The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
Co-operation among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Concern for Community
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.
We believe the credit union movement should expand the opportunity to participate in the services and benefits of credit unions to all who want and need these. Such services and benefits should be provided with neutrality relative to race, nationality, gender, religion or politics.
We believe the credit unions should serve as effective instruments for human, social and economic development throughout the world.
We believe that local, national and international credit union organisations should seek to contribute to the development goals and needs of their communities.
We believe that the credit union movement should foster and practice the principles of co-operative pooling and utilisation of resources for the ultimate benefit of the credit union member.
We believe that all sectors of the credit union movement should strive for permanent viability through the attainment of financial and technical self-sufficiency.
We believe that the credit union leadership and management should embrace participation in the democratic process at all levels of the credit union movement.
We believe that the credit union movement should attract and develop the best possible human resources at all levels to serve the leadership, management and staff of the movement.
We believe that the credit union movement should adhere to the Credit Union Operating Principles defined by the World Council of Credit Unions.