contact

Contact Name: Sarah Alldred

Title or Position: Head of International Partnerships

Email: sarah@co-op.ac.uk